Red Arrows to grace the skies at Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day

Published: 28 March 2024

Red Arrow flying over Ryde. Copyright 2024 Royal Air Force. UK Crown Copyright

Following an emotive pitch by Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day organiser, Ian Dore, Ryde Town Council voted in favour of funding a Red Arrows display over Ryde.

The Red Arrows were last seen over the Island at the Festival in 2022, and over the sea at Cowes in 2017.

Their UK display season takes them all over the country and then from mid-August, they fly the flag, touring overseas.

Ian, who spoke at Tuesday's town council meeting, said: “When I took on Armed Forces Day, the team and I had some ambitions and this was at the top of the list. One year in and whammy, here we are. To have the Reds over Ryde streaming the red, white and blue, will be nothing short of stunning.

"It was requested to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, in which, Ryde and a number of brave Islanders played their part. It stems from careful negotiation and planning, dating back to September 2023. To be clear, this is not a fly past, this is a full display by the Royal Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows.

"To have them is a massive tip of the hat for all that went over as part of Operation Overlord, still to this day, the biggest military operation of our time. There was only one team to do this justice and the Reds are ours, and the best in the world.”

The Royal Aerobatic Team the Red Arrows are celebrating their 60th Diamond Anniversary year with a brand new Red 1, leading the display.

Their signature moves include corkscrew, vortex, detonator and the much revered, heart and spear. Depending on the weather, full, rolling and flat displays are available to the team as the perform off Ryde Esplanade.

Ian added: “It’s not without its logistical complications and being frank, they are significant. It's challenging and requires additional input from associated stakeholders. But we have to aim high. There will be a bit of crowdfunding involved to cover the additional requirements pertaining to safety, which of course is paramount. We have about four weeks to that cut off and if we get there, then the contract that is in my sticky paws, can be signed.

“The Reds install an element of pride that is unrivalled. With this display we’ll be paying tribute to past generations, entertaining the present and inspiring the future. It’s a first for Ryde, a first for Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day and a privilege to have them offered to us.

"It is the un-wavering support from Ryde Town Council that has facilitated the funding for this. In that regard they deserve a massive salute. They are showing true commitment not only to the Island's Armed Forces Community, but to the local and extended communities of the Island too.

"Display times are to be confirmed and the AFD team are now pulling out the stops. If it all comes together as we hope, the Reds will be opening the show on Sunday, 30 June. Smoke on, Go!"

Photo: Red over Ryde: - Copyright 2024 Royal Air Force. UK Crown Copyright