The Royal Air Force (RAF)’s Red Arrows aerobatics display team has performed a spectacular flypast with a British Airways Boeing 747 jumbo jet at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2019 at RAF Fairford on July 20, marking the airline’s centenary.
The jumbo jet (Flight BA100), one of three specially painted airliners to mark the centenary, was in the livery of airline’s predecessor – British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) – and flew a close formation flypast with nine BAE Hawk jets belonging to the Red Arrows trailing patriotic red, white and blue smoke.
Senior First Officer Tom Perrins was at the controls of the 747, while Captain Richard Allen-Williams was in command of the aircraft. They were joined on the flight deck by Captain Simon Scholey and Captain Jonny Lutton.
Captain Richard Allen-William said: “We hope the sight of our BOAC liveried Boeing747 provided a wonderfully nostalgic moment for the Air Tattoo audience today. It was a huge honour for us to fly alongside the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford and to do so in our centenary year is even more special.”
Squadron Leader Martin Pert, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Red Arrows, added: “Flying alongside this British Airways Boeing 747 is an incredibly memorable moment for our pilots and those watching on the ground. The RAF’s own centenary celebrations – marked a year ago – demonstrated the importance of using these high-profile occasions to inspire the next generation and we hope this flypast did exactly that. It was a truly best of British flypast.”
The airline has a long history of displaying in the Air Tattoo and first joined the flying programme in 1985 when Concorde and the Red Arrows flew together in a dramatic display. In the early 2000s several British Airways 747s and 777s performed a flypast, and in 2013, the airline performed with the Red Arrows – this time with an Airbus A380 – and to the delight of the large Air Tattoo crowd.