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Red50

Red50

Channel: BBC One

Duration: 3x 60 minute

Genre: Documentary

Performing displays worldwide as an icon of Britain and RAF, we follow the Red Arrows team in their 50th year of service, training and performing. Whilst getting closer to the action than ever before using latest technology such as Go Pro cameras and rigs like hexacopters. With the use of archive materials, interviews, expert commentary, private videos and photographs from fans and the team. We explore the rich history of "The Reds" to give justice to their fifty years as a unit.

In first episode we look at its inception after years of sponsorships of other units, in 1964 the RAF put together its first official aerial acrobatics team, in 2014 the Red Arrows celebrate 50 years of flight and we look at the tough selection process of its pilots.
The nine pilots are all volunteers who have spent six months of year practicing for the display season but at any one time there are only three first year pilots, three second year pilots and three third year pilots this creates a highly competitive application for free spaces each year.

Based at RAF Kemble seven display pilots trained for their first public display on 6th May 1965, at Little Rissington press day. Today the team consists of nine display pilots and ten planes and a support team of nighty one working from RAF Scampton. Performing over four thousand displays worldwide in fifty two countries. Since their inception the diamond formation and red,white and blue smoke have become as simonises as their trademark red planes and jumpsuits.

In second episode we follow the team through its tough training schedule and explore the history of the planes and pilots over last fifty years. The team have had highs from Ray Hanna award of Air Force Cross to the first Female Red Arrow pilot Flt Lt Kirsty Moore in 2010. But for such a long history the team has seen many lows such as the death of Flt Lt Jerry Bowler in 1969 and more recently Flt Lt Sean Cummingham in 2011. Despite over sixteen incidents the team still performs very technical and dangerous stunts for the public each year.

In the final episode we follow the Squadron Leader of Red1 as the take their team out of training and around the world to perform their displays. Performing in not only various parts of UK but around the world in places such as France and Dubai.

We see the admiration of this select group of pilots. As adults and children que for their autographs like rock stars.  As well as discussing with Other national acrobatic teams such as Patrouille de France, the Frecce Tricolori and the Silver Falcons, among others about their admiration and how they all hold the red arrows against their motto Éclat (Excellence).

The final episode culminates in a very special 50th display for the squadron.

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