First & Only female Red Arrow honoured by Queen

Red Arrows flypast
Red Arrows flypast

The first and only female Red Arrows pilot has been awarded made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queens birthday honours.

Kirsty Murphy, who now flies for The Blades Aerobatic Team, spent 17 years in the Royal Air Force flying fast jets before being appointed to the Red Arrows and spent two years with the team flying 136 public displays, 133 flypasts in 11 countries.

Kirsty Murphy (Image: The Blades)
Kirsty Murphy (Image: The Blades)

Since leaving the Royal Air Force Kirsty has worked to promote women in aviation, is an ambassador for UK Aviation and has recently been appointed to the advisory panel for the new World Championship Air Race programme.

Speaking on social media, Kirsty said she was “blown away” to receive the honour and was congratulated from all areas of aviation.

Her husband, air race pilot Ben Murphy said: “So proud of my amazing wife @kirstymurphy18 for being awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List!!! Her dedication to empowering young women in aviation has been awe inspiring. #soproud”

Other aviation honours include full-time Battle of Britain Memorial Flight pilot Flt Lt Andy Preece who serves as the team’s operations officer.

BBMF said “Congratulations to Flt Lt Andy Preece on his MBE! As the BBMF Operations Officer, Andy is one of only two pilots who are full time on the Flight. As well as his flying duties, he plans the flying programme which can include close to 1000 aircraft movements over the season alone.

About Nick Harding 1453 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.