Red Arrows the early days

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In the early seventies I starded photography with the cheapest camera and some Orwo slide films. No quality pictures here but it's history of the Red Arrows and I think it should be on my website to share it with you.
The Gnat was used by the Red Arrows aerobatic team from 1964 through 1979, when it was replaced by the British Aerospace Hawk T.Mk.1.
The Gnat found fame with its participation in aerobatics - first with the Yellowjacks team who displayed during the 1964 season, and then with the Red Arrows, formed later that year and making their first public appearances in 1965. 10 aircraft were permanently assigned to the Reds - seven to fly with three spares (later to be increased to eight, then nine flyers with just the one spare).
While initially based at RAF Little Rissington, they would soon move to RAF Fairford and then, in 1966, from there to RAF Kemble which would be their home for the next 13 years or so. The Gnat was considered to be an excellent aerobatic type by the Reds they soon became the RAF's premier display team and a firm favourite with the public.
Serving with 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley for 16 years, the Gnat gave steady and fairly reliable service, though as the well-used aircraft got older more effort was required to keep them airborne as fatigue reared its ugly head. The Gnat's replacement - the Hawker-Siddeley Hawk - entered service in 1978, though the Red Arrows did not upgrade to the new type until 1980 and the RAE continued to fly a single Gnat for a few years past that.
When the RAF replaced and sold off its Gnat T.Mk 1 trainers, many were bought by private collectors and subsequently appeared, along with some single-seat Gnats on the big screen.
Specifications Gnat:
        Engine: One 4,230-pound thrust Bristol Siddeley Orpheus 100 turbojet

        Weight: Empty 5,140 lbs., Max Takeoff 8,630 lbs.
        Wing Span: 24ft. 0in.
        Length: 31ft. 9in.
        Height: 9ft. 7.5in.
            Maximum Speed at 31,000 ft: 636 mph
            Ceiling: 48,000 ft.
            Range: 1,151 miles with two 300-liter underwing tanks
        Armament: None
One of the few remaining Gnats in the UK has recently been restored to flight status at Bournemouth Airport, in Southern England. G-NATY (formerly XR537) is the only genuine former Red Arrows Gnat on the European display circuit. The aircraft can be viewed at the De Havilland Aviation hangar at Bournemouth Airport in Dorset, southern England. Like many ex-military jet aircraft, there is one (G-FRCE) based at North Weald Airfield in Essex.

Please remember that all photo's are copyright SkyFlash/UGA, they are for private use only.

If you like these photo's as large scans, most of them are available on the CD-roms from publisher

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