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Red, White and Blue over San Francisco

Photo: Red, white and blue over the Golden Gate. (Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates)

 

The Red Arrows continue to impress on their coast-to-coast tour of the United States and Canada, this time with a spectacular flypast over San Francisco Bay, trailing red, white and blue smoke over the bridge and passing Alcatraz.

Courtesy of the MOD, the three videos below show the initial flypast and return leg from three different perspectives; from the ground, from the nose of Red 8, and from the accompanying camera ship.

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the one-mile-wide (1.6 km) strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The impressive structure links the American city of San Francisco, California the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County, carrying both US Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait.

The bridge is one of the most internationally recognised symbols of San Francisco and the United States.

The Red Arrows pass over Alcatraz Island. (Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates)

Now a major tourist attraction, Alcatraz Island is located around 1¼ miles offshore from San Francisco. The island houses what was originally a fort, but the site is most famously associated with its time as a notorious federal prison, operated between 1934 and 1963.

The ongoing Red Arrows tour is their first of Canada and the United States since 2008 and has seen the Reds complete a number of stunning flypasts and displays over, amongst others, Ottawa, Chicago, New York, and Toronto.

Officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows team consists of 11 pilots nine of whom fly in the display and more than 100 support personnel and technicians. For their precision, high performance displays, the Reds fly the Hawk T.1 trainer jet but each of the team’s pilots has previous operational experience flying the Tornado, Typhoon or Harrier.

The city and surroundings of San Francisco provided a stunning backdrop for the Red Arrows to trail their famous smoke. (Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates)

While usually the highlight of the UK summer air show calender, the Red Arrows tour of the United States and Canada helps to showcase the excellence of the RAF and represent the United Kingdom in North America.

Footage: Crown Copyright/Sgt Ashley Keates, RAF, and Cpl Adam Fletcher, RAF.

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