Coronavirus: Red Arrows resume 'essential training'

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Image source, SAC Hannah Smoker
Image caption,
The Red Arrows flew a number of single jet sorties from RAF Scampton earlier

The Red Arrows have taken to the skies for some "essential training" after being grounded for three weeks due to the coronavirus lockdown.

The Royal Air Force's aerobatic team flew a number of sorties from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

The iconic red jets could also be seen close to Doncaster, Humberside, Leeds/Bradford and Manchester airports.

Fans responded on social media saying it was great to see the team back in the skies.

Familiar sight

A spokesman said: "The activity was limited in nature, involving single aircraft flights, and aimed at allowing the Red Arrows to carry out essential training.

"For safe flying proficiency, the team's pilots are required to fly - as an absolute minimum - every 31 days."

The team said it had continued to follow social distancing guidelines.

The Red Arrows' breathtaking airborne stunts are a familiar sight in the summer skies over the UK.

But due to the current restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus many airshows and military events have been cancelled, or postponed.

Image source, MOD
Image caption,
The team is famous for its distinctive red jets and vapour trails

Fans of the team were delighted to see them airborne again, with some coming up with novel ideas to raise the mood of the nation.

One person said the team could use their jets' vapour trails to create a rainbow in the sky, while others suggested using blue vapour to show support for the NHS.

Another fan asked if there was any chance of the team doing an "extended sortie" over Cornwall.

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Earlier this week, one family from Dorset staged their own DIY airshow in their garden, with a starring role for the Red Arrows.

History of the Red Arrows

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  • The RAF had several aerobatic display teams in the 1950s and 1960s, but decided to disband them and form a single, full-time professional team
  • The name Red Arrows was chosen to combine the appeal and expertise of two earlier teams, the Black Arrows and the Red Pelicans
  • The team was founded in 1965 at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and is currently based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire
  • Since its formation, the team has performed more than 4,500 displays in more than 50 countries.

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