Red Arrows flying high for first China display

Updated: 2016-11-01 18:14

By EARLE GALE(China Daily UK)

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Britain's famed Royal Air Force aerobatic display team, the Red Arrows, will perform in China for the first time at the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, between Tuesday and Sunday.

The team, which has amazed fans at air shows for decades with its tight formations and apparently death-defying stunts, is seen by many as the public face of the RAF.

The appearance above Zhuhai, in China's southerly Guangdong province, is at China's sole international aerospace trade expo, which has been held every second year since 1996.

The Red Arrows is on its Asia-Pacific and Middle East Tour 2016, its largest overseas deployment for a decade.

Wing Commander Martin Higgins, the officer leading the team, said: "Each member of the Red Arrows is excited by the prospect of the team visiting and performing in China for the first time. The visit showcases the strong links between the UK and China."

He said members, who fl y British-built Hawk fast-jets, were honoured to be invited.

The Red Arrows, one of the best international aerobatic display teams, has completed more than 4,800 performances since its formation in 1965.

The display in China takes the number of countries that have hosted the team to 57.

Dame Barbara Woodward, Britain's ambassador in China, said the Red Arrows "represent the best of British innovation" and "demonstrate the engineering excellence and skills that are hallmarks of both the Royal Air Force and British industry".

Pilots will visit schools and universities to encourage students to pursue studies and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The team, which arrived in China on Oct 22, held a preview of its display in Zhuhai on Oct 27.