Following the government's announcement that the Royal Air Force will be cut down to World War I numbers, it appears that one of the first casualties will be in the world famous Red Arrows. It's enough to have Henry Allingham turning in his grave!
It has been rumoured that two thirds of the famous aerobatic display team who currently use nine aircraft will be reduced to three. With the price of aviation fuel, rocketing sky high, it is suggested that the entire fuel budget for this year will be able to sustain just three.
Speaking from their RAF Scampton base in Lincolnshire, Squadron Leader Charles 'Chopper' Cutler told In Seine News; "it's a very sad day knowing that the team will now have to disband after the current display season. We have been flying to the highest standards for more than 40 years. The boys and our first female pilot were in the mess last night, crying over their beer, but also looking over their shoulders wondering who would be for the 'chop'. I did say to them that it would be inevitable one day because the 'kites' were reaching the end of their flying life (don't forget, some of these planes have been flying longer than Concorde!) and because we had already 'pranged' one this season, it could not be replaced."
"I think that we were very lucky to be just downsized a little - at least we can still call ourselves the Red Arrows and not the Red Arrow. Furthermore, I just want to make it absolutely clear that the female flyer, Flight Lieutenant Fiona Fortescue-Finningley will not be sacked for being a woman and therefore a possible candidate for maternity leave. The decision will be made by picking straws which, I believe, is the fairest way."
Mystery surrounds what will happen to the remaining six aeroplanes.