50 Years of the Red Arrows by Peter March, published by The History Press www.thehistorypress.co.uk £14.99, 96 pages, colour images throughout
It may — just possibly — have come to your attention that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Red Arrows.
Unsurprisingly, this significant event has spurred the publication of a commemorative book about the team. If you love Pilot’s ‘Old Timers’ section, you’ll be pleased to hear that this particular publication has been written by Contributing Editor, Peter March.
The book is colourful, being filled with photographs taken of the team throughout its existence, including images of early incarnations such as the Black Arrows, Blue Diamonds, Yellowjacks and — thankfully not for long — Daffodils. The text covers all aspects of the Red Arrows from its origins, through to the roles of Reds 1 and 10, the team’s ground crew, its formations and recent history. Through interviews with pilots, who explain the aircrafts’ flight characteristics and the techniques used in displays, Peter March endeavours to give the reader a feel for what it’s like to be in the cockpit.
The glossary section at the back contains extra information on the aircraft and a timeline of key events in the team’s history, as well as details on where some of the original Red Arrows’ Gnats can now be found.
Sadly, the sections on the ground crew — aka the ‘Blues’ — and technicians do not contain any statements from former members whatsoever. Nor are there specific sections explaining the specific roles of pilots other than Red 1, although some are mentioned in interviews or captions.
Nevertheless, there is plenty of information in 50 Years of the Red Arrows that pilots will find particularly interesting. It’s a fantastic tribute to an aerobatic team that has become a national treasure. JR