Ben Murphy

Blade 4

Ben Murphy’s career highlights

  • Current Masterclass pilot in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship
  • Head of the Blades Racing & Aerobatic Teams
  • Occasionally flies as The Blades soloist
  • Former Red 1 of the RAF Red Arrows
  • Former Harrier pilot
  • Amassed almost 2,000hrs of display flying
  • Flown over 3,800hrs in military fast jet aircraft

Ben joined the Blades in 2015 and is a highly experienced and respected display pilot. In 2016, Ben competed in the Red Bull Air Race Challenger Cup and took over leadership of The Blades. 2017 saw Ben race in the Challenger Series of The Red Bull Air Race World Championship and a year later in 2018 Ben launched the Blades Racing Team after a promotion to the Masterclass. Ben competes against 13 world-class pilots in an eight race campaign for the ultimate racing title.

More about Ben

Ben became interested in flying at an early age and, inspired by his grandfathers who were both pilots in the RAF, joined the Air Cadets at school. He went on to gain his Private Pilot’s License before he could legally drive! Whilst studying at Newcastle University, he joined the University Air Squadron which gave him a taste of life in the Royal Air Force.

Ben joined the RAF in 1997 and finished his flying training in 2000, after which he was selected to fly the Harrier. He served operationally on 1(F) Sqn during the Gulf War of 2003 and later on IV(AC) Sqn in Afghanistan as a Qualified Weapons Instructor before becoming an instructor on 20(R) Sqn teaching young pilots how to operate the Harrier. Ben flew over 1000hrs on the Harrier and operated from all over the world.

In 2006, Ben was selected to join the world famous Red Arrows and in his first year flew in the Red 2 position. The following year, he was chosen to become part of the iconic Synchro Pair. After leading the Synchro Pair in 2009, Ben was selected to become the next Leader and Commanding Officer of the Red Arrows for the 2010 and 2011 display seasons. This was a huge honour and Ben became the second youngest Leader in the team’s history. During his five years on the Red Arrows, Ben flew over 480 public displays and amassed over 1500hrs display flying.

After leaving the RAF in 2013, Ben joined Lockheed Martin (a large US Defence firm) but continued his display flying. He flew the distinctive Miss Demeanour – a 1950s Hawker Hunter.

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