Whether you’re a fan of aircraft or not, you’ve probably heard of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows.

Perhaps you’ve even seen one of their displays where the pilots fly the planes, twisting and turning through the skies, performing impressive displays and flypasts at events and to mark special occasions.

You can also expect to see the Red Arrows flying through the sky with red, white and blue trails of smoke following them.

But how many Red Arrows are there and where are they based? Here’s what we know.

How many Red Arrows are there?

The Royal Air Force (RAF) website explains that the formation is made up of nine aircraft but it wasn’t always that way.

It explains: “In the first season of 1965, the team – flying seven aircraft in a display and based at RAF Fairford – performed 65 shows.

“A media event at RAF Little Rissington on May 6 was the team’s first official display, with the first public performance in the UK on May 15 at Biggin Hill Air Fair.

“The team permanently increased to nine display aircraft in 1968 and the Diamond Nine became the Red Arrows’ trademark formation.”

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Where are the Red Arrows based?

From 1966, the base was RAF Kemble before it moved to RAF Scampton in 1983 which is “the Lincolnshire station famous for its role in the 1943 Dambusters raid”.

Between 1995 and 2000, the Red Arrows made a temporary relocation to RAF College Cranwell which is also in Lincolnshire.

In late 2022, the Red Arrows moved to a new base but stayed within Lincolnshire. After 40 years, the team left RAF Scampton and headed to their new home – RAF Waddington.