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Squadron Leader Tom Bould

About Squadron Leader Tom Bould

Red 1 - Team Leader

Years with the Red Arrows: 2015-2017 and 2021-date
Joined the RAF: 2005

RAF career

As Team Leader, Tom is primarily responsible for all aspects of the display, from running the training programme to choreographing the show. He leads the aerobatic display.

After being streamed to fly fast-jets in the Royal Air Force, Tom was selected to be a ‘Creamie' qualified flying instructor’ - a term given to pilots who are traditionally selected to become flying instructors due to being above average through their advanced flying training. He was subsequently chosen to be the Tucano display pilot in 2010.

Tom completed tactical weapons training and was chosen to fly the Typhoon. During his frontline tour, Tom had several deployments to the Falkland Islands as well as flying in exercises in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

Tom was selected for the Red Arrows for the 2015-2017 seasons and became a member of the Synchro Pair for 2016-17. Highlights include a tour to China and Pacific region in 2016 and a Middle East visit in 2017.

Promoted to Squadron Leader, Tom became a Flight Commander on IV(AC) Squadron at RAF Valley teaching the next generation of fast-jet pilots in the Hawk T2.

Re-joining the Red Arrows, the 2023 season is his third year as Red 1 and Team Leader.

Education and life before the RAF

  • Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire
  • Educated at Woodhouse Grove School
  • While studying for his degree in aerospace engineering at Manchester University, Tom completed his elementary flying training as a member of Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron.

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