(MENAFN - Jordan Times)
AMMAN — The British Red Arrows air display team on Sunday flew an aerial circuit of the Kingdom on the first leg of their Middle East tour, in a celebration of the beauty of Jordan, a statement from the British embassy said.
The Red Arrows display team, part of the British Royal Air Force, flew over several of Jordan's famous landmarks such as the Amman Citadel and Karak Castle at an altitude of 452 metres, trailing blue, white and red smoke to represent the British flag.
The team, which first visited Jordan on one of its very first air displays in 1965, flew in a tight diamond formation, with their Hawk fast jets flying 1.8 metres apart from each other at a speed of 482 kilometres per hour
'The Red Arrows truly represent the Best of British,' said Ambassador Edward Oakden at a reception to celebrate the team's latest visit to Jordan.
'Not only is their flying a spectacular display of skill; the specialised team of engineers which keeps the planes in the air represents the UK's particular expertise in science and innovation, with a technology sector larger than the rest of Europe combined,' he added.
Jordanians around the country took part in a photo competition on the embassy's Facebook page, attempting to capture the Red Arrows on camera as they flew overhead.
Prizes for the best photos included a track day experience in a British Aston Martin sports car as well as a stay at the Dead Sea, courtesy of the Jordan Tourism Board, who partnered with the Red Arrows to capture aerial footage of the Kingdom's most popular destinations.
'We are delighted the Red Arrows were able to experience Jordan, both its beauty from the air and the hospitality of its people on the ground,' said Tourism Board Chief Executive Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat.
'Flying at such speed, the Red Arrows were able to complete a tour in two hours which most people would do over the course of a week. We will soon be releasing a short film capturing their visit and promoting Jordan as a great destination for foreign tourism,' he added.
The British Royal Air Force has a long history of cooperation with the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army, dating back to the establishment of the Royal Air Force in 1918, when squadrons were based in what is modern day Jordan.
That history of cooperation is to be celebrated further in a visit by 6 Squadron RAF this week, who were presented with a Jordanian Royal Standard on October 15, 1950 by King Abdullah I as he had been so impressed with their airmanship, and who visit Jordan to cement the long-standing relationship between 6 Squadron Royal Air Force and 6 Squadron Royal Jordanian Air Force, according to the statement.