I'm so glad that this wasn't a dit about Manchester sodding United! Glad they're back to 9 machines and a reserve. I also hope that a full shop window hides the truth that we have nothing left to sell.
I suspect the planeguard was on phot duties, it alternated between being behind and then above as they did 2 flypasts, yes good to see 9, although I think the display team will be reduced to 7, the others being spare.
The Air Force contributes not that much to running the Team and its aeroplanes.
I do think that it would take the disbandment of the Red Arrows to focus the public attention on how thin our defences now are. It would save bugger all in cash terms but it would draw screams of outrage.
Found a reply from headquarter air command to an e-mail requesting Red Arrows costs, Budget for 2009/2010 6.1 million, 13 Hawk aircraft 2.5 million, fuel 1.2 million, its not clear if the budget includes the Hawk and fuel costs. Another site says the Red Arrows OVERSEAS toures are largly met by sponsors. Not a whinge and you are right, not a great saving but I dont think people should be being made redundant to "balance the budget" when we have things like the Red Arrowsw