The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Demonstration Team announced on Friday their return to North America this summer to promote trade and cooperation at select air show sites this summer.
Providing a dizzying array of red, white, and blue smoke trails, the squadron’s nine BAE Systems Hawk T1 and T1As jets will provide a nearly 30-minute aerial demonstration. The pilots of the red aircraft will showcase select maneuvers and demonstrate the handling flown in actual military operations.
Code named Western Hawk 19, the Red Arrows will perform at eight locations this August, September, and October, with several unannounced flyovers and events still in the works. This season will mark their first visit to North America in 11 years.
“Confirming this initial group of display locations where we will perform in North America is not just exciting for those people hoping to attend these events, but also for the whole Red Arrows team as well,” Team Leader and Red Arrow 1 Martin Pert said on Friday.
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team has performed in 57 countries nearly 5,000 times since the squadron was founded in 1965. This season will mark Pert’s second season with the Red Arrows.
“Air and ground crews are now hard at work, preparing the display which will be seen by audiences in the UK, U.S., and Canada this summer, while detailed planning is well underway to carefully, and safely, plot our overseas tour,” Pert added.
The Red Arrows will join the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as they perform at three show sites; while the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform at one show with the visiting squadron.
“I am delighted people all over the U.S. and Canada will be able to see our world-famous Red Arrows in action,” UK Defense Minister Mark Lancaster said on Friday from Nellis AFB, Nevada. “Previous tours have generated huge amounts of investment for the UK, and we hope the team lighting up the skies of two of our closest defence allies will bring more of the same.”
Updated Red Arrows North American Tour:
August 13………… Ottawa – Gatineau Executive Airport
August 17/18……. Chicago – Air and Water Show
August 21…………. Atlantic City – Thunder Over The Boardwalk
August 24/25……. New York – New York Airshow, Stewart International
Aug. 31-Sept. 2…. Toronto – Canadian International Airshow
Sept. 7/8…………… St. Louis – Spirit of St. Louis Airshow & STEM Expo
Sept. 20-22……….. Portland-Hillsboro – The Oregon International Airshow
October 5/6………. Huntington Beach, Calif. – The Great Pacific Airshow
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)