Who Does Military Overkill Sports Flyovers Better: USA vs UK

By Sam Biddle on at

The opening ceremony of the Olympics last night was kicked off by a giant, coloured-smoke flyover by the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows squadron. Pretty cool! Your pounds at work! But does it beat... The Super Bowl?

Those RAF boys just dropped thick ropes of red white and blue (no, not that kind) over London's Olympic stadium. The crowd roared. It's fun to watch powerful jets fly over you, especially when they're dropping coloured smoke. Everyone loves coloured smoke.

Everyone, that is, except the audience of the Super Bowl (and plenty of other yankee matches), who are treated to the Cold War thrill of a B-2 stealth bomber cruising overhead, close enough to yank out of the sky, high enough to drop its bellyful of ordnance onto a screaming crowd below. The patriotism is orgiastic.

They're both pretty awesome! But as this is the Olympics, and not an English doily swap meet, there must be a winner. So who's your pick? A few things to consider:


Red Arrows

  • Cool name—sort of sounds like a superhero team
  • Coloured smoke looks pretty, edible
  • Promotes teamwork, friendship, unity
  • There are a bunch of 'em, all flying at once, innately appealing to the eye
  • Red is a fun colour (?)
  • At around $20 mil apiece, the planes are a steal!
  • Are the Olympics the pinnacle of athleticism? Perhaps.

B-2 Stealth Bomber

  • Um, it's the STEALTH BOMBER. It carries nukes, built to destroy entire world capitals, it looks sweet, and each one costs A BILLION DOLLARS. A billion. It's also stealth, and has bomber in its name. In summary: nukes and cash.

Now let's discuss.

Red Arrows photo by Orla Chennaoi, B-2 photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty