THE RED Arrows have announced four new recruits will be joining its team of high-flying pilots.

The Bournemouth Air Festival favourites will be entering their diamond 60th season in 2024.

Squadron Leader Jon Bond has been announced as the new Red 1.

Overjoyed, he said: “It is with great honour and pride that I take up this position for the Red Arrows’ 60th display season. There is much to look forward to in 2024.

“Our preparations for next year start in just a few days, with our aim to begin the historic season in May.”

“Nothing for me can simply recreate feeling the warmth of support and excitement from those of all ages and backgrounds who take the time to watch us, whether it be at an airshow, from a rooftop or just simply in the middle of a muddy field in torrential rain during a typically unpredictable UK summer.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Red 2 is also being replaced by flight lieutenant Chris McCann who joined the Royal Air Force in 2005 and 'flew the Tornado GR4 on the frontline'.

He said: “Experiencing first-hand the teamwork and the incredible flying they perform daily really inspired me to pursue joining the team.

“It’s going to be fantastic working in a close-knit, highly motivated team at RAF Waddington as we go through winter training.

“Looking further ahead to the 2024 season, it will be great to meet people at airshows and events and learn more about those organisations we support.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Flight lieutenant Dustin Wales, who joined the RAF in 2009, will take over as Red 3 .

He said: “I’m looking forward to getting out onto the display season in 2024 and experiencing that combination of hosting and meeting aviation fans, swiftly mixed with then having to perform to the highest standard at airshows.”

Flight Lieutenant George Hobday will also be joining the team as Red 5.

He said: “Initially, the pure flying challenge and the idea of joining something world-renowned was the catalyst but, increasingly, the opportunity to engage with people of all backgrounds and represent the RAF and UK – at home and abroad – was a big driver to apply for the team.”

The former Typhoon pilot said seeing this year’s team in action over recent weeks had been both “impressive and daunting in equal parts” as he started to prepare for next season.