NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A huge tour of North America by the Red Arrows – aimed at promoting the United Kingdom – got underway today. Fighter jets from the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team took off from their base at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, UK this morning, to begin the 2,658-nautical mile journey across the North Atlantic.
This is the largest North American tour to date for the famed Red Arrows, which includes performances or flypasts at more than 20 locations across the United States and Canada.
Stretching coast to coast, audiences across America will have the unique opportunity to see the Red Arrows take flight during the team's 11-week deployment, which is aimed at showcasing the UK at its best, and supporting trade, business and defence interests.
The aerial acrobats will kick off their United States visit with a stop in Chicago on August 14th before traveling throughout the country and ending their tour in Rapid City South Dakota on October 8th.
"I am delighted that the world-famous Red Arrows will be showcasing their extraordinary aerobatic talents across the US this summer," said Antony Phillipson, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for North America. "For me and many other Brits, watching the Red Arrows in action is a classic summertime experience, and I look forward to the American public having a chance to enjoy their exhilarating displays. Throughout their tour, the Red Arrows will offer a front row seat to best of British innovation and engineering excellence – qualities shared by the UK's unique array of businesses and industries, and a major reason why the US is the UK's largest single trading partner. This will be an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate and build on the US and UK's close and enduring relationships in business, culture, security and defence for the future."
"Tours by the Red Arrows have always been an important role of the team – aiming to demonstrate RAF expertise, helping to highlight UK excellence across a range of sectors and celebrating close connections with friends and allies," said Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team Wing Commander Andrew Keith. "Now that the Red Arrows have departed for North America, and with more tour locations now being released, all of us in the team hope people across the United States will be able to join us in the coming weeks and enjoy one of our displays, flypasts or events."
It is the first time the Red Arrows have been to both Canada and the United States since 2008. With stops across the continent, in addition to the Canadian stops, the tour comprises a combination of nearly 20 aerobatic displays, several iconic flypasts and 100 separate ground engagement activities – from business receptions led by the UK's Department for International Trade to sessions aimed at inspiring young people.
"The men and women of the Red Arrows epitomise the skill, agility, teamwork and precision of the RAF and we are relishing the opportunity to travel overseas, display in front of hundreds of thousands of people and be ambassadors for a Global Britain," said Wing Commander Keith. "A key aim of the tour is to inspire people through safe, dynamic and visually-exciting shows. However, we have also planned dozens of ground events, where we hope to meet countless individuals and showcase the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM subjects – in our work."
Planning for the North American tour has spanned more than a year, and technical equipment and other resources have already been shipped to key "hub" locations in the US and Canada, in advance of the jets setting off from RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.
"A huge amount of energy has gone into preparing for this tour, involving detailed work by specialists from across the RAF and liaising closely with colleagues from the UK's Department for International Trade, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partners in Canada and the United States," said Wing Commander Keith.
The team's Hawk jets, which cannot refuel in the air and do not have the range to make the transatlantic crossing in one sortie, will be flown via several stops, including Scotland, Iceland and Greenland, to reach Halifax – the first major location of the tour.
For more information on the Red Arrows tour, follow @rafredarrows on Twitter, like the team's Facebook page at RAF Red Arrows, view pictures on Instagram @rafredarrows or visit www.raf.mod.uk/reds
For more information on the work of the Department for International Trade in the US, follow @tradegovukUSA or HMTC N America @AJPhillipson
Use #redarrowstour online to keep up to date with the Red Arrows' tour of North America.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows showcase the excellence of the RAF and represent the United Kingdom both at home and overseas. The team consists of 11 pilots, nine of whom fly in the display, and more than 100 support personnel and technicians. Each of the pilots has previous fast-jet, operational experience flying the Tornado, Typhoon or Harrier, enabling the RAF to secure the skies and protect the nation and its interests, 365-days a year. One of the world's premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows had completed nearly 5,000 displays, in 57 countries, by the beginning of 2019. Flying Hawk T1 jets, the team is based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.
LIST OF TOUR DATES AND STOPS FOR THE RED ARROWS
Below is the latest list of locations the Red Arrows will visit across the United States. Activities will typically include either a flypast, display or ground engagement – or a combination of these elements. Venues and places are subject to change. More details for each location will be released ahead of each stop and date:
- Chicago (including displays at the Chicago Air and Water Show) – August 14-18
- Boston – August 19
- Atlantic City – display at Thunder Over The Boardwalk – August 21
- New York (including displays at the New York Airshow) – August 22-25
- The Hamptons, Long Island – August 24
- Washington DC – August 25-28
- Niagara Falls – August 28
- Dayton, Ohio – September 5
- St. Louis (including displays at Spirit of St. Louis Airshow and STEM Expo) – September 6-9
- Fort Worth/Dallas – September 9-16
- Houston – September 11
- Denver – September 17-18
- Portland (including displays at The Oregon International Airshow) – September 18-23
- Seattle – September 23-24
- Miramar Airshow, San Diego – displays September 27-29
- San Francisco – October 1-2
- Long Beach – October 2
- The Great Pacific Airshow (Huntington Beach) – displays October 4-6
- Rapid City – October 8
IMAGERY, INTERVIEWS AND RUSHES:
Photographs and videos of the team displaying are available by visiting: www.defenceimagery.mod.uk
A map of the tour locations, and other content, is also available.
About the UK's Department for International Trade (DIT)
With professional advisers, both within the UK and across more than 100 international markets, the Department for International Trade (DIT) is the Government Department that helps UK based companies succeed in the global economy and assists overseas companies to bring high-quality investment to the UK. The government recently set out its long-term Export Strategy to increase total exports as a proportion of GDP from the current 30% to 35%, and a new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) strategy reinforcing its current position as the No. 1 destination in Europe for FDI.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andrew Morton – Red Arrows Communications Manager
Telephone: +44 7867 348900
Patricia Edwards, Press Secretary to the UK Trade Commissioner for North America
SOURCE Red Arrows