Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 12 seconds.
The Red Arrows are planning a five-week tour of Canada this summer to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows have scheduled performances at four Canadian air shows starting in late August.
“I am thrilled the Royal Air Force Red Arrows will join the Royal Canadian Air Force this summer as we celebrate the RCAF Centennial and we look forward to the Red Arrows’ impressive performances,” said LGen E.J. Kenny, commander of the RCAF, in a release.
“With 2024 marking the Centennial of the RCAF, we invite all Canadians to join the festivities by participating in Centennial events and activities taking place across the country.”
The Red Arrows have named their Canadian tour “Maple Hawk.” It follows an invitation from the RCAF, and it’s expected millions of Canadians will have the chance to see the Red Arrows perform.
“The visit will highlight the strength of the long and enduring partnership between the United Kingdom’s military and Canada’s Armed Forces,” said Wing Commander Adam Collins, Officer Commanding of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.
“We’re looking forward to the prospect of meeting countless people, performing our new Diamond Season display and creating many memories and great moments at airshows and events.”
Air Show Atlantic at Canadian Forces Base Greenwood, N.S., is Maple Hawk’s first scheduled tour stop (Aug. 24 and 25), followed by the Canadian International Air Show in Toronto (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 and 2).
Aero Gatineau-Ottawa is set to host the Red Arrows Sept. 6 to 8, while Airshow London in southwestern Ontario has scheduled a Sept. 13 to 15 appearance.
“We are incredibly honoured and excited to welcome the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team to Airshow London’s 2024 SkyDrive,” said Gerry Vanderhoek, director of air operations at Airshow London.
“Their breathtaking aerial performances will undoubtedly leave audiences in awe. This is an unprecedented opportunity for attendees to witness the pinnacle of aviation excellence, and we can’t wait to share this unforgettable experience with you all.”
Organizers are also planning flypasts in Montreal, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and St. Johns, N.L., subject to final approvals.
In addition to their aerobatic performances, the Red Arrows said they will engage in a series of outreach events to encourage a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.
This is similar to a previous tour of Canada in 2019, when “tens of thousands of people” took part in ground events and engagements, the Red Arrows said. This year’s tour also marks the Red Arrows’ 60th Diamond Season.
Their new display routine consists of nine distinctive red-livered BAE Systems Hawk fast-jets. Each of the aircraft features special artwork applied for 2024, in recognition of the diamond anniversary.
“Having been to many airshows as a child, I hope our new team and exciting show will have the same impact on those watching in 2024 as it did on me as a young person – to be inspired through what teamwork can achieve and spur a lifelong passion for aviation,” said Squadron Leader Jon Bond, who is also Red Arrows’ team leader, flying as Red 1.
“I’ve been very fortunate to display in Canada previously and I know the shows are always well-attended, with enthusiastic crowds. All of us in the Red Arrows can’t wait for Maple Hawk and the opportunity to showcase the Royal Air Force and UK at these brilliant events and locations.”