Imperial War Museum Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a fascinating range of events in 2010. The Museum celebrates the prominent role played by RAF Duxford in the aerial combat that changed the course of Second World War history.

Duxford and the Battle of Britain
From mid-April to December 2010

Following the popularity of the Duxford Goes to War exhibition in 2009, IWM Duxford presents a new photographic exhibition which portrays life at RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. These evocative photographs have captured the men and women who served at RAF Duxford at work and play, giving a unique insight into life at a fighter station during the  Second World War. It also serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during the summer of 1940.

The exhibition brings visitors face-to-face with some of the heroic characters who flew from Duxford to win the battle in the skies. There is no need to book in advance and admission to this exhibition is included in the standard admission price to the Museum.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF today
Meet the past, celebrate the present
Saturday 15 May

IWM Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a special event to celebrate the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and to launch the Flight’s 2010 season. Visitors will be able to see the legendary aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on ground display alongside contemporary Royal Air Force aircraft. RAF pilots and personnel will meet and mingle with visitors, who will also have the opportunity to chat with Battle of Britain veterans.

The event will also showcase the diverse roles of the contemporary RAF with a range of ground activities, including performances by the renowned Royal Air Force Musicians, and will culminate with a Sunset Ceremony in honour of all RAF personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

This exciting event demonstrates how the camaraderie and bravery of the Battle of Britain pilots continues to inspire the RAF’s contemporary mission. Please note that this event is not an air show. There will be no flying display as part of this event. Tickets for this event will be on sale shortly.

Spring Air Show
Featuring the very best of the RAF, past and present
Sunday 16 May

Following on from the special event on Saturday 15 May, where visitors can mingle with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Royal Air Force on the ground, today we take to  the skies for some breath-taking aerial action. See the RAF’s glorious past in flight alongside its sophisticated contemporary aircraft at the Spring Air Show. The Battle of Britain  Memorial Flight forms the centre-piece of a thrilling air show, where it shares the skies with historic Second World War aircraft and modern RAF assets.

The celebration of the Royal Air Force’s past and present continues on the ground with a range of activities and displays. There will be the opportunity to meet contemporary RAF personnel alongside the ghostly figures of Battle of Britain re-enactors bringing Duxford’s wartime atmosphere vividly to life.

Experience past and present in perfect harmony at this spectacular launch to IWM Duxford’s 2010 flying season.

All flying is subject to weather, serviceability and operational commitments. Tickets for this event can be purchased by telephone or online.

Summer holiday family activities
Friday 23 July to Tuesday 31 August

IWM Duxford’s summer holiday activities bring the Battle of Britain to life with a range of daily sessions for all the family. Activities include creating ‘make-do-and-mend’ peg aircraft, creating notice holders and Spitfire-related items. Families can learn about the aircraft involved in the Battle of Britain, discover what life was like for a fighter pilot and meet a costumed interpreter recreating the role of a Battle of Britain pilot.

Visitors can drop in and out of sessions – there is no need to book in advance and all activities are included in the standard admission price.

The Battle of Britain Air Show
Duxford’s role in the supreme aerial conflict
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September

IWM Duxford presents an evocative commemoration of the aerial battle that proved the strategic turning point in the Second World War. The Battle of Britain Air Show remembers the pilots and aircraft synonymous with this renowned aerial conflict, with a particular focus on the pilots stationed at RAF Duxford who came from across the globe to fight for world freedom. Expect to see squadrons of Battle of Britain aircraft at Europe’s best-preserved Second World War airfield.

Tickets for this event can be purchased online or by telephone.

Duxford, Spitfires and the Battle of Britain
Special Interest Lecture Day
Saturday 11 September
10.30am to 4.30pm
Marshall Auditorium, AirSpace

IWM Duxford’s Department for Learning presents a range of Special Interest Days enabling visitors to dig deeper into specific aspects of military history.

As part of the 2010 series of Special Interest Days, Duxford, Spitfires and the Battle of Britain explores, in greater depth, the momentous events of Britain’s ultimate air campaign and considers RAF Duxford’s role within the Battle of Britain.

Carl Warner, Research and Information Manager, Imperial War Museum Duxford, provides an overview of the Battle of Britain. Stephen Woolford MBE, Head of Interpretation and Collections and IWM Duxford, discusses RAF Duxford’s specific role within the aerial conflict.

Howard Cook, pilot for Historic Aircraft Collection, waxes lyrical about the thrill of restoring and flying a vintage Spitfire. A stalwart feature at IWM Duxford’s air shows, Howard has
piloted all Historic Aircraft Collection aircraft, is an Honorary Commander of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, US Air Force, and also flies for Vintage Wings of Canada.

To conclude this fascinating day, James Nicolson tells the amazing story of his uncle Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC. Flight Lieutenant Nicolson was the only Battle of Britain pilot,  and indeed the only RAF fighter pilot, to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Second World War. His inspirational story is truly incredible and marks him as a revered member of  ‘the Few’.

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the Battle of Britain – its historical context, heroic
pilots and iconic aircraft.