The Red Arrows operated from ramp space at the eastern end of the show grounds at RIAT. I spent some time down there on one of the days. It provided a chance to watch them brief, crew up, start and then recover after the display. Here area. Few shots of the team in action.
The Red Arrows have conducted a North American tour this year. It commenced just after RIAT so, while I saw them there, I hoped to catch them at some point during the tour. Their closest displays were in Oregon and Vancouver and I wasn’t able to go to either sadly. They did stage through Seattle, though, so I figured I would go and see them arrive. The twelve jets showed up on a heavily overcast day. They did some flybys over the city and then a run in across Boeing Field. A pair of jets landed directly while the remaining ten flew around a little more – nine ships in formation and one getting some photos. Then it was run and and break to landing before taxiing off to parking.
RIAT is known for special formations and British Airways has been part of them in the past. Concorde with the Red Arrows and an A380 with the Red Arrows spring to mind. For 2019 and BA’s 100th anniversary, they wanted to do something special. The focal point was to be the BOAC liveried 747-400. I shot this jet at SeaTac and covered it in this post. To see it in formation with the Red Arrows sounded pretty good. They put together two passes.
The first was from the right and involved a gentle turn in the direction of the crowd to give a slightly topside view of things. This was nice but the distance involved did mean there was a bit of heat haze to combat. The second pass in the other direction was a more straight pass along the display axis. The sun was popping in and out during this time so the colors popped sometimes and not others. It made for some tricky shooting but it still looked pretty good and it was nice to just watch when not shooting.
RIAT is known for putting together formations of different types to celebrate certain events. The fiftieth anniversary of the first flight of Concorde resulted in two display teams getting together. Concorde was an Anglo-French collaboration and so was the celebration in this case. The Red Arrows and the Patrouille de France both fly formations to represent Concorde so, for this joint effort, both teams got airborne and flew their two Concorde formations in line astern. They made passes in each direction with the national anthems of each country playing – one on the first pass and the other on the second. It was a simple demonstration but an impressive one all the same.