back to article What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

The Red Arrows aerobatic team will get new aircraft when their ageing Hawk T1s finally give up the ghost, the British Ministry of Defence said Tuesday. What should replace the Hawks, though? The venerable jet has been the mainstay of the Reds' fleet since 1979, wowing crowds at air shows around the world with their nail-biting …

Sonic BOOOOOOOOM

Wow, just imagine the sound of 9 Typhoons in formation! That would be awesome in the true sense of the word.

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Re: Sonic BOOOOOOOOM

But not as awesome as 9 Concordes in formation doing a vertical roll...

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Re: Sonic BOOOOOOOOM

Just one Typhoon is loud enough thank you!

Pity we flogged all the Harriers off to the US Marines for spares, now that would enable some truly unique formation flying...

Spitfires? Whilst they would sound amazing, they're a bit too rare, old and delicate to start giving that kind of loading on the airframe regularly! They won't even let the BBMF fly formation in low cloud in these days, let alone pull any stunts!

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Re: Sonic BOOOOOOOOM

Four Concordes in formation was pretty awesome.

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Holmes

Re: Sonic BOOOOOOOOM

Spitfires? Whilst they would sound amazing, they're a bit too rare, old and delicate to start giving that kind of loading on the airframe regularly!

So build new ones! Not like you haven't done it already.

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What ?!?!?

No Avro Vulcan? I refuse to partake.

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Whatever it is, it should be modified to sound like a Vulcan bomber.

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And be as dirty as a Phantom!

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I didn't vote because there was no option to vote for the F35!!!

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I wanted to vote for BAE's Taranis stealth unmanned jet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_Systems_Taranis

Then we could see some real acrobatics pulling major G's forces.

All these guys are ex Red Arrows if you want to experience the effects of the display move's yourself, they provide sick bags as well.

http://www.theblades.com/

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If you want the sound of the Vulcan vote Concorde, both used Rolls Royce Olympus variants

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You reckon there'll ever be a time when the RAF can get more than one F35 into the air at the same time?

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If you want the sound of the Vulcan vote Concorde, both used Rolls Royce Olympus variants

But they sounded completely different. I know this from my own ears, the sadly uneducated may need to take a trip to Youtube.

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Alpha Jet

It's the nearest thing to the Hawk in performance terms, and from about the same era. Could you really see them throwing the Typhoon II around the sky in the same fashion? The fuel costs alone would break the RAF within a season...

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Stop

Re: Rich 11 Re: Alpha Jet

"It's the nearest thing to the Hawk in performance terms...." Er, no. The French stuffed the European project for a common trainer because the British requirements (which led to the Hawk) promised an aircraft too close in capability and far cheaper than existing French attack jets. So the Alpha is an anemic, nine-stone weakling compared to the Hawk, which is why the Hawk had massively outsold the Alpha worldwide.

I think the Hawk T2 is the most likely choice given the Tucano is out of production and the next gen trainer under the UKMFTS has yet to be chosen. Of course, an interesting option would be a display team of BAe Systems Taranis drones.....

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Re: Alpha Jet

Alpha Jet - It's the nearest thing to the Hawk in performance terms

From the options on the survey maybe. It's also an entirely new aircraft to the Air Force.

Boringly, but realistically though it'll be the Hawk 128 (or Hawk T2 as the RAF call it). Arrows pilots will have trained on it, be familiar with it, the RAF already has them (along with logistics/service/parts). It's even more Hawk-like than the Alpha Jet (being a Hawk and all...).

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M7S
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As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

The A-10, with all the options*

*or to quote the used car salesman, "fully loaded".

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Re: As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

The A10 is not something you want to do aerobatics in.

Out of the list only the Alpha Jet is remotely capable of them.

On the Eurofighter aerobatic capability - it sucks bricks sidewize through a thin straw even compared to the Hawk. This is the primary reason to the spectacular defeat of the RAF against the visiting Indian team flying Su-35s. The rules of engagement were within line of sight and within line of sight the Eurofighter is a sitting duck due to abysmal maneuverability so the visitors had a fun turkey shoot.

In fact, out of the "real" fighters the choice is only between SuperHornet and Su-35. Everything else has been crippled by the Stealth Madness or is crap, sorry Eurofighter.

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RPF

Re: As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

What the hell are you popping to write such utter garbage?

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FAIL

Re: As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

"The A10 is not something you want to do aerobatics in....." Rubbish! At low levels (which is where air show displays are flown) the A-10 is extremely agile and has won in practice dogfights against jets like the F-16. But there is no chance of the U.K. shelling out for a foreign design, especially not an expensive one like the A-10 which would mean buying second-hand and introducing a new airframe requiring new logistics into the RAF system.

".....Out of the list only the Alpha Jet is remotely capable of them...." Except it is (a) not British (the Red Arrows serve a flag-waving role for British industry), and (b) simply not in the same class as the Hawk T1, let alone the T2, due to the French crippling of the requirement so as not to threaten Jaguar sales. It would also mean introducing a new airframe into the RAF logistics, so again unlikely. I suggest it was only put I the list so as to draw forth cries of "No bloody way" from traditionalists.

".....This is the primary reason to the spectacular defeat of the RAF against the visiting Indian team flying Su-35s....." LOL I hear lots about this mythical occurrence on pro-Russian websites, but none from reputable sources. For a start, there was a mock dogfight between RAF Typhoons and Indian Su-30MKIs (not "Su-35s") in the 2007 and 2010 "Indrahanush" war games, but the Indians lost every engagement. A lot of misunderstanding was generated by the RAF commenting on how they "respected the agility" of the Sukhois, but the Typhoons' superior electronics and tactics meant they easily dominated the Sukhois. Ignoring that the Typhoon can super cruise faster and at higher altitudes than the latest Russian Su-35S (meaning it enters any dogfight with superior energy), and that both have helmet-mounted sights and off-bore dogfight AAMs, as a last ditch tactic, a Typhoon can maintain a combat turn for longer, losing less energy than the latest Su-35S, until the thirsty Sukhoi has to quit from lack of fuel, giving the Typhoon the chance of a shot at the retreating Sukhoi's tailpipes. That's if the Typhoon hasn't simply jammed the Sukhoi's radar from range and used PIRATE IRST to track the enormous Sukhoi and shoot it down long before the Sukhoi's pilot even realised the smaller Typhoon was in the neighbourhood.

".....In fact, out of the "real" fighters the choice is only between SuperHornet and Su-35. Everything else has been crippled by the Stealth Madness or is crap, sorry Eurofighter." Whatever, TBH. I suggest you do more factual research.

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Re: As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

Enough with the willy waving.

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Mushroom

Re: As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

"Everything else has been crippled by the Stealth Madness" - madness?

If you're in a dogfight in modern air warfare you've already lost. The approach should be:

Get missile lock from miles and miles away. Fire. Confirm kill. Head back to base.

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Re: As Veritech Alphas are probably not available....

"If you're in a dogfight in modern air warfare you've already lost. The approach should be:

Get missile lock from miles and miles away. Fire. Confirm kill. Head back to base."

Yeah. Very nice and modern. I'm sure it's a complete coincidence that air war in Vietnam was supposed to be fought exactly like this. It was such a certainty that USAF/USN did not have cannons on most of their planes and did not train their pilots for dogfighting. Only minor problem was that their not so modern adversaries had not kept up with the times...

Maybe this 'missile doctrine' would work better in the next major conflict. Lots of new toys and all that. Forgive me if I'm not so keen to see it tested in practice.

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Coat

How about...

Reapers? Crowds can then watch the pilots at the controls...or have the planes fly autonomously with software provide by Tesla.

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Re: How about...

People will be somewhat disappointed when they go to see the pilots and find a bunch of teenagers with XBox controllers.

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Pint

Re: How about...

If they can fire up the 3d printer and make some clones, how about LOHAN?

Then they can be the Haines Memorial Flight (down the Dog and Duck if wet, having a jar or six).

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Software by Tesla?

Nah,

They'll outsource it to Tata hoping that they'll sell some to India.

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Joke

Re: Software by Tesla?

What, and miss the chance to be known as the Red Lesters? ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Whatever they do

They should offer FPV pan and tilt cameras onboard so people can pay to use VR goggles to be in the cockpit for some or all of the flight.

Must be possible to use these 4k 360° cameras to stream multiple lower resolution streams.

Iknow Iknow, geeky response, sorry.

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No F35 in the list?

No surprise there then.

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Black Helicopters

Re: No F35 in the list?

Of the 10 F35s that would be assigned to the squadron, they would only be able to display a maximum of 2 flying formation at any given time.

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Re: No F35 in the list?

But with the upgraded block VII software due out in 2018 they will be able to park upto 7 in formation on the apron

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Re: No F35 in the list?

But how would people see them with all that stealth?

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Re: No F35 in the list?

The F35 can't fly in English weather. (Just like British battleships can't cope with Middle Eastern seas)

Personally I blame the militatary-industrial-peacenik conspiracy.

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Headmaster

Re: No F35 in the list? @Ralph

Um. We haven't had any battleships since 1960. The article quoted is about destroyers, although these are the largest combat ship in the RN until the Queen Elizabeth is commissioned. (Please note, HMS Ocean, Albion and Bulwark are not really combat ships, even though Ocean is the Fleet Flagship).

If you had said "warship" rather than "battleship", you might have been correct.

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Re: No F35 in the list? @Ralph

Indeed - visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard a couple of weeks back and it was sad to see the Illustrious (decommissioned so sadly no longer HMS) in quite such a state as she currently is. On her way to the breakers yard soon, but she's currently a real mess now that they've stripped her of anything that is re-usable.

(Yes I know she was an aircraft carrier not a battleship or a destroyer, although there were a couple of the latter tied up there too just to make the contrast between the new and shiny and the old and stripped-down even worse).

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Re: No F35 in the list?

Formation flying would require a software update.

Plus another for each colour of smoke!

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Re: No F35 in the list?

Its formation flying for gods sake - they can tow gliders!

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The thing about the Hawks is that they are *relatively* cheap aircraft so it does seem that the T2 would be a sensible replacement.

The Typhoons would be more expensive, unless they roll out some of those spare ones (doesn't make them cheaper but at least they're already paid for...)

How effective do they reckon the reds are as a recruiting tool? Is it worth the cost of running them at all?

(Don't get me wrong, I think they're very impressive and have enjoyed watching them on several occasions)

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Hawk T2

It's the only choice. The Red Arrows (and before them the Blue Diamonds) have always flown the RAF fast jet trainer, from the Hawker Hunter, Folland Gnat and the Hawk T1. It's done because of the lower cost and essential good handling (both necessary for a trainer), and because the Red Arrows are a part of the Central Flying School.

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Re: Hawk T2

The US Navy uses a Hawk variant, and the USAF is working towards a decision on its next fast jet trainer. A next-gen Hawk for RAF training is likely but not certain. And because the Red Arrows fly the same plane, with good reason, all we can do is guess.

I wonder what the effect of Brexit and the slump of the Pound will be. It might mean BAe will be building a lot of Hawks. The original is old enough that it's not so different from starting from scratch. and that will be the big part of the bill.

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Re: Hawk T2

The US Goshawk is a carrier landing capable Hawk and is very heavily reworked aircraft design.

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It's not a proper poll unless there's a 'Planey McPlaneface' option.

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Textron AirLand Scorpion

Projected to cost less than $20m..

http://www.scorpionjet.com/

It seems that there has been some real interest from countries looking for inexpensive fighter aircraft. You can buy about five of them for the same price as an F-35.

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Re: Textron AirLand Scorpion

Seems to be designed for third-world air forces that can't afford..., oh I see what you mean.

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Let's be different

Replica Spitfires (with new Merlins to keep the sounds right, obviously). Every National display team blasts around doing pretty much the same thing - a nice, tight display by spitfires would be awesome to behold.

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Re: Let's be different

Nope. Lancaster Bombers.

Do the "Pierced Heart" in one of those bad boys.

I dare ya!

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Re: Let's be different

Brings back lovely memories of a visit to Tattershall Castle a while back. Up on the roof looking around when there's sounds of Merlin's all around, as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight show up presumably doing their practice for a show (or maybe even HMQ's birthday bash).

Nothing like being at almost eye level with a whole load of Spitfires and Mosquito's etc to really make an enjoyable day (although the missus wasn't so pleased that I refused to come down and stop watching them until they'd finished - a good half-hour or so).

(Tattershall Castle is a mile or so from RAF Coningsby, home base of the BBMF)

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Pint

Re: Let's be different

We were there a couple of years back when the Canadian Lanc was over on tour. We'd gone out for the day and were at the Dogdyke steam ~& diesel pumping station nearby when there was that very familiar sound in the distance - got some great photos as they came overhead, circled round for a couple of minutes and then came in to land - incredible.

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Re: Let's be different

I agree, difference is good, sooooo, A380s... not sure about the synchronised take off and landings, but think of all that white (red) space they could sell advertising on.

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