Red Arrows hoping to inspire with historic tailfin for 50th season

Share this article

A NEW tailfin design has been unveiled on jets of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, to celebrate its 50th display season.

In the shape of a Union flag, the striking new tail design reflects the Best of British and emphasises the Red Arrows’ role as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and as the public face of the Royal Air Force.

Red Arrows Team'Sqn Ldr Jim Turner

Red Arrows Team'Sqn Ldr Jim Turner

The makeover is the most significant change to the look of the Team’s famous aircraft in its history and current Team Leader and Red 1, Squadron Leader Jim Turner hopes the season ahead will continue to inspire young people to explore a career in the RAF.

Speaking at an unveiling ceremony held at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, Sqn Ldr Turner who also had input into the design said: “The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, are extremely proud of our heritage and we hope this tailfin design brings with it a sense of pride for both past members of the Team and for members of the public to share in.

“I wanted a design created that reflected the very British soul of the Red Arrows while keeping it simple and achievable in terms of both time and cost.

“The Red Arrows capture both the spirit of British excellence and the quality of its engineering and I hope we are able to continue inspiring young people to join the Royal Air Force in the future.”

This year will be the 50th display season for the Red Arrows, whose motto is Eclat – meaning excellence.

Since that first performance in May 1965, millions of people all around the world have been thrilled with the Team’s trademark precision flying, impressive formations, close-passes and dynamic loops and rolls.

But you don’t have to be a pilot to be part of the team. There is 120 support staff in the Red Arrows, including operations and flight planners, engineering technicians, photographers, safety equipment experts, drivers, a public relations department, suppliers and administrators.

Sergeant Carl Lawrence, an Aircraft Technician (Avionics) has been with the team since October 2013. Sgt Lawrence spoke proudly about being part of the support staff in its 50th display season.

He said: “To be part of the team in this historic year is a great feeling. I had books on the Red Arrows from my Grandmother when I was younger and have always followed them, so this is a dream come true.

“Since I joined the RAF in 1998 I have pushed and pushed to get a place with the team, so it was my lucky day when it finally happened last October. So many people care about the Reds and I love being a part of the set-up.

“I would recommend to any young person looking to join the Royal Air Force, either as an Engineer or in another trade to get their qualifications and take the opportunity. There is so much on offer and I haven’t looked back since I joined.”

Visit for more information on the Red Arrows or follow @rafredarrows on Twitter using #reds50 or search RAF Red Arrows on Facebook. For more on a career with the Royal Air Force, please visit


The Royal Air Force (RAF) is one of the world’s most advanced military forces, offering exciting opportunities to the right people.

If you’re looking for a responsible job that’s challenging and rewarding, the RAF has a career for you. To fulfil the roles, we require highly-trained people throughout our organisation.

There are currently more than 50 careers to choose from in a range of different trades.

Whether in the skies above Britain, or airspace around the world, it is the RAF’s job to protect the UK against any form of threat.

There really is something for everyone to be part of the RAF’s story.