World-famous Red Arrows giving Victory Day fly-past over Tallinn, Paide

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The Red Arrows in flight. Source: mil.ee

Legendary British Royal Air Force (RAF) aerobatic display team the Red Arrows are to perform an aerial display over Tallinn Bay on June 23, Victory Day (Võidupüha).

The Red Arrows, who are making a return trip having given an air show over Tallinn Bay at least once in recent years, will rendezvous at 4.05 p.m. (16.00) Estonian time, with the BAE Hawk T1 trainers' performance set to last a little under half-an-hour.

Those wanting the best view should head for the Pirita promenade, east of Tallinn city center, on the stretch between the Charles Leroux monument and the Pirita River.

A Red Arrows team member will be giving a running commentary.

The team are also carrying out a fly-past over Paide, to coincide with a NATO cycling tour of Estonia, arriving in the central Estonian town as it hosts this year's Victory Day parade.

At the same location, the Red Arrows team member will give running commentary during the flight show.

Personnel from NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) will also be on-site, both in Tallinn and in Paide, to meet the public and to showcase weaponry, vehicles and other equipment, with British and French heavy tanks likely to be one of the main attractions.

The NATO Velo cycle tour sees around 50 officers and other ranks from the eFP in Estonia, as well as the Estonian Defense Forces and the eFP battlegroups in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, circumnavigating Estonia by bike. The team will arrive in Paide at the end of the penultimate stage of their trip, on Regati street, just ahead of the Red Arrows' scheduled flyover.

The Red Arrows, the RAF's aerobatic display team, are second to none worldwide in their field. The unit was formed in the mid-1960s and originally used Folland Gnat trainer jets, with Hawks being phased-in at the end of the 1970s. All of its flyers are fully-qualified fast jet pilots with at least 1,500 hours' flight time. The ratio of applicants to pilot places is reported at about 10 to 1.

The event is being organized by the British Embassy, with support from the eFP battlegroup and the EDF, including the Estonian Air Force (Õhuvägi).

Victory Day marks the victory of Estonia's defense forces, and those of neighboring Latvia, over the German Baltische Landeswehr at the Battle of Cēsis, near the Latvian town of the same name (Estonian: Võnnu), in 1919.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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