Gallery: Britain's Red Arrows wow Tallinn with Victory Day display

The Red Arrows, Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) elite display team found weather on its side Wednesday afternoon and gave a planned spectacle in the skies over Tallinn Bay, marking Victory Day (Võidupüha) in Estonia.

The display started at a little after 4 p.m. Estonian time, lasting until around 4.30 p.m., enabling the nine-strong team to perform some of their signature maneuvers in their British Aerospace Hawk T1 trainers.

Stormy weather earlier in the day which saw over 10,000 electricity customers without power after fallen trees and branches cut lines, put the planned display in jeopardy, but Jumal, the Finno-Ugric god of the skies, presumably smiled on the proceedings, as they were able to go ahead (see gallery above).

On the ground in Tallinn, the Red Arrows' appearance coincided with the NATO Velo tour of Estonia team reaching its finish line, and 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment Corps of Drums providing the military musical backdrop, while military equipment used by the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup based at Tapa was also on display to the public.

Commander of the Red Arrows team involved in the show, Wg Cdr David Montenegro, told ETV News show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that: "It's a public holiday; I can see here that there are already a lot of people turning up to come and see us. We're just thrilled that we've been invited and we can contribute to that public holiday."

"There are two elements of the show. There's a first half, where the aircraft will be in various shapes. We fly around 400 mph (650 km/h) about 12 feet (3.5 m) apart, which is a really specific training skill set to have," he went on.

"In the second half, it becomes really exciting. Our synchro pair will do opposition passes, they will fly at each other at a closing speed of around 700-800 mph (1,100-1,300 km/h)," Wg Cdr Montenegro added.

The Red Arrows have performed in the skies over Tallinn at least once before in recent years.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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