Red Arrows over Swansea Bay

Pictures of The Red Arrows taken at the Wales National Airshow over Swansea Bay on 11th July 2015.

We (wife, 2 sons & me) went to the Wales National Air Show on Saturday. It was a nice day for the most part, but became cold & windy later. We got a nice spot on the beach & saw the Vulcan, Typhoon, Red Arrows, etc. I took a few pictures with my little Nikon Coolpix L4. They turned out a little better than I expected, having been used to a Nikon D50 DSLR. But I’ve given that to my elder son (Neil) who already takes better pictures than I ever did!

The drive from Ogmore Vale to Fabian Way park & ride took 30 minutes. Then we had a 55 minute wait to get into the park & ride. There were 2 guys manning the entrance barrier. One wrote stuff on 2 tickets for us, took our £5, gave us verbal instructions, then pressed the button to raise the barrier. I don’t know what the other guy was for. The bottleneck was due in part to that procedure, that I suspect could be streamlined, and also due to the single-server layout. The queue would move much faster if they had a second entrance barrier (& would give the other guy something to do!). Waiting for nearly an hour defeats a large part of the point of using park & ride. /grumble


The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton. The team was formed in late 1964 as an all-RAF team, replacing a number of unofficial teams that had been sponsored by RAF commands.

The Red Arrows badge shows the aircraft in their trademark diamond nine formation, with the motto Éclat, a French word meaning “brilliance” or “excellence”.

Initially, they were equipped with seven Folland Gnat trainers inherited from the RAF Yellowjacks display team. This aircraft was chosen because it was less expensive to operate than front-line fighters. In their first season, they flew at 65 shows across Europe. In 1966, the team was increased to nine members, enabling them to develop their Diamond Nine formation. In late 1979, they switched to the BAE Hawk trainer. The Red Arrows have performed over 4,700 displays in 56 countries worldwide.