The Corniche skies in front of Sheraton Doha were lit up with different formations of smoke in various hues as the UK’s Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, displayed a fantastic feast with some stunning acrobatics for the eyes of the spectators who had thronged all over the area Saturday.
A total of nine jets exhibited some breath-taking feats and made several formations flying at very high speed and in some cases as high as 800 km per hour. This 20-minute show had the jets sometimes flying as close as six-feet apart. The Red Arrows are known for flying their signature Diamond Nine shape formation.
The nine flights started the performance together and made the first few feats and then were divided into two groups of Enid and Gypo. Reds 1 to 5 formed the front section of the team’s formation, and Reds 6 to 9 made up the rear part during the show. During the latter half of the display, they performed the opposition manoeuvres. The entire show was controlled by the team supervisor squadron leader Mike Ling who also provided the commentary for the entire show.
Red Arrows jets fly in formation over Doha Corniche. PICTURES : Jayan Orma, Shaji Kayamkulam
Before winding up the show they made several smoke formations such as phoenix, python and many more and made large symbol of love and ended with the symbol of infinity.
The British embassy partnered with Qatar Airways to help celebrate the airline’s 20th anniversary. As part of this, a Qatar Airways Airbus A350 joined the team for part of the display. A joint event took place at the Sheraton for senior Qatari representatives and members of the international community. The UK’s Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP was the UK Ministerial guest of honour. A large crowd watched this aerobatic display from the Corniche.
The event was attended by a large number of dignitaries including HE Minister of Municipality and Environment, Mohammed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi, Akbar al-Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways, a number of ambassadors from different missions in Qatar, several other prominent Qataris and distinguished guests.
British ambassador Ajay Sharma, said, “I am delighted to welcome the Red Arrows to Qatar. Such visits are a very visible demonstration and celebration of the strength of UK-Qatar relations. They showcase the best of the UK from the technical mastery of the pilots to the excellence of our engineering and aviation industry. I hope that this will inspire new generations to get involved and study STEM subjects.”
Wing commander Andrew Keith, officer commanding, the Red Arrows, said, “Overseas tours such as this are one of the key roles of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. We regularly travel abroad during the display season to promote both the ‘best of British’ and the Royal Air Force and this is a focused series of events, to broaden the delivery of that important message."
Al-Baker, said, “Today the Red Arrows have helped Qatar Airways celebrate in style to reach a major milestone in our history, with a thrilling display to mark our 20th anniversary. We were delighted to have them join one of our Airbus A350 aircraft in this historic fly-by over the impressive Doha skyline. ”
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