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GWP Protective flies high to support the Red Arrows

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 15th February 2024
Posted In: Case Studies | Company News xx 31179

Bespoke cases for pilot's equipment

GWP Protective design and manufacture high-performance cases for the much-loved display team

GWP Protective has gone above and beyond to help one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams.

The specialist protective case and foam insert team in Salisbury worked with the Red Arrows to produce several cases to protect vital equipment for the team. The cases are to travel worldwide with the team of pilots and engineers as they perform their well-known and much-loved displays.

GWP cases with a Red Arrows aircraft
GWP Protective produced a number of high performance cases for the Red Arrows. Image: ©UK MoD Crown Copyright, Images by AS1 Katrina Knox.

The need for protective cases

Flying the distinctive Hawk fast jets, each Red Arrows pilot is tailor-fitted with an aircrew protective helmet which provides communications, breathing apparatus and protection in the event of an emergency egress.

To protect them from gravitational forces while flying, pilots are fitted with a set of full-coverage anti-G trousers to help combat the effects of G-force on the body.

As the Red Arrows operate all over the UK and globally, the support team must transport the equipment carefully to ensure it is fully protected.

To allow this, GWP Protective used its expertise to create a number of bespoke flight cases for the team’s aircrew equipment.

Using custom foam inserts, GWP configured the cases to hold five helmets and five pairs of anti-G trousers securely. The cases, which also feature laser-etched illustrations of the Red Arrows in the lid, enable the ground team of survival equipment technicians to support the pilots around the world.

A protective case with pilot helmets
One of the protective cases with the pilots helmets. Image: ©UK MoD Crown Copyright, Images by AS1 Katrina Knox.

A successful project

The cases proved to be a great success.

Sergeant William Runciman, IC Survival for the RAF Aerobatic Team, commented:

The cases look good and satisfy our key requirements – the most important of these being to protect the vital equipment that allows the team to put on such incredible displays.

Richard Coombes, General Manager at GWP Protective, added:

We have created cases for all kinds of equipment and products, from simple tool kits all the way through to specialist automotive and motorsport parts worth thousands of pounds. The cases for the Red Arrows is definitely one of the more interesting projects we have worked on, though.

It was great to help such a well-known and much-loved aerobatic display team. The cases provide excellent protection for their equipment and are a perfect match for the aircraft’s distinctive liveries too.

Other specialist protective cases

GWP Protective has a long history of supplying high-performance protective cases with custom foam inserts – many of which users require for surprising or unusual applications.

For example, GWP donated several Storm cases to participants in the “Walking with the Wounded” challenge. The event saw twelve wounded servicemen – accompanied by Prince Harry, the charity’s patron – complete a race over 335km to the South Pole.

Walking with the Wounded
Eric Phillips - one of the polar guides taking part in the Walking with the Wounded challenge - poses with a Storm protective case

GWP provided a similar waterproof case to BBC Radio Wiltshire as a time capsule for their Corefest celebrations. And a range of cases is also supplied to customers to protect and transport items as diverse as Premier League football kits, lithium batteries, and F1 car parts.

GWP also won the 2013 “Innovation in Packaging Award” for its protective cases fitted with tracking devices, allowing customers to monitor their shipments and equipment.

More about the Red Arrows

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, commonly known as the Red Arrows, is one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams.

Putting on displays since 1965, the Red Arrows are famous for their trademark “Diamond Nine” formation and precision flying. By the beginning of 2023, they had flown almost 5,000 displays in 57 countries (the team’s 59th season).

Representing the speed, agility and precision of the Royal Air Force, the team is the public face of the service. They assist in recruiting to the Armed Forces, act as ambassadors for the United Kingdom at home and overseas and promote the best of British.

Based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, the team comprises pilots, engineers and essential support staff with frontline operational experience. Together, they demonstrate the excellence and capabilities of the Royal Air Force and the service’s skilled, talented people.

Red Arrows flying in formation
the Red Arrows are arguably the most well-known aerobatic team in the world.

Find out more

To discover more about the Red Arrows, please visit You can also view further details of the range of protective cases and foam inserts that GWP Protective manufacture and supply.

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About the Author

Matt Dobson, GWP Group Marketing Manager

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for over ten years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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