|BC605M||100 Years of the Royal Air Force - The Red Arrows||£18.50||Buy Now|
|BC605MS||100 Years of the Royal Air Force - The Red Arrows Miniature Sheet, signed Kirsty Murphy||£28.50||Limited Availability|
|BC605MS2||100 Years of the Royal Air Force - The Red Arrows, signed by 5 former Red Arrow Pilots||£49.95||Limited Availability|
Issue Date: 20/03/2018
Issue Name: 100 Years of the Royal Air Force - The Red Arrows Miniature Sheet
Producer: Buckingham Covers
2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force and this stamp issue pays tribute to the Red Arrows Aerobatics Team, popularly known as the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton. The team has performed worldwide since it's formation in 1965.
Our lovely cover features the four new Red Arrows stamps in the miniature sheet and has a stunning image of the Red Arrows in sequence flight with 'smoke on', along with our Scampton, Lincolnshire postmark (the home of the Red Arrows). This cover is available signed by the first female Red Arrows pilot Kirsty Murphy, or signed by 5 former Red Arrow Pilots (Andy Evans, Andy Offer OBE, Jame McMillan, Kirsty Murphy and Ben Murphy).
The Red Arrows
The Red Arrows team was officially formed in 1964 when the RAF amalgamated its display teams into one, premier unit. They commenced their first full display season in 1965, flying seven aircraft in a display and based at RAF Fairford. A media event at RAF Little Rissington on May 6 was the team’s first official display, with the first public performance on May 15 at Biggin Hill Air Fair. The team increased to nine display aircraft in 1968 and the Diamond Nine became the Red Arrows’ trademark formation. The Gnat, which had flown 1,292 displays, was replaced in 1980 by the BAE Systems Hawk, a modified version of the RAF’s fast jet and weapons trainer. Also that year, permission was given for the team to have the motto Eclat – meaning excellence. In 1983 the home of the Red Arrows moved from RAF Kemble – its base since 1966 to RAF Scampton.
The Red Arrows have completed over 4,500 displays in 53 countries, including the famous London fly-past with Concorde for the Queen‘s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The success of the Red Arrows is dependent not just on nine display pilots, but on a 100-strong team of dedicated and motivated personnel. They are all ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. The Red Arrows’ reputation is built on each team member’s commitment and professionalism, combined with RAF skills, training and equipment. For the 2015 season, a new paint scheme was revealed on the jets during a live television broadcast from RAF Scampton. This Union flag-inspired design features flowing red, white and blue lines and confirms the Red Arrows’ role as national ambassadors for the Royal Air Force and the UK. By the end of the Great War in 1918, the fledgling RAF had endured 16,000 casualties, leaving 2,600 widows and dependents and 7,500 badly incapacitated men, who often had little or no chance of employment for the rest of their lives. In 1919 Lord Trenchard set about creating the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The first assistance provided was a shilling for a night's lodging, giving the recipient a chance to seek work, or money to provide a former airman with the tools of his trade. Originally known as the Royal Air Force Memorial Fund, an original charitable objective was to raise money for a memorial for airmen who died in the Great War. The RAF Memorial was completed in 1923. During the Second World War staff worked through the night behind blackout curtains to supply grants to families - awarding 67,500 grants between 1943 and 1945. In the aftermath of the war many RAF families found themselves struggling, and in 1951 Winston Churchill himself made a personal appeal on behalf of the Benevolent Fund on BBC Radio, helping to raise over £26,000. By 1952 HM The Queen became the charity’s Royal Patron and by 1960 national servicemen and their dependents became eligible for assistance and support. In 2012 the Bomber Command Memorial was completed, a tribute to the 55,573 men in Bomber Command who lost their lives during WWII.
As the Fund approaches its 100th year it continues to provide a wide range of support to members of the RAF, past, present and future.
Want to see our all the covers in our 6th Series? View them all here
Kirsty joined the RAF and completed flying training on the Tucano and the Hawk T1. Her first tour with the RAF was as an instructor on the Hawk T1 at RAF Valley in Wales. She was subsequently posted to the Tornado GR4 and joined XIII Sqn at RAF Marham, with whom she flew operational sorties in Iraq. In 2009 she became the first female pilot to be selected to fly with The RAF Red Arrows and went on to fly a total of 136 public displays and 133 flypasts in 11 different countries.
Ben Murphy - former leader of the Blades aerobatic team, will leap into a customised high performance racer and represent The Blades Racing Team on the international stage. Signifying the ‘Best of British’, Ben will be the only GB competitor taking on 13 of the Worlds elite pilots in an 8 race campaign for the World Championship Title.
Andy Evans - Former Red Arrows Pilot. Co-founding member of The Blades. Front line Jaguar Pilot in the RAF. Over 8,500 flying hours. Flown 711 public & private displays with the Blades.
Andy Offer OBE - Fast jet pilot in the RAF for 22 years. Flew and commanded the Red Arrows from 1999-2001 (RED1). Leader of The Blades for its first 3-years.
James McMillan - Joined the Blades Aerobatic Team as Blade 2. Ex-Red Arrows pilot, and more recently a Flight Commander at RAF Coningsby on the Typhoon. 2014 Red Arrows Synchro Leader. 'McZ' joins the Blades in their 13th display season with 3000+ flying hours.