The Story of the Black Arrows (DVD)

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  • Duration: 116 mins
  • Region: 0 (any)
  • Format: PAL Widescreen*

The Black Arrows of No. 111 Squadron were the RAF's premier formation aerobatics display team between 1956 and 1960, flying Hawker Hunter aircraft.

Universally heralded as the team to watch, and arguably the best team the world has ever seen, the Black Arrows displayed all over the UK and Europe while at the same time maintaining their role as an active front line Fighter Command squadron.

Hear the fascinating story of the Black Arrows in the team's own words, with exclusive interviews with the founding leader of the team, Air Commodore Roger Topp, his successor, Air Vice Marshal Peter Latham and twelve other surviving members, including Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine. These extraordinarily modest men talk about why the Hunter was the perfect machine for formation aerobatics, how the team came together almost accidentally, how they got their name and colour scheme, what it took to be a formation aerobatics pilot and what they (allegedly) got up to while off duty! A vital part of the team, the ground crew, also share their recollections of those exciting golden years of aviation.

The film includes archive footage and photographs of displays, training and life on the squadron, a significant amount of which is previously unseen and is from the pilot's and ground crew's private collections. Also included is footage of the famous 22 aircraft loop at Farnborough in 1958, a world record unbeaten to this day. Roger Topp led that formation in Hawker Hunter XG194, recently discovered abandoned and restored to display status by a dedicated team from Wattisham Air Museum.

This is the real history of the Black Arrows, told in their words and their words alone - a unique collection of stories from a unique group of pilots who set the ground rules for formation aerobatics - rules that are still observed today.

"This is an absolute must for any aviation enthusiast" FlyPast Sept 2019

"Undoubtedly the best aviation DVD of the year." Jets Magazine.

"Fascinating and well supported by the accompanying footage." Aviation News

"A must-see for aviation and fast jet enthusiasts and a stunning piece of film work. If you are interested in aviation history, or the RAF, check this one out." Squidoo

* will work in most modern DVD players that support PAL and NTSC

Customer Reviews
4.9 Based on 9 Reviews
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United Kingdom United Kingdom
A Great Watch

My father flew in the 22 Loop and was very modest about his flying achievements and so I started to look around for more information about the Black Arrows and specifically the 22 Loop. After quite some searching I found this DVD a year or so ago and bought a couple of copies. It was exactly what I was looking for. Really informative and well put together. Up until watching the DVD, the Loop was something only briefly mentioned in the family. This brought it and the lifestyle of the pilots into the present day for me. It was great to see the faces and hear the voices of some of the people Dad had spoken about. Brilliant find. Thank you

Steve M.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Fantastic History

The DVD holds an amazing account of the history of the Black Arrows. It is a fantastic slice of our historical past. A really great view.

Gordon W.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Excellent Production

Very pleased with this DVD --well produced, professional and with no dumbing-down, which is a bonus these days. Everything you need to know about The Black Arrows! I'm old enough to remember seeing them several times in the late 50s. Can't praise this video enough. Thank you!

peter j.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
The Story of the Black Arrows

This is truly a wonderful insight into how the "Arrows" were formed and what life was like within triple one squadron and how well the whole team bonded not just the pilots but ground crew as well. Most of the flying sequences I had not seen before and were quite breath taking. It's great to see that the displays they were putting on over Sixty years ago are still forming the basis of what we see today what a visionary Roger Topp was. In my opinion the Hunter is one of the best aircraft that we have ever produced and this video shows it off in style. Two hours of absolute heaven if you like classic jets and aerobatics this is one video you must buy.

Ian C.
United Kingdom United Kingdom

I really enjoyed this well put-together film, which is full of interesting information and footage. In the 1980s I worked as a doctor in Canada, in partnership with Mike Thurley, who qualified in medicine after leaving the RAF. He is featured in the film and was the first pilot ever to survive a ground-level ejection.