The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, advanced jet trainer aircraft. It first flew in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk. The Hawk is used by the Royal Air Force, and other air forces, as either a trainer or a low-cost combat aircraft. The Hawk is still in production with over 900 Hawks sold to 18 customers around the world.
The most famous RAF operator of the Hawk is the Red Arrows aerobatic team, which adopted the plane in 1979.
Source: Wikipedia, "BAE Hawk", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton, but due to move to RAF Waddington in 2011. The team was formed in late 1964 as an all-RAF team, replacing a number of unofficial teams that had been sponsored by RAF commands.
The Red Arrows do not use front-line aircraft because of operating costs. The team uses the RAF's advanced jet trainer, the BAE Hawk T1A, built at Brough in the East Riding of Yorkshire. While the Hawk is very basic compared to the much more modern Eurofighter Typhoon, it is still fast enough and very manoeuvrable, ideal for low-altitude aerobatics. The plane does not have a sat nav, radar or onboard computer. The Red Arrows normally cruise at 360 knots (one nautical mile every 10 seconds).
Source: Wikipedia, "Red Arrows", available under the CC-BY-SA License.