AN RAF weapons expert from North Yorkshire is preparing for a high-flying summer - as part of the world-famous Red Arrows display team.

Senior aircraftman Gaz Lewis will join a ten-strong team of engineers known as the Circus who will look after specific planes and pilots during the squad's forthcoming spectacular display season.

It will mean the Harrogate-born airman travelling as a passenger in one of the Red Arrows' two-seater Hawk aircraft as they fly between more than 90 venues throughout the UK, Europe and North America - at speeds of up to 350mph.

"Being part of the Circus team is an amazing opportunity," said 25-year-old weapons technician Gaz, who attended Rossett School in Harrogate before joining the RAF at 17, since when he has completed two tours of Afghanistan and also taken part in training exercises aboard HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious.

"It is one of the most sought-after roles in the RAF as you get to fly regularly in the back seat of the Hawk, going all over the world."

Gaz's role with the Red Arrows will see him take responsibility for serving his allocated aircraft between displays to ensure it is safe to take to the air again.