COMMERCIAL / MILITARY
The Red Arrows are to fly in formation with the BOAC-liveried British Airways Boeing 747-400 at the forthcoming Royal International Air Tattoo.
The 747-400 will fly in formation with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team during the RIAT flying programme on Saturday, July 20.
The Jumbo is one of three British Airways Boeing 747s specially repainted in vintage designs to mark the airline’s 100-year history, the other two featuring the Negus (1974-1980) and Landor (1984-1997) liveries. Completing the line-up is an Airbus A319, painted to reflect its British European Airways heritage.
The Air Tattoo first featured a British Airways aircraft in its flying programme in 1985 when Concorde flew a memorable joint flypast with the Red Arrows. Concorde displayed again two years later before appearing regularly at the airshow on charter flights in support of the Air Tattoo’s Flying Scholarships for the Disabled charity as well as British Airways’ own High Flight charity.
The early 2000s saw several British Airways 747 and 777 charter flights and, in 2013, an A380 performed a flypast and two years later an A318 was sent for static display.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “The participation of British Airways aircraft in our flying displays over the years have often provided some of the most memorable aviation moments of the year and I am confident this summer will be no different. I can think of nothing better than to have one great British institution helping celebrate another!”
The BOAC 747’s appearance at the airshow is one of a number of centenary initiatives organised by BA that are designed to look ahead at the next 100 years of aviation as well as celebrating its illustrious past. This includes hosting ‘BA 2119′ – a programme, which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.
Captain Allister Bridger, British Airways’ Director of Flight Operations, said: “The excitement and pride that we’ve witnessed from our customers and colleagues towards our heritage liveries in our centenary year has been incomparable. We’re hugely excited to bring one of our special aircraft to RAF Fairford as not only will the sight of our BOAC liveried 747 in the sky above RAF Fairford with the Red Arrows provide a wonderfully nostalgic moment for the Air Tattoo audience, but it also strengthens the long and valuable association we enjoy with the event.”
Wing Commander Andrew Keith, Officer Commanding Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows said: “Flying alongside this British Airways Boeing 747 will be an exciting and memorable moment for both the pilots in the air and those watching on the ground. The Red Arrows team has been working hard with British Airways and the Air Tattoo for many months to create this opportunity. The sortie will unite two highly recognisable brands of the United Kingdom and celebrate the very best of British.”
Source: Royal International Air Tattoo