The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) has been caught making an embarrassing blunder on social media, by promoting Britain’s iconic RAF Red Arrows using a Russian jet on their poster, forcing them to delete the tweet.
Rather than illustrate an image of a BAE Hawk T1 jet, the poster depicted a silhouette of a much larger Sukhoi Su-30/33 or 35 fighter. Instead of positively helping to drum up support for a Red Arrows tour of the US – the largest in 25 years – the poster brought the wrong kind of attention.
Military aviation historian Andy Saunders told the Daily Mail that the two types of jets are not “remotely” similar, insisting that they are “vastly different, in every respect.” He suggested that the image chosen looked like a “Russian Sukhoi SU-30.”
This really is an embarrassing blunder… it isn’t even the correct nationality.
In a now-deleted tweet, the DIT detailed how the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team will be flying BAE Hawk T1 jets, which can reach an altitude of 48,000ft. A number of military aviation experts were quick to point out the error on Twitter.
A spokesman for the DIT said they deleted the tweet due to doubts over the image they used, claiming that they “wanted to be sure of its provenance following comments made on Twitter.”
“Both the Red Arrows and DIT are content with the image, however, we think it’s best to repost an image that more closely resembles the Red Arrows aircraft,” he added.
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