Imperial War Museum Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with two special consecutive events, celebrating the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and launching its 2010 season.
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF Today (Saturday 15 May) enables visitors to see the legendary aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, including the Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfires and Hurricanes. RAF pilots and ground crew 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 Band of the Royal Air Force College and the spectacular Queen’s Colour Squadron. In the Battle of Britain Hangar (Hangar 4), visitors can meet a costumed interpreter enacting the role of a Battle of Britain pilot, next to his trusty Hurricane, while in AirSpace, visitors can encounter a Rear Turret Gunner next to the imposing Lancaster Bomber. Ops 39-45 RAF Living History Group will be hosting Bomber Command briefings, giving visitors an insight into the highly-charged atmosphere of the pilot’s briefing room in 1940.
This special day will culminate with a Sunset Ceremony led by the Band of the Royal Air Force College and the Queen’s Colour Squadron, with a fly past by a Hurricane and Spitfire. It will provide a fitting conclusion to the day, honouring 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 the event – the only fly past will be in conjunction with the Sunset Ceremony. Following on from Saturday’s special event, the Spring Air Show (Sunday 16 May) sees the celebrated aircraft of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight take to the skies for some breathtaking aerial action. The Spring Air Show will demonstrate the breadth and range of aircraft flown by the Royal Air Force. It showcases the aircraft of the Royal Air Force from its inception to the present day.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight forms the centre-piece of this thrilling air show, with the Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfires (x3) and Hurricanes (x2) presenting an unforgettable flying display.
Complementing them will be the Eurofighter Typhoon, BAE Systems Hawk, Embraer EMB-312 Tucano, Tutor T Mark I and Sea King HAR 3/3A, which will perform a search and rescue demonstration. There will also be a display by a pair of Folland Gnats, the aircraft previously used by the Red Arrows, prior to the BAE Systems Hawk.
For many RAF display pilots, the 2010 air show season will be their first display season and the Spring Air Show their first display. Flight Lieutenant Tom “Cinders” Saunders makes his debut display at the Spring Air Show in the BAE Systems Hawk. The Black Cats, the Royal Navy’s helicopter display team, will present their own contribution to the day’s celebrations.
The team is composed of two Westland Lynx anti-submarine and anti-shipping helicopters, with the aircraft and crews drawn from No.702 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset. The team performs a display which mixes close formation, opposition and synchronised manoeuvres.
Popular Duxford-based aircraft displaying will include B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, the North American F-86 Sabre, Dragon Rapide G-AGJG and a Hawker Hurricane paired with a Hawker Nimrod.
On Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 May there will be about fifty trade stands selling a wide range of products, from aircraft-related books, prints and paintings, to gifts and clothing.
Spring Air Show: Free Child ticket with every Adult or Senior ticket and 10% DISCOUNT Offers only available when buying air show tickets in advance. Book online at www.iwm.org.uk/duxford or call our box office on 01223 499 353.