I was rather pleased that their appearance at this year's airshow was heralded by Barry Gray's theme tune to Thunderbirds, complete with Peter Dyneley's countdown! A nice touch, considering both The Red Arrows and Thunderbirds are in their fiftieth year.
The 'Diamond Nine' team trademark.
Originally, the plane used by the team was a Hawker Siddeley Gnat, inherited from the previous Yellowjacks RAF display team. In late 1979, The Red Arrows changed to the BAE Hawk T1 trainer.
The Hawk is powered by a Rolls Royce Adour engine, slightly uprated to give a faster responce time, and has a top speed of Mach 1.2
The smoke generation system pumps diesel mixed with coloured dye into the jet exhaust giving that distinct vapour trail. This not only enhances the show for the audience on the ground, it is also used for flight safety reasons giving pilots information on wind speed and direction.