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The future of the Sidmouth Air Show

  • by JW

How financially and environmentally sustainable are the Red Arrows?

RESPOND TO THE SURVEY: “Interested to hear thoughts on the air show.”


Yesterday saw “the Red Arrows take to the skies as they headlined the Sidmouth Air Show”:

Watch the highlights as the Red Arrows soar in the skies above Sidmouth – Devon Live

However, there are gathering questions over the sustainability of the event.

It might well be unsustainable financially:

It’s an expensive package to hire – and it “can only continue if Sidmouth Town Council receives enough financial support” through public donations and business sponsorship:

Sidmouth Air Show appeal for collectors | Sidmouth Herald

And the event can certainly be considered environmentally unsustainable:

Futures Forum: The Red Arrows and carbon emissions

It is, understandably, a fraught issue.

Here’s a thread from the forum pages of the UK Airshow Review from a couple of years ago:

Climate Change – Airshows – UK Airshow Review Forums

The Express reported earlier in the month on plans to ‘green’ the vapour trails:

The unexpected update comes amid widespread concerns the world is teetering on the brink of a climate catastrophe. Since the mid-Sixties, the Red Arrows have flown around the country with their colourful displays of vapour trails. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is said to be looking to the private sector to help make the colourful trails more environmentally friendly.

RAF’s Red Arrows are going green to save the planet from climate change | Science | News |

And here is a discussion on the pages looking at the issue in more detail – including these excerpts:

The red and blue vapour trails produced by the famous Hawk Red Arrows jets are created by injecting a mix of 75% diesel and 25% dye into the hot exhaust of the aircraft’s engine, the MOD revealed in a 2019 Freedom of Information request. During the financial year of 2017-2018, the RAF aerobatic display team used some 643,000 litres of diesel and 36,000 litres of dye, the response also stated.

The Royal Air Force is aiming to be net-zero by 2040, while the UK overall is aiming to be net-zero by 2050. Defence accounts for half of all the UK Government’s carbon emissions.

Could Red Arrows’ Smoke Trails Be ‘Going Green’ To Combat Climate Change?

Meanwhile, a survey has been put together by Cllr Denise Bickley on the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors facebook pages.

Click on the link and give an opinion:

Denise Bickley created a poll.

Interested to hear thoughts on the air show. I’m going to be unpopular but I’ll start by saying although I love watching it, I think it’s had its time. Like cruise ships, power boats, motor racing, etc, it sends the message that we are not taking the climate emergency seriously. But I know I am going to be hated as I know it brings in much needed money to businesses – but equally we’ve just cleared up bags of rubbish from the beach. I’d love your thoughts.

Sidmouth Plastic Warriors : Interested to hear thoughts on the air show | Facebook

image: File: Red Arrows 2.jpg – Wikimedia Commons