The iconic aircraft has been donated by the Ministry of Defence through RAF Heritage and will go on permanent display at the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune from today [25 April]. It is the only Red Arrows Hawk on display in any UK museum. Built in 1980, the aircraft was used by the Red Arrows from 1985 until 2012.
It will sit alongside Concorde, an aircraft with which the Red Arrows displayed on many occasions, most notably when Concorde and the Red Arrows flew in formation over Edinburgh on 1 July 1999 to mark the opening of the Scottish Parliament. The newly acquired Hawk at the National Museum of Flight was the one flown on that day by the team leader, ‘Red 1’, Wing Commander Simon Meade who was today reunited with his aircraft.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland said:
“The National Museum of Flight is home to one of the best and most varied aviation collections in Europe, and the iconic British Aerospace Hawk used by the famous Red Arrows is a terrific addition. We are grateful to the Ministry of Defence for this generous donation which is sure to be hugely popular with our visitors.”
Aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley (now BAE Systems) designed and built the Hawk as an advanced training aircraft for RAF fast jet pilots. The prototype first flew in 1974 and Hawks entered RAF service in 1976. More than 1,000 have been sold worldwide including to the UK, Canada, Australia, Finland and Zimbabwe.
The Hawk T1 version is currently used by the RAF for fast-jet pilot advanced training. While it is used primarily in the advanced flying-training role, it is equipped to an operational standard and is capable of undertaking a war role.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Steven Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff said:
"The RAF in Scotland has excellent links with National Museums Scotland. In this, the RAF's 100th year, we seek to commemorate, celebrate and inspire. I can think of no better place than the National Museum of Flight for a Red Arrows Hawk to be displayed and help promote these themes.”
Further information and images from: Alice Wyllie, National Museums Scotland Press Office on 0131 247 4288 or firstname.lastname@example.org