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Red Arrow jet goes on display at Scotland’s National Museum of Flight

Wing Commander Simon Meade is reunited with the Red Arrows Hawk he flew over Edinburgh
(Neil Hanna Photography)
Wing Commander Simon Meade is reunited with the Red Arrows Hawk he flew over Edinburgh (Neil Hanna Photography)

VISITORS to the National Museum of Flight will now be able to see one of the UK’s most iconic aircraft up close.

A Red Arrows Hawk will be on permanent display at East Fortune from today, having been donated by the Ministry of Defence.

Volunteer John Thomson cleans the aircraft in preparation for its display (Neil Hanna Photography)

Built in 1980, the jet was used as part of the squadron from 1985 until 2012.

It joins Concorde in the museum’s hangar, and is the only aircraft of its kind on display in the UK.

The newly acquired Hawk was flown alongside the supersonic airliner as part of an air display at the opening of the Scottish Parliament on July 1 1999.

And its pilot that day, Wing Commander Simon Meade, was on hand to welcome the aircraft to its new home.

Local schoolchildren were also in attendance to welcome the exciting new exhibit.

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.”

School children standing under the wing of Concorde watch the Hawk being moved into the hangar (Neil Hanna Photography)

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.

Flying Officer Scott Bagshaw cleans the wing of the Hawk in preparation for its display (Neil Hanna Photography)

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.”