THE Red Arrows have been given a makeover to celebrate their 50th display season.

The jets have retained their famous red and white fuselage but have been given a striking new tail design.

The team said the new tail paint design, in the shape of the Union flag, reflects the best of British and emphasises the Red Arrows' role as ambassadors for the UK and as the public face of the Royal Air Force.

Loading article content

The design was unveiled at the team's home at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire yesterday.

The team originally flew Gnat jets but switched to the BAE Systems Hawk in 1980.

Designed by the Air Media Centre at RAF High Wycombe, the tail fin features outlines of both aircraft as a tribute to the team's heritage.

Squadron Leader Jim Turner said: "The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, are extremely proud of our heritage and we hope that this tail fin design brings with it a sense of pride for both past members of the team and for members of the public to share in.

"I wanted a design created that reflected the very British soul of the Red Arrows.

"Repainting the entire aircraft would have taken too long and been too costly and I think the balance has been struck perfectly.

"The Red Arrows captures both the spirit of British excellence and the quality of its engineering and I hope we are able to continue inspiring young people to join the Royal Air Force."