Squadron Leader Jim Turner (inset) will lead the Red Arrows’ flying display.
DOHA: Britain’s famous Red Arrows, one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, is set for a flying display in Qatar on Thursday as part of a Middle East tour.
The team, with its nine distinctive red jets, will perform a series of precision formations and dynamic loops and rolls at 2.15pm on the Corniche (West Bay end). Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows have been thrilling crowds, at home and overseas, since the 1960s.
Squadron Leader Jim Turner, Team Leader of the Red Arrows, said: “It is a huge honour and privilege to have been invited to the Middle East and have the opportunity to perform our display in so many wonderful locations.
The event in Qatar forms part of a five-week tour of the Middle East, with the team also expected to complete displays in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE.
The Team’s visit to the region has come about after accepting an invitation to the Dubai Air Show, where the Red Arrows will perform each day between November 17 and 21.
The team, which currently flies BAE Systems Hawk aircraft, consists of 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.
There is also more than 100 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.
Next year is the 50th display season for the team which, since formation, has performed more than 4,500 displays in 54 countries.
Acknowledged as one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams, the Red Arrows is an iconic British brand and has taken part in major events internationally.
The Team helped signal the start of last year’s Olympic Games in London with a formation flypast of the stadium and Opening Ceremony.
“The Red Arrows showcase the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force. Our flying display includes a combination of a synchronised formation aerobatics during the first half of the performance, followed by a more dynamic second half,” said Turner.