The UK’s Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, described performing every day at the Dubai Airshow as an honour, and heaped praise on the new location.
“We were invited to perform at Dubai Airshow this year, and haven’t been since 2007. The new Dubai World Central site is a fantastic venue - to have a site purpose-built for the Airshow is incredible. The dedicated airfield makes it easier for us to operate, too,” said Team Manager, Ruth Shackleton.
Shackleton also heaped praise on the professionalism of the air traffic control team at Dubai World Central. Shackleton said the team’s Hawk aircraft respond well to the dry conditions of Dubai’s airspace.
Acknowledged as one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows is an iconic British brand and has often taken part in high-profile occasions, both nationally and internationally.
The five-day stopover in Dubai is part of the team’s five-week Middle Eastern tour, which includes Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. Visits are also be made to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
“We have many friendships here in Dubai and across the Middle East, and the region enjoys a close relationship with the UK. We have been welcomed with open arms everywhere we have been,” said the Team Manager.
One of the special relationships the Red Arrows enjoys is with the UAE Air Force’s own aerobatic display team, Al Fursan. “They are a fantastic display team. We have been working together and sharing notes. They kindly let us use their airspace for training prior to the Dubai Airshow, and their fly past with the Emirates A380 was superb,” said Shackleton.
Today – November 20 – the Red Arrows appeared in person at Dubai Airshow’s new ‘Skyview’ – a new purpose-built grandstand for members of the public to enjoy the daily afternoon flying display, which this year has included the Typhoon; Al Fursan, the UAE Air Force’s own aerobatic display team, the Airbus A380, the F-16 and Mirage 2000-9.
Thursday, November 21 is the last chance to see the Red Arrows perform at Dubai Airshow. Shackleton said the tour will raise awareness of the UK and highlight the Royal Air Force’s agility, adaptability and capability. The team is here in Dubai with BAE Systems. “It’s a brilliant opportunity to underline the brilliance of the aircraft and the expertise of the team,” she added.
The Red Arrows currently flies BAE Systems’ Hawk aircraft, and comprises nine display pilots, all of whom are from frontline squadrons. Each has previously operated other Royal Air Force fast jets, such as the Tornado or the Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.
Next year is the 50th display season for the Team, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, UK and which, since formation, has performed more than 4,500 displays in 54 different countries.
Dubai Airshow is open to trade and professional visitors only. Visitors can register online now www.dubaiairshow.aero/register. It is strongly recommended for all attendees to register online before coming to the show.
Dubai Airshow is organised under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in co-operation with Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Dubai World Central and the UAE Armed Forces.
Caption: Hawk’s eye-view: UK RAF aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, gives Dubai Airshow sky-high praise. Picture: SAC Craig Marshall, Crown Copyright/MoD