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British Airways 747 joins Red Arrows at Royal International Air Tattoo

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 22, 2019

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, and a British Airways Boeing 747 delighted the crowds with a flypast at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. (British Airways)
The Royal Air Force Aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, and a British Airways Boeing 747 delighted the crowds with a flypast at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. (British Airways)

A British Airways Boeing 747-400 decked out in a retro livery has flown with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team, known as The Red Arrows, at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The stunning flypast on Saturday (United Kingdom time) featured nine RAF BAE Hawk T1s alongside the British Airways 747-400 painted in the airline’s British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) livery.

“We hope the sight of our BOAC liveried Boeing 747 provided a wonderfully nostalgic moment for the Air Tattoo audience,” Captain Richard Allen-Williams, who was at the controls of the 747-400, said in a statement.

“It was a huge honour for us to fly alongside the Red Arrows at RAF Fairford and to do so in our centenary year is even more special.”

Also on board the 747-400 was cabin crew member Julia Lowes, whose brother Flight Lieutenant Dan Lowes was flying one of the Hawks during the flypast, Red 9.


And aviation runs in the family at the Lowes household, with the pair’s father a 747 Captain, while a younger brother is a First Officer.

“I only joined British Airways four months ago and this is Dan’s last year flying in the Reds so the timing couldn’t be more perfect,” Lowes said.

“Dan and I have both pursued our dream careers, but to fly together is something I’d never have imagined. It was fantastic watching Dan in action from the BOAC aircraft.”

Aviation is a very much a family affair as our Dad was a 747 Captain and our younger brother is a First Officer.”

British Airways cabin crew member Julia Lowes. (British Airways)
British Airways cabin crew member Julia Lowes. (British Airways)

The Red Arrows team leader, Squadron Leader Martin Pert said flying alongside the British Airways Boeing 747 was an incredibly memorable moment.

“The Royal Air Force’s own centenary celebrations – marked a year ago – demonstrated the importance of using these high-profile occasions to inspire the next generation and we hope this flypast did exactly that,” Squadron Leader Pert, or Red 1, said.

“It was a truly best of British flypast.”

The BOAC livery 747-400 G-BYGC was one of several aircraft British Airways has painted in retro liveries to help celebrate the airline’s centenary year.

[vc_gallery interval=”0″ images=”75480,75479,75478,75477,75476,75474,75472,75481″ img_size=”750×420″ title=”A look at British Airways’ 747-400 flying with The Red Arrows
(Images from British Airways) “]

Although British Airways is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019, it has not been known by that name throughout the the past 100 years.

It started flying in August 1919 as Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T). Since then, it has been merged, nationalised and then privatised.

Airlines that are part of the airline’s history include names such as Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways, British Air Marine Navigation Company Limited, Imperial Airways Limited, British Airways, BOAC and British European Airways (BEA).

The current British Airways is the merger of BOAC and BEA that was completed in 1974.

The oldest airline in the world is KLM, which was operated under it original name since it was set up in 1919.

Colombia’s Avianca, also established in 1919, is next on the list, followed by Qantas, which was founded in November 1920 in outback Queensland.

VIDEO: A look at a British Airways Boeing 747-400 in special BOAC livery flying with The Red Arrows at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo from the airline’s YouTube channel.

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Comments (3)

  • Rod Pickin


    Just a minimum of fuss, cheers.

  • PAUL


    Keep clear of that wake turbulence lads!…

  • Radar


    Reminds me of eight little ducklings frantically chasing after their mum.

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