The Team’s Itinerary For This Tour Was Its Most Ambitious Ever
During the summer of 2019 the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, departed their native British skies to undertake a tour of North America. The tour was known as Western Hawk 19. The team’s twelve BAe Hawk T1A jets and one supporting RAF Atlas A400M airlifter departed their home base at RAF Base Scampton in Lincolnshire on 5 August 2019. What happened over the ensuing weeks is the subject of this awesome four-part documentary about the Red Arrows and Western Hawk 19 as uploaded to YouTube by Raider 21.
Ambitious and Memorable
This was the Red Arrows’ most ambitious tour ever. The team visited 25 American and Canadian cities, flew 21 performances, and made memories during 30 flypasts- several of them with the US Air Force Thunderbirds and/or the US Navy Blue Angels. Notable appearances included joint flyovers of New York city and San Francisco.
The Red Arrows are based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. The team was formed in 1964 and first flew Folland Gnat trainers previously flown by the RAF Yellowjacks display team. In 1979 the Red Arrows transitioned to the BAe Hawk T1A. To date the team has performed more than 4,800 displays in 57 countries.
Going Way Back
RAF displays go all the way back to 1920. Aircraft flown by RAF display teams include the Sopwith Snipe, the Gloster Meteor, the de Havilland Vampire, the Hawker Hunter, the English Electric Lightning, the BAC Jet Provost, and the Folland Gnat. Squadron Leader Ray Hanna expanded the flight team from seven to nine Gnat jets in 1968. The team has flown nine jets in their performances since then.