RAF Red Arrows begin training in Greece

Pre-season training enter final phase.

RAF Red Arrows training Greece
RAF Red Arrows begin training in Greece.

April 29, 2019 - Training for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s forthcoming season is stepping up a gear with a move overseas.

The Red Arrows’ jets departed the United Kingdom today, to begin an intensive final phase of preparations for this summer’s campaign.

Known as Exercise Springhawk, this annual training period makes full use of more settled, fine weather in Greece to perfect and polish the team’s display, which will be seen by millions of people this year.

Up to 15 full shows will be completed each week by the Red Arrows during the deployment to the Hellenic Air Force base Tanagra – testing the pilots, engineers and support staff.

Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Red 1 and Team Leader, is responsible for coordinating the training and display routine.

He said: “Exercise Springhawk is an extremely valuable training period for the entire Red Arrows team and allows us to focus on the detailed preparations needed to display for the public at home and overseas.

“Coupled with the good weather, the various display locations at and around Tanagra provide the opportunity for us to replicate the conditions and scenarios we will encounter throughout the 2019 season.

“The exercise is a key moment in the Red Arrows’ calendar, bringing together all of the training we have carried out so far in the UK and aiming to make us show-ready for the summer.

“We are, once again, very grateful to the Hellenic Air Force, the personnel at Tanagra, the local community and the British Embassy in Athens for their support.”

The Red Arrows’ BAE Systems Hawk T1 aircraft left RAF Scampton, the team’s base in Lincolnshire, this morning.

They are expected to arrive at HAF Tanagra tomorrow, after refuelling in France and an overnight stop in Croatia this evening.

The Greek location will be base for the next four weeks, for both the jets and the team’s air and ground crews.

Training during Exercise Springhawk is a prelude to the Red Arrows being assessed by senior RAF officers, who determine when to grant Public Display Authority (PDA). Gaining PDA signals the formal start of the season.

In 2019, the Red Arrows are set to perform displays throughout the UK in June and July as well as touring North America from August.

The deployment to the US and Canada – which will involve shows coast-to-coast – will be the team’s biggest ever tour of the region and support British interests across business, trade, defence and education.


June 01-02 Torbay Airshow
June 02 Shuttleworth Flying Festival
June 04 Isle of Man TT, Douglas, Isle of Man
June 06 Guernsey Air Display
June 09 RAF Cosford Air Show
June 14 Volkel Airshow, Netherlands
June 15-16 Dunsfold Wings & Wheels
June 22 Festival of Flight, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
June 23 Weston Air Festival, Somerset
June 29 Plymouth Armed Forces Day
June 30 Folkestone Armed Forces' Day, Community Day, Folkestone, Kent

July 05 Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Sussex
July 06 Wales National Air Show, Swansea Bay
July 07 Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Sussex
July 07 Wales National Air Show, Swansea Bay
July 13 Royal Navy International Air Day
July 13 Flying Legends, Duxford
July 14 F1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Northamptonshire
July 19-21 Royal International Air Tattoo


August 13 Ottawa - Gatineau-Ottawa Airshow
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
August 31 Toronto - Canadian International Airshow

September 01-02 Toronto - Canadian International Airshow
September 07-08 St. Louis - Spirit of St. Louis Airshow & STEM Expo
September 20-22 Portland-Hillsboro - The Oregon International Airshow

October 05-06 Los Angeles (Huntington Beach) - The Great Pacific Airshow

Source: RAF
Images: Red Arrows

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