The Red Arrows have performed nearly 5,000 times across the globe in the past five decades, generating investment and highlighting strong ties with British allies.
British government officials have been caught up in a blunder when they tried to hype themselves up for the upcoming American tour of the military’s aerobatic team.
The UK Department for International Trade recently started a countdown to the deployment – the first such mission in the US in a decade.
The department marked 48 days to go with a picture that was meant to show a British plane flying higher than the summit of Mount Everest.
However, the tweet instead appeared to feature a reddish outline of what looks like a Russian fighter jet Sukhoi Su-30 (for the record, the Red Arrows operate the BAE Systems Hawk T1 trainer aircraft).
After the image raised eyebrows among Twitter users, the post was deleted and replaced with another one without any aircraft.
“We wanted to be sure of its provenance following comments made on Twitter”, a spokesman for the department told the Daily Mail.
“Both the Red Arrows and DIT are content with the image, however, we think it’s best to repost an image that more closely resembles the Red Arrows aircraft”.
The Royal Air Forces’ Aerobatic Team – otherwise known as the Red Arrows – is a world-famous team that puts on daredevil displays at air shows and festivals. This month, they did a colourful display inthe skies over Normandy to mark the D-Day anniversary.
They are set to light up the skies over 18 cities in the US and Canada between August and October.
Mark Lancaster, Britain’s defence minister, said of the tour: “The Red Arrows are an international symbol of Britain and this landmark event will generate a significant amount of investment. It is only right that, after more than a decade away, they return to the home of our closest defence ally”.
“The deployment will build on the recent successful Red Arrows tours to China, the Far East and Gulf regions and the team is already preparing extensively – to present a safe, memorable and visually-exciting formation display to new audiences across the Atlantic”.