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The Red Arrows do a flypast over Southampton

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The RAF Red Arrows will take to the sky over Southampton waters - on Thursday 2 July for a spectacular aerial display above Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2.  The world's leading premier aerobatics team will provide an unforgettable send-off for Queen Mary 2 and her passengers as she prepares to depart her homeport and continue the company's celebrations with her 175th anniversary crossing of the Atlantic.

Queen Mary 2 will arrive in Liverpool on 4th July, 175 years to the day that Cunard's first ship, Britannia, set sail from that port for Boston, via Halifax on 4 July 1840. Later that day Queen Mary 2 will follow in Britannia's wake and head for Halifax and Boston before arriving in New York on 14 July. Cunard's Marketing Director, Angus Struthers explained the significance of starting this historical voyage in Southampton:

" Our 175th anniversary year has included some remarkable moments and amazing sights. On Thursday 2 July, these are sure to continue as we are treated by the sight of the iconic Red Arrows performing a full aerobatic display in the skies above arguably the world's most famous ship. 

" Queen Mary 2 will be in her homeport of Southampton before embarking on a truly historical voyage as she sails to Liverpool to recreate the first scheduled Transatlantic Crossing 175 years ago, a service that has operated every year since.

" This is Cunard's opportunity to say thank you to Southampton and we hope everyone can join us for what promises to be an unforgettable event".

The Red Arrows, who celebrate 50 years of precision flying this year, will take to the sky over Marchwood at 1505 hours. Flying nine British-built Hawk jets, the Red Arrows 2015 display features a first half of synchronised formation aerobatics followed by a more dynamic second half.

For this season's show, there are a number of new moves added, including the shape of a Spitfire. This is in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the Royal Air Force's continued role in 2015 in securing the skies. In this manoeuvre, Reds 4 and 5 trail smoke to represent the wing tip vortexes seen in the intense battle over the United Kingdom.

Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: " The departure of Queen Mary 2 and events marking the 175th anniversary of Cunard should provide a great occasion and backdrop for the Red Arrows display in Southampton.

" I know, from our recent flypast over Liverpool and the company's Three Queens event, how much the public enjoy seeing the combination of these ships and our jets overhead, trailing red, white and blue smoke.

" As national ambassadors, the Red Arrows represent the United Kingdom and it is always a great honour to be a part of such a special event that will hopefully be seen by thousands of people".

Queen Mary 2 will leave Southampton at 1800 hours on July 2 before arriving in Liverpool in the early hours of Saturday, 4 July. Celebrating her return to Liverpool a series of free events have been organised across the City during American Independence Day weekend. Queen Mary 2 will leave Liverpool after an elaborate fireworks display at 2230 hrs on Saturday, 4 July. Queen Mary 2 will then make her way across the Atlantic to Halifax, Canada, the home of Sir Samuel Cunard, before heading south to Boston, before arriving in the Big Apple itself, New York.

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