Six former and current members of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, including Squadron Leader Martin Pert (Red1), are set to take part in this year’s inaugural International Armchair Airshow.
We will hear from the pilots as they walk-us through exclusive in-cockpit footage from Red Arrows displays. They will also be discussing the history and the output of the Team, as well as the highs and lows of performing in one of the world’s best-known and well-loved aerobatic display teams.
Said, Mike Miller-Smith, CEO of Aerobility, the charity behind the event, “We are honoured and excited to have the world’s finest pilots support our event and in turn support disabled flying in the UK. We can’t wait to virtually experience for a few moments what it is like to be a member of the Red Arrows Team.”
A family friendly event organised by disabled flying charity Aerobility, The Armchair Airshow will broadcast between 2pm and 6pm on June 20th. Free to watch, it will be shown on Aerobility’s YouTube Channel and Facebook Live.
Below are details of the six Red Arrows squad members who will be taking part at the International Armchair Airshow.
Martin Pert – Squadron Leader, Red 1 – Team Leader
Martin progressed through flying training at RAF Valley, flying the Firefly, Tucano and Hawk.
He spent six months flying the Hawk T1 in the aggressor role on 100 Squadron before being selected for the Red Arrows for the 2012-2014 seasons, flying as Red 2, 4 and 8.
In his role as the Executive Officer, he played a key role in the planning and execution of the team’s successful 2013 Middle East Tour, and major flypasts for the 2012 London Olympics, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Martin was selected as a Typhoon flight commander following his promotion to Squadron Leader. He converted to the Typhoon FGR4 in December 2014 and joined the newly-reformed II(AC) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth.
During his time on the Typhoon, Martin conducted NATO Air policing duties in the Baltic region, UK Quick Reaction Alert, numerous exercises as far afield as Las Vegas, the UAE, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and served on operational duty in the Middle East.
The 2020 season is his third year as Red 1, Team Leader.
One of the original Red Arrows Pilots, veteran Henry Prince, 80, was part of the RAF’s world-famous display team when they were first formed in 1965.
He spent two years with the elite unit, first as Red 7 and then as Red 6 during 1966 and 1967. Henry flew Hawker Siddeley Gnats which the Red Arrows used until 1980 when they were replaced by the now-familiar BAe Hawks.
Renowned as the Red Arrows’ longest serving pilot, Squadron Leader Mike Ling retired from the Royal Air Force after 21 years in April 2019. He has since joined the Blades, an aerobatic display team of former Red Arrow pilots.
Brought up in Kent, Ling joined the RAF in 1998 and, operationally, flew the Tornado F3, helping to secure the skies of the UK and Falkland Islands.
During his time with The Red Arrows, he completed 2,585 sorties, flew 1,765 hours during the 10 years on the team and visited 46 countries.
He was selected for the Red Arrows in 2006 and was still in his early 30s when he became the Commanding Officer and Team Leader for the 2010 and 2011 display seasons, making him the second youngest ever to serve in that role.
In 2016, he joined the Red Bull Air Race as Challenger class pilot. In 2018, he was promoted to the master class from the Challenger class of Red Bull Air Race.
As a young pilot in the Royal Air Force, Brian always wanted to become a member of The Red Arrows. It happened for the first in the 1975 season flying with the team for two years.
Moving on to fly the Buccaneer he then returned to lead The Red Arrows team.
Air Vice Marshall Gary Waterfall CBE is a retired senior Royal Air Force officer. A previous Harrier pilot and a member of the Red Arrows display team, Waterfall led the final 16-ship flypast of the Harrier when they were retired from service.
On promotion to air commodore in June 2011, he was deployed to NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre 5 to assume command of the UK air contribution to the liberation of Libya.
From July 2014 to April 2016, he was Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group, heading the air defence of the United Kingdom. In 2016 Waterfall was appointed the Chief of Staff (Operations) in the Permanent Joint Headquarters. He retired from the RAF on 31 December 2019.
For more information about Aerobility and the Armchair Airshow please visit: https://www.aerobility.com/armchair-airshow-2020.