Representing the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force, the Red Arrows are the public face of the service. They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk jets, the Team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational, experience.

 

2014 was the 50th display season for the Red Arrows, in which they continuee to enthrall, captivate and inspire millions of people both in the UK and around the world.

 

The Royal Air Force Mini Club joined the celebrations by creating a limited edition livery for one of our Mini’s and joining RAFAT at their displays and events. 

Representing the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force, the Red Arrows are the public face of the service. They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and promote the best of British. Flying distinctive Hawk jets, the Team is made up of pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline, operational, experience.

 

2014 was the 50th display season for the Red Arrows, in which they continue to enthrall, captivate and inspire millions of people both in the UK and around the world.

 

The Royal Air Force Mini Club joined the celebrations by creating a limited edition livery for one of our Mini’s and joining RAFAT at their displays and events. 

THE TEAM

 
 

THE REDS 50 MINI 

 

A new tail fin design has been unveiled on jets of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, to celebrate its 50th display season. The makeover is the most significant change to the look of the Team’s famous aircraft in its history. In the shape of a Union flag, the striking new tail design reflects the best of British and emphasises the Red Arrows’ role as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and as the public face of the Royal Air Force.

 

The Design for the Reds 50 Mini was based upon the new tail art. Initial designs were approved by Defence Media and kindly supplied and fitted by Martin and his team at Sticky Fingers. 

THE REDS 50 MINI 

 

A new tail fin design has been unveiled on jets of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, to celebrate its 50th display season. The makeover is the most significant change to the look of the Team’s famous aircraft in its history. In the shape of a Union flag, the striking new tail design reflects the best of British and emphasises the Red Arrows’ role as ambassadors for the United Kingdom and as the public face of the Royal Air Force.

 

The Design for the Reds 50 Mini was based upon the new tail art. Initial designs were approved by Defence Media and kindly supplied and fitted by Martin and his team at Sticky Fingers. 

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Royal International Air Tattoo

The first show for the Reds 50 Mini was the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. 

 

The display consisted of 9 red, white, and blue Mini’s in a Diamond 9 formation and was then positioned as the centre piece for the Red Arrows Village. The team was put together with the volunteer effort of local Mini clubs and enthusiasts who donated their vehicles for the full 3 day airshow.

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SHOW SEASON

SHOW SEASON

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Chris - Mechanical Engineer

 

My name is Chris Moss (Mossy) I've been in the Royal Air Force now for just over 15 years my trade is an Mechanical Technician, I've worked on Tornados in Germany, VC10's and C-17's at Brize Norton near Oxford and I've just finish a 7 year tour with the Red Arrows.

 

My love of minis started when I was just 16, and with my only income from a paper round, my options for saving up for a car were, to say the least, limited. However I was determined so I managed to scrape enough money together for my first car, a Mini, naturally. It cost me the princely sum of £100. Thinking about it now I wonder how I ever got it home, as it was a wreck. Although I thought it was brilliant at the time and with the RED help of my friend, who was an apprentice car mechanic, we managed to get it on the road in time for my 17th birthday. It was still a wreck really as the fancy paintwork could only hide so much and it did end up on the scrap heap not long after but my love affair with Minis had begun. 

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I had a further 4 minis before I decided enough was enough I was sick of every weekend spending it covered in oil trying to keep it on the road as it was my only car. So I decide to try out the usual other cars around in the early 90s. Mk 1 and 2 Escorts, Corsas but I always knew I would go back to a mini at some stage. It took a few years of working my way through the ranks within the RAF to get to the position where I could afford to splash out a bit and I resurrected my affair with Minis. I joined a couple of Mini Clubs, Bomber County Minis and the RAF Mini Club and this really helped give me the support to get started. I bought my first new, ‘old’ mini (because nobody thinks the BMW one is a real MinI.

In 2011, 20 years after my very first one. It was an 1997 Mini Cooper sport 1.3i in the same British racing green as my very first (but in a lot better condition). The mini bug then took over. I then bought a blue 1978 1380 which was mint, this was followed by 1982 van which hadn't been on the road for 10 years, which my mate Mark, (the same mate from 20years ago) got it back on the road, then finally I've just bought an 1983 roof chopped 1275. I have parted with some of the 11 I've owned over the years but am still the proud owner of 4 Minis and spend much of my time, and money working on them. It is not a cheap hobby but as the value of a good mini is steadily increasing it could be argued (if you need to convince somebody that is) that they are an investment. Whether you have an old one that you just about keep going or a ‘minter’ that never goes out in the rain it doesn’t matter. You are keeping a tradition alive. Mini people are a great bunch and really love their obsession with what must be the most iconic car of the 20th century.

Lee - Weapons Technician

 

My name is Lee Proctor and I've been serving in the Royal Air Force as a Weapons Technician for just over 18 years. During my career I have predominantly worked on Tornado F3's and Hawks as well as various other jobs in support of RAF operations. I'm currently employed on the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, which I've been doing for a little over 5 years.

 

I've owned only 2 mini's, the first was a standard Mayfair which was used as a daily runner until I got posted to RAF Leuchars on the East coast of Scotland, at which time I sold it as the inclement weather and salty environment, combined with a lack of garage facilities would have eaten another mini away which I didn't want to happen.

 

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I still needed a daily runaround for work however, so had a brief flirtation with a Ford Capri which was great fun, especially on the wet and windy roads.. Instead of being planted firmly in the corners like my mini, I found myself 'accidentally' experiencing corners from a sideways perspective.

 

When I was told I was being posted back to England and my current job, I pretty much decided straight away that I'd buy another mini as soon as I got there, which I did. I bought my present car, a 1992 SPI Cooper which was original apart from a stage 1 kit with a HIF44, RC 40 exhaust and a twin tank conversion in 2009.

 

When I bought it, it was a fairly solid car however it was looking a bit tired so I had a complete new front end from A panels forward, sills, a full re spray in Porsche viper green with black roof and trim, and the engine rebuilt as it was looking a bit weathered!

 

Sadly for my car, a change in personal circumstances meant she was taken off the road again not long after she was rebuilt and due to a lack of spare cash, unfortunately meant my mini sat in the car park at work until recently when a colleague started to strip her down and start the rebuilding process (most of the time without me even knowing as he hates seeing cars not moving -thanks Nick!)

 

It was back in May this year that after nearly 5 years, my mini was ready for a fresh MOT. However whilst having one last look around with the car on jacks, a rotten rear subframe was spotted which unfortunately was too late to get sorted as I went to Cyprus for just over a month with work for the final preparation for the Red Arrows display season.

Currently my car is on axle stands awaiting the fitment of a new rear subframe and all new suspension, which I recently purchased. As the car is stored outside and we're in the middle of another busy display season, finding the time to get the job finished is proving fairly elusive!

Hopefully by the time of this article being published she'll be back on the road..

Steve - Mechanical Technician

 

 My name is Steve Forrest and I am a mechanical technician in the RAF. I have been in the airforce nearly 16 years and have worked predominantly on Harrier and Hawk fast jets. I am currently in charge of training and engineering standards on the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team The Red Arrows. I have owned many Minis over the years all of which I have restored or modified myself. 

 

I currently own a Red 1990 1293 track car (at evolution stage as we speak, watch this space!!) a 1962 Austin Seven finished in Speedwell Blue; My Wife's car
and a grey 1965 Wolseley Hornet which should be finished fairly soon. We also have a 1970 VW Camper to keep us warm and dry at any shows.

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I Carry out restoration work my self from engine building all the way through to painting and finishing. My love of Minis has been passed down from my Dad who also has owned and raced many Minis. I even suspect I was conceived in a Mini!! The unique selling point for a Mini in my opinion is character. You could have 10 examples of the same model of Mini but yet all would be different and not just a little. No other car appeals to such a diverse selection of people. No other car cold be driven by a 18 year old on a budget or the Queen and the driver not look out of place. It is a true master piece second to none.

Paul - Survival Equipment

 

My name is Paul Redwood and I am a Survival Equipment Specialists within the RAF. I have been a member of the RAF for over 16 years and have been lucky enough to have worked within just about every part of my chosen trade, from fast jets and helicopters to freefall parachutes; I am now a member of a small team of three Survival Equipment Specialists working with the Red Arrows.

 

I suppose like a lot people my love of the mini began with my first Car, a red 1976 mini 850 nicked named George, even at 17 an 850 mini was lacking power so a larger engine was transplanted and the customisation began, everything was doing well until I had an argument with a ford Granada which I subsequently came second so it was goodbye George. Not to be put off, another mini was quickly purchased this time a mini City E and so the cycle started again rebuilding and upgrading, unfortunately being young and lacking in money, most of it went on new panels like a new floor, new sills and all the other spots minis tend to rust so I was unable to do what I really wanted to do. Several other minis were purchased and driven over the next few years, most of them just for parts and upgrades for my mini City.

Then came a change in career, I joined the RAF. After my basic training it was time to travel 200 miles each way up and down the country every weekend so unfortunately it was curtains for the mini, as any mini owner will know if you are doing lots of motorway miles in a tweaked mini they tend not to be most forgiving of cars. Not wanting to get rid of my mini I decided to store it until I had a little less travelling and a bit more money. Guess what? That never happened, 16 years later and I am only half way there I travel more but the plus side I do have a little more money. I had been contemplating putting the mini back on the road for a couple of years but never got around to it. Then a colleague of mine created the Royal Air Force mini club. That was it the final push I needed to get my mini back on the road. As you can imagine my mini has been stored for over 15 years ever since I stopped using it and the dreaded rust taken over just about every panel. There was only one course of action a new shell.

 

I was very lucky to have another colleague who was selling a solid shell. I now have that shell and the rebuild process has begun. So what stage am I now? The new shell has been completely stripped and is being inspected for the dreaded rust. I have found a few small areas in the normal places which need to be dealt with but fortunately they are all easy fixes. What next? Well its decision time, what colour do I paint it? What over all look do I want? How much money do I what to spend? I feel whilst this is project is being completed I am going to be very busy and above all have a lot less money.

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