Flying high - alumnus Jon Bond appointed as new team leader of Red Arrows

Jon Bond stands arms folded leaning on the wing of a plane. He is wearing a red flying suit and sunglasses. To the left is his helmet and in the background is more of the Red Arrows plane.

Squadron Leader Jon Bond. Imagery provided by MOD.

Squadron Leader Jon Bond has been appointed as the new team leader for the Royal Air Force's aerobatic display team and has now begun work building a nine-aircraft display team for the Red Arrows' 60th diamond season.

Eight Red Arrows planes flying over Malta. Smoke is coming from the back of each plane, with the view of the ground beneath them.
Red Arrows flying in Malta

Jon is joining the Red Arrows for the second time. During his first tour with the team, he flew as part of the Synchro Pair, who take part in the most dynamic parts of air displays. 

Jon says it is his main aim for the Red Arrows to reestablish the display team’s trademark Diamond Nine formation that hasn’t been seen since 2021. Jon will be coordinating the training and will design and choreograph the aerobatic show for the forthcoming season.  He will lead the formation, flying at the tip of the Diamond Nine shape.

The training for the new season will begin shortly at the team’s home base of RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.

Jon graduated with a MSc in Transport Policy and Business Management in 2006 following his bachelor’s degree in Air Transport Management, and he joined the Royal Airforce shortly afterwards.

Staff and students on the Loughborough campus were treated to a flypast by Jon and the rest of the team during graduation week in 2018 and in 2020 Jon visited the Loughborough campus with engineering colleague and fellow Loughborough alumnus, Christopher Hughes to give a talk to aeronautical engineering students.

Loughborough has a proud history of successful alumni flying in the Red Arrows with Ergonomics graduate, Simon Taylor on the team with Jon during his first deployment. Former Geography student, Stuart Roberts joined the team in 2022 and will continue to fly with Jon and the rest of the team this year.

To be selected for the world-famous Aerobatic Team is no mean feat. Pilots are required to take part in a minimum of 1,500 flying hours, complete a front-line tour and be assessed as above average in flying capability.

Congratulations Jon on becoming Red 1. We hope to see you flying high above campus again very soon.