Red Arrows commander hails Expo site as 'phenomenal' after Dubai display

Wing Commander David Montenegro says Expo 2020 Dubai site is a ‘phenomenal piece of engineering, architecture and design’

The wing commander of the UK’s Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, better known as the Red Arrows, has hailed the Expo 2020 Dubai site as a “phenomenal piece of engineering, architecture and design” after performing a display in the skies over it.

David Montenegro spoke to the Expo News Service team after a 20 minute display as part of the UK Pavilion’s participation at the world’s greatest entertainment and cultural gathering.

Nine aircraft flew in formation around the site, trailing vapours of red, white and blue in a breath-taking series of low and high-flying precision manoeuvres.

Montenegro said: “The site looks incredible – you can see all the pavilions very clearly from 1,000 to 3,000 feet. I’m sure commercial airliners and passengers can see the site quite clearly.

“We’ve only seen it in the daytime and even then, it’s a phenomenal piece of engineering, architecture and design. But we can’t wait to see the site at night time, with all the lights to see how it really comes to life in that environment.”

Talking about the display at Expo, he added: “The display was 20 minutes long. We separated into two halves; the first half included graceful shapes, and signature manoeuvres, such as the diamond; in the second half, we performed dynamic fast opposition passes, turning the aircraft at six to eight G-forces to give spectators the biggest wow factor.”

Pilots in the Red Arrows are all front line, operationally-based fighter pilots.

“We’re very honoured to be invited as one of the many UK contributions to this World Expo. It was very exciting to be doing a full Red Arrows display above the entire Expo 2020 site,” he said.

On the future of the Red Arrows, Montenegro said: “The Red Arrows has been talking about the innovative aspects of aviation for 57 years, and we still look to the future. One really interesting project we’re currently working on is a redesign of our smoke systems.

“We are working with industry partners, including universities, at how we can create a sustainable footprint, from a Red Arrows perspective and an aviation perspective. Our engines can take a 50:50 blend of diesel and sustainable synthetic fuel.”

The UK Pavilion is located in the Opportunity District and is inspired by ‘Breakthrough Message’, one of the final projects by the late scientist Stephen Hawking.

The pavilion highlights leading British expertise in sectors that include artificial intelligence and space, under the theme ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’.

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