I was in Lincoln, UK today and saw the Red Arrows practicing.

After looking more closely at the photos I took, I see that one of the formation aircraft is different.

red arrows in formation against blue cloudy sky

red arrows in formation against blue cloudy sky cropped

What is this different aircraft? Why are they flying two variants?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I'm fairly sure it's a Folland Gnat based on the swept wing, thing on the nose and under-wing attachments. They used to fly it (over 40 years ago). I'm still interested to know why it would be flying today? $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 8 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


As @Tim wrote in the comments, it's a Folland Gnat.

The Red Arrows' own website offers this explanation, in a news release posted on March 8, 2024:

A vintage jet, of the type used by the original Red Arrows, has flown alongside the present-day team to help mark their 60th display season.

The Folland Gnat, which dates from 1964, joined the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team’s distinctive BAE Systems Hawks above the skies of Lincolnshire.

Pilots and engineers from yesteryear, as well as Air Cadets representing the future of the RAF, were also at RAF Waddington for the special diamond season celebration.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Google says it was posted 5 hours ago, so only just before I did my searches! $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 8 at 19:10

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