Who are the Red Arrows and what is their flypast schedule for 2023?

The Red Arrows are flying in Clacton Airshow today   (Ian Forsyth / Getty Images)
The Red Arrows are flying in Clacton Airshow today (Ian Forsyth / Getty Images)

Red Arrows enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of the iconic red aircraft when they make their latest appearance at the 30th annual Clacton Airshow, taking place today and tomorrow.

Eager fans will be encouraged to have their “eyes on the skies” today at 4.30pm when the Red Arrows are expected to pass over the event — although the Met Office also predicts a likelihood of rain at this time.

Visitors can also watch the impressive display of airmanship at the event tomorrow, as well.

The Red Arrows’ appearance at Clacton Airshow marks the latest in a long line of appearances this season. Those wishing to see the Red Arrows in action will have until the end of September to see the aircraft in the sky when they appear at several other events.

Trailing red, white, and blue smoke, the world-famous aerobatic team is often a fixture at airshows and events of international significance. One of their major events this year was the Trooping the Colour, when they performed a flypast over the capital.

But who are the Red Arrows, how many flypasts do they undertake a year, and what is their schedule for the rest of 2023?

Who are the Red Arrows?

Formed in 1964, The Red Arrows are the Royal Air Force’s aerobatic display team, and they’re instantly recognisable by their distinctive red Hawk jets.

The team has been putting on displays since it was formed. As the “public face” of the RAF, they act as ambassadors for the UK at home and overseas. They’re known for their close formation and precision flying, with trademark moves including the ‘Diamond Nine’ shape.

The Red Arrows have flown more 5,000 displays in 57 countries, and their team is made up of pilots, engineers, and support staff. They are based at the RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

The Red Arrows flying over the Royal Mile in Scotland last month (Russell Cheyne / AP)
The Red Arrows flying over the Royal Mile in Scotland last month (Russell Cheyne / AP)

How many flypasts do the Red Arrows do a year?

There is no specific number of flypasts that the Red Arrows conduct per year, however, they do make regular appearances every year throughout the summer months.

The greatest number of displays flown in one year was in 1995 when they performed 136 times.

From May to September, the Red Arrows perform up to two shows and several flypasts in one day, but can only perform where they’ve been invited to do so at public events.

What is the Red Arrows’ schedule for the rest of 2023?

The annual Red Arrow season comes to a close in exactly one month’s time. So, fans have several more opportunities to see the Red Arrow crew take to the sky.

  • 24/08/2023Clacton Airshow

  • 25/08/2023Clacton Airshow

  • 25/08/2023Sidmouth Regatta Airshow

  • 26/08/2023Rhyl Airshow

  • 27/08/2023Rhyl Airshow

  • 31/08/2023Bournemouth Air Festival

  • 01/09/2023Bournemouth Air Festival

  • 02/09/2023Bournemouth Air Festival

  • 03/09/2023Bournemouth Air Festival

  • 09/09/2023Southport Airshow

  • 09/09/2023International Ayr Show Festival of Flight

  • 10/09/2023Great North Run

  • 14/09/2023Guernsey Air Display

  • 14/09/2023Jersey International Airshow

  • 16/09/2023IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow

  • 17/09/2023IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow

  • 23/09/2023Malta International Airshow

  • 24/09/2023Malta International Airshow