Two retired RAF Red Arrows aircraft are being sold at public auction next month, with one already attracting 49 bids reaching £14,000. The aircraft, which are now available for viewings at the Leyburn site in Yorkshire, will be sold at auction by Agility Defence and Government Services on Friday (February 3).
The aircraft attracting the highest bids is Red Arrows XX227, which was built as a replica Hawk jet to be used at recruitment events. Despite never having flown, the airframe still has a cockpit with instruments and a ground power supply for lights.
The other is a Folland Gnat – not the model used by the squadron, whose current aircraft are all BAE Hawks. It flew from RAF Valley in Wales in the 1960s, but was retired in 1975 after a heavy landing before becoming a ‘gate guard’ mascot. It was repainted in Red Arrows livery and was placed at the RAF Brampton and Kemble gatehouses in the 1970s.
From 1976, the aircraft moved with the Red Arrows and was at RAF Scampton until 2022, ending up as part of the station’s heritage collection in one of the hangars. The frame does not have an engine but as of Sunday morning (January 29), it has received 13 bids, the highest being £9,100.
RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, the Dambusters squadron’s World War II base, closed in 2022, but the Red Arrows remained there after being moved to RAF Waddington last October. Last week, the two aerobatic display team airframes were transported by Yorkshire haulage company, Metcalfe Farms Haulage Ltd from RAF Scampton to Leyburn, where they are currently being stored ahead of the auction.
The company said: “We had the pleasure of moving two retired Red Arrows from RAF Scampton, which has been the home of the Red Arrows since 1983, which makes them one of the longest-resident flying units in the station’s history. We have moved them back to our own base camp at Washfold Farm for temporary storage until they are purchased by their new owners. This could be you!”
Those wishing to view the planes should contact the company for arrangements and those who would like to place a bid can visit the Agility website.