“An invitation to make a photographic record of a landmark time in the life of the Red Arrows is an opportunity that falls to few photographers. Award-winning reportage photographer Richard Baker is one of the few.
In 2004, Britain’s official aerobatic team flew its 40th display season, in 2005 it celebrated its 40th birthday and in 2006 the team will fly its 4000th display. Through this period of the Red Arrows’ long and distinguished history, Richard has flown with them, photographed them and talked to them.
This book is his account in words and pictures of that time, a lateral look at the team and how it works, from briefing and take off through aerobatic display to post-flight analysis; and from arduous winter training through the summer air show calendar. In a succession of visually revealing photo-essays he takes us behind the scenes to see the pilots during their arduous training schedules and to meet the ‘Blues’ — the RAF’s crack maintenance and technical team who keep the Arrows’ BAE Hawk trainers in peak flying fitness;
In more than 150 stunning photographs, Richard Baker documents an emotional year for the team. He sheds new light on the Red Arrows, revealing, on the one hand, the extraordinary learning curve each member of the team must go through in order to achieve the unique standards required by this legendary group, and on the other hand, the team’s ambassadorial role, meeting and greeting everyone from royalty and politicians to their adoring public. No book on the Reds would be complete without the ‘pilot’s-eye’ view and this book brings us a spectacular array of air-to-air images.
To complement his exceptional photography, Richard recounts with insight, wit and humour his months of adventure with the Red Arrows, including gripping inside accounts of display flying complete with unnerving experiences of the effects of g-forces during aerobatic manoeuvres.”