The Midair Squadron’s Canberra XH134 will perform its last public display of the season at the IWM Duxford Autumn Air Show on Sunday 13th October. Celebrating 40 years of air shows at IWM Duxford, XH134 will perform alongside other significant British aircraft including the Hawker Hurricane, a Gloster Gladiator and a variety of Spitfires.
Designed as the RAF’s first jet bomber, the Canberra had an exceptional career spanning 55 years of active service, before retiring in July 2006. Whilst serving in the RAF, the Canberra was responsible for strategic photographic reconnaissance, pilot training and enemy radar jamming and became one of Britain’s most successful and enduring jet combat aircraft. Following a complete restoration by C2 Aviation, XH134 will fly in the recently unveiled silver colour scheme of the new display team, the Midair Squadron.
Aircraft owner, Mike Davis, comments, “I’m delighted the Canberra is able to display this weekend and celebrate alongside an excess of historic British aviation excellence. A Canberra took part in the very first air show at IWM Duxford in October 1973, so it is a fitting tribute that she is back this weekend.”
In September, XH134 flew her inaugural public display at the Goodwood Revival, showcasing her new livery to an eager audience, and will shortly be flanked by two Hawker Hunter T7s in the Midair Squadron line up.
The recently launched website – www.midair-squadron.com – contains detailed information on each of the aircraft and their capabilities, plus video footage and images of the Canberra in action. For further information about the Autumn Air Show please go to iwm.org.uk.
NEWS: IWM Duxford-based Catalina takes on a round-Britain challenge
Commemorating a 100 year old flight in the aircraft’s own 70th birthday month
On Wednesday 21 August, Catalina G-PBYA, operated by Plane Sailing Air Displays Limited and based at IWM Duxford, undertakes a remarkable aviation challenge.
Honouring the daring flying expeditions of the pioneer aviators, the Catalina will undertake, in its centenary year, the 1913 Circuit of Britain flight, which was flown by pilot Harry Hawker and mechanic Harry Kauper, both Australians, in a Sopwith Waterplane.
The Catalina celebrates its 70th birthday this month, making it the oldest UK-based airworthy amphibian.
In 1913, the Circuit of Britain Race was the first major British competition for seaplanes. It was supported by Lord Northcliffe, the proprietor of the Daily Mail, who was a great fan of aviation races. Shell Aviation provided the lubricants for the original race and will be doing the same 100 years on.
The route in 1913, as reported by Flight magazine, started and finished at Southampton Water, with eight control points en route. These were the Royal Temple Yacht Club in Ramsgate, the Naval Air Station in Yarmouth, the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, the Palace Hotel in Aberdeen, the Naval Air Station in Cromarty, the Great Western Hotel in Oban, the Royal St George Yacht Club in Kingstown, Dublin and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in Falmouth.
While the airspace in 2013 is somewhat more restricted then 100 years ago, the crew of the Catalina intends to follow the 1913 route as closely as possible. The full route is outlined below. The crew will take off from IWM Duxford on Wednesday 21 August to complete the 1600 mile route over approximately five days. They will be flying over some key historic sites, including Kingston, where the Sopwith Factory was based; Hook in Chessington, where Harry Hawker is buried and Brooklands Aerodrome (now Brooklands Museum), where Harry Hawker learnt to fly and tested aircraft for use in the First World War.
The Catalina will also orbit the Classic Boat Museum at Cowes, which has on display a 1/8 scale replica of the Bat Boat tested by Harry Hawker in 1913.
The Catalina crew aspires to succeed where Harry Hawker and Harry Kauper did not.
Harry Hawker was the Chief Test Pilot for the Sopwith Aviation Company, while Harry Kauper was an experienced mechanic and Foreman of Works at Sopwith.
Although four aeroplanes were originally entered for this aerial challenge in 1913, of their competitors, Samuel Cody was killed in a flying accident on 7 August, while F K McLean withdrew his Short S.68 aircraft due to engine trouble. The Radley-England Waterplane was withdrawn for the same reason. Only the two Harrys took off on the day of the race.
Their first attempt ended at Yarmouth with a cracked cylinder head and pilot exhaustion. They started again on 25 August and managed to fly to just north of Dublin, but crashed in the sea when Harry Hawker’s foot slipped off the rudder while landing.
The aircraft was destroyed and Harry Kauper broke his arm. Harry Hawker got a soaking, but was otherwise unharmed. While the Daily Mail prize money of £5,000 could not be given, a consolation award of £1,000 was donated. Shell commissioned Mappin & Webb to make a model of the Sopwith Waterplane, which was presented to Harry Hawker.
The 2013 Catalina commemoration is led by pilot Jeff Boyling, who, like Harry Hawker, was born in Australia and shares a passion for aeronautical adventure. By marking this occasion, Jeff hopes to inspire younger generations with the wonder of flying and to keep the golden era of aviation alive today. Jeff said:
“Flying the Catalina G-PBYA is a huge privilege and honour. It is wonderful that this historic aircraft can pay tribute to a great aviator who was a real pioneer. May the memory of Hawker live on.”
Why not come down to IWM Duxford and see Jeff and the Catalina team depart in grand style as they take off for this challenging aerial expedition on Wednesday 21 August?
We’ll be tracking the Catalina’s progress on the Imperial War Museum Duxford facebook page and also via our twitter feed at https://twitter.com/I_W_M
AIRSHOW NEWS: Thrilling line-up announced for Flying Legends Air Show at Duxford
Over 50 aircraft are booked to appear at the Flying Legends Air Show, on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July, in a spectacular aerial celebration of historic aviation.
The Bremont Horsemen Flight Team will present the worldwide debut of their thrilling new display in a trio of Supermarine Spitfires, including two rare Mark I variants.
To showcase the incredible lineage of the Supermarine Spitfire, we are proud to present variants ranging from the Mark I to the Mark 19, flying alongside their old adversary, the Hispano Buchon (Messerschmitt Bf 109). These aircraft will take part in choreographed dogfights reminiscent of the Battle of Britain above IWM Duxford’s historic Second World War airfield.
The Fighter Collection is pleased to present a melee of Mustangs including two rare blue-nosed Mustangs, Moonbeam McSwine and Princess Elizabeth. They represent aircraft flown by Captain William T Whisner of the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group at RAF Bodney, Suffolk in 1944. When the 352nd Fighter Group discovered that they were to be honoured by a visit from the then Princess Elizabeth, they decided to christen Bill Whisner’s aircraft in her honour. Unimpressed by this imposition on his beloved Mustang, Bill soon changed the name to Moonbeam McSwine. Princess Elizabeth arrived at IWM Duxford in May this year to display as part of the Eagle Squadron commemoration at the Spring Air Show. This is a rare opportunity to view this US-based aircraft in the Duxford skies once more before her
return to the USA.
Making a welcome return is the Flying Bulls’ Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair reg. OE-EAS. The Flying Bulls’ stunning aerial performances always wow the crowds at the Flying Legends Air Show.
The biplane era will be celebrated by a four-ship display comprising of two Hawker Nimrod aircraft, a Hawker Demon and a Hawker Hind. These glorious aircraft are instantly reminiscent of the golden age of adventurous aviation.
Continuing this bygone theme, we are pleased to announce that two Gloster Gladiator aircraft will fly together for the first time at the Flying Legends Air Show and indeed anywhere else in the world.
A celebration of Curtiss aircraft includes The Fighter Collection’s Curtiss P-40B Warhawk , the only remaining airworthy survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack on 7 December 1941, and their Curtiss P-40F Warhawk, one of only two airworthy examples of this variant in the world.
Favourite aircraft returning to the Flying Legends Air Show include the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin-Stifutung Junkers Ju 52 and Messerschmitt 108; B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B; Dakota Norway DC3 and on Sunday 14 July only, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster will join the Flight’s Spitfire and Hurricane for a commemorative wartime display.
The wartime atmosphere continues across the museum. The Vintage Village, situated on the hangar base next to Wing Co Joe’s Café, offers the perfect nostalgic destination for some rest and relaxation.
Enjoy authentic thirties and forties songs sung in true Andrews Sisters-style by The Manhattan Dolls, who will have flown directly from New York to perform for visitors to the air show. The Wilmslow Concert Band will be performing 1940s swing band classics.
Don’t miss the chance to clamber aboard the Home Front Bus! This unique living history experience contains detailed reconstructions of a 1940s living room, a wartime shop, a bombed-out street and an air raid shelter. Enjoy a glass of fizz from the Prosecco Bar and take the weight off your feet in our traditional deckchair seating area. Complete your 1940s day by sitting in a replica Supermarine Spitfire!
Ops 1939-45 represent Battle of Britain-era RAF pilots and ground crew with uncanny accuracy. They will present a dispersal point display at the Flying Legends Air Show, where they will be chatting to visitors as they await the call to scramble. They will also be hosting Bomber briefings, where, as members of Bomber Command, they will tell you about your target for tonight and get you ready for your bombing mission.
The 42nd Field Hospital portrays US Army medical personnel from the Second World War, while the Screaming Eagles Living History Group will be representing servicemen who served with the 101st US Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Easy Company during the Second World War. They will have displays at the air show and will be bringing the 1940s to life in US style.
We’ve got fun family activities happening between 10am and 2pm, in AirSpace, next to the Lancaster, where you can get hands-on with RAF Bomber Command historical objects.
If you love the sound of a Merlin engine, don’t miss the dynamic display of seven instantly-recognisable historic engines on the airfield jet pan, including two Merlins, a Griffon, two Leonides, a Napier Lion and a Hercules.
Join us for another unforgettable Flying Legends Air Show! Advance booking has now closed but you can still purchase your ticket on the gate on each day of the air show.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Vulcan signs up for Clacton Airshow on August 23
The ever popular crowd-pulling Vulcan bomber will be appearing at the Clacton Air Show this summer. Tendring District Council (TDC), organisers of the event, has secured its appearance on Friday, August 23.
The Avro Vulcan, the most recognisable of the V-bombers, made its debut at the air show last year and proved a smash hit with people travelling from far and wide to get a glimpse.
The aircraft appearing at Clacton is the world’s last flying Avro Vulcan.
There had been fears that it would have to stop flying at the end of the year but earlier this month it was announced its future is secure through to the end of 2015 at least.
It is to receive a vital airframe modification that will ensure that she is airworthy for a while longer. The good news was made following extensive research by The Vulcan to the Sky Trust, the charity that operates the aircraft. The charity’s engineering team now believes it can solve the series of complex technical challenges that could have grounded her for good.
The Avro Vulcan was one of the most impressive aircraft of its time and remains so to this day, incorporating many advances in technology and aerodynamics when it was designed in the years after the Second World War. Its requirement was to fly long distances and drop nuclear bombs but the only war it ever took part in was a conventional one in the Falklands.
Alan Goggin, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, said the Vulcan is a major coup for the show “We promised that there was a big announcement to come – and they don’t come much bigger, or louder, than the Vulcan Bomber,” he said. “So many people said we had to get it back after last year’s display and I am delighted the team have pulled it off.”
Further details of other flights, activities and attractions will be unveiled over the coming weeks.
Cllr Goggin added that the addition of the Vulcan has financial implications for the two-day event which takes place on August 22 and 23.
“It would be fantastic if there was a firm or organisation out there which would be willing to sponsor that particular aircraft and I can promise them an excellent package should they wish to do so,” he said.
“We are also very hopeful that the appearance of the Vulcan will persuade people to dig deep and make a contribution when the buckets go round at the show for a donation.”
The Vulcan will be joining the Tutor, Tucano and Sea King helicopter, the world famous Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and Trig Aerobatic team in the programme – and there will be more to come.
The Clacton Air Show is the signature event on Tendring’s tourism calendar and a vital boost to the District’s economy – bringing in around £4 million more than would be generated over the two days without the event.
Anyone wanting information about sponsorship opportunities, hospitality, or trade space should contact 01255 686683 or 01255 686654.
AIRSHOW NEWS: A worldwide debut and some 1940s nostalgia at the Flying Legends Air Show
The Bremont Horsemen Flight Team performs its worldwide debut Spitfire display at the Flying Legends Air Show 2013
And the nostalgic Vintage Village makes a welcome return!
The Flying Legends Air Show (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July) sees a welcome return by The Bremont Horsemen Flight Team, best known for their masterful handling of P-51 Mustangs which they flew at Flying Legends in 2009 and 2011.
At this year’s Flying Legends Air Show, The Bremont Horsemen Flight Team presents the worldwide debut of their thrilling new display in a trio of Supermarine Spitfires.
The Bremont Horsemen are Steve Hinton, Dan Friedkin and Ed Shipley, highly-skilled warbird pilots who share a passion for showcasing historic aircraft.
Steve Hinton has been performing at air shows around the world for more than 35 years, flying over 150 types of aircraft. His restoration company, Fighter Rebuilders LLC, has restored more than 40 warbirds to pristine flying condition.
Steve has been President of Planes of Fame Air Museum since 1994. He is a founding member of the Motion Picture Pilots’ Association, a civilian pilot with the USAF Heritage Flight, a world speed record holder, a Reno Air Race champion and has enjoyed more than 7,000 hours flying in Second World War fighter aircraft. Steve was inducted into the EAA Warbird Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the Art Sholl Showmanship Award from the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) in 2010.
Ed Shipley’s air show career began with the Six of Diamonds T-6 Texan formation aerobatic team, where he flew as right wing and lead pilot. He is a founding member of The Horsemen. Ed was a 747 pilot for Atlas Air and has flown at air shows for over 20 years in the T-6 Texan, P-51 Mustang, F-4U4 Corsair and F-86 Sabre.
He has piloted a P-51 Mustang across the Atlantic and flown an F-4U Corsair from a nuclear aircraft carrier. Ed was a board member of the International Council of Air Shows and is currently an ICAS ace evaluator for warbirds and jet aircraft.
Dan Friedkin grew up enraptured by flight. As a young teenager, he began flying gliders and quickly progressed to pilot a variety of tail-wheel aircraft and helicopters.
By the age of 18, Dan was rated in the Lockheed Jetstar. Two years later, he became enthralled with the P-51 Mustang, beginning a life-long fascination with warbirds. Dan flies the T-6 Texan, P-51 Mustang, P38 Lightning, F-86 Sabre, Grumman F6F Hellcat, Grumman F8F Bearcat, F4U-4 Corsair, Hawker Hurricane and various marks of Supermarine Spitfire. He is founder and chairman of the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation and one of nine civilian pilots qualified to fly in formation with US Air Force single-ship demonstration teams.
1940s nostalgia in the Vintage Village
Following the success of the Vintage Village at the Flying Legends Air Show 2012, it makes a welcome return this year in all its bygone charm!
Situated on the historic hangar base next to Wing Co Joe’s Café, the Vintage Village offers a nostalgic destination for rest and relaxation. Enjoy a glass of fizz or two from the stylish Prosecco Bar and watch the world go by in our traditional deckchair seating area.
Enjoy authentic thirties and forties songs, sung in true Andrews Sisters style by The Manhattan Dolls, direct from New York. The Manhattan Dolls have wowed the crowds at Flying Legends over the past two years with their stylish and glamorous performances. Sing along with them as they perform instantly recognisable wartime hits or cut a rug with a jitterbug on the hangar base.
Accompanying The Manhattan Dolls, and playing musical interludes, will be the Wilmslow Concert Band. They will perform swing and big band hits of the thirties and forties for your listening pleasure.
Enjoy a unique living history experience aboard the Home Front Bus. This classic double-decker bus contains detailed reconstructions of a 1940s living room, a wartime shop, a bombed-out street and an air raid shelter. Containing period features and artefacts, the Home Front Bus replicates the sights, sounds and smells of the Home Front, creating an authentic trip back in time.
Also on display in the Vintage Village will be a replica Supermarine Spitfire. Why not complete your day of nostalgia by having your photograph taken next to this iconic British aircraft?
Enhance your vintage experience by pre-ordering an IWM Duxford Picnic Hamper. Soak up the atmosphere in the Vintage Village and sink back into a traditional deckchair as you enjoy a perfect ration-free picnic lunch for two, including a scrumptious red onion and goats cheese tart, homemade bloomer sandwiches, hand-cut crisps, a seasonal salad, mixed olives, a refreshing Pimms summer berry jelly and traditional lemonade, all served in a disposable hamper which includes cutlery, plates and glasses. Forties food never tasted so good!
The IWM Duxford picnic hamper for two costs £26.50. To order, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 497 501. Please give a minimum of three days notice for your picnic order. Picnics are then collected from Wing Co Joe’s Café on the day.
Join us for some forties fun in the Vintage Village!
Over 50 historic aircraft are already booked to appear at the Flying Legends Air Show 2013. In addition to the first ever performance by The Bremont Horsemen Spitfire display, there will also a rare chance to see two iconic British Gloster Gladiator aircraft display over IWM Duxford’s historic airfield.
A worldwide following has ensured that the Flying Legends Air Show is the heritage air show event in the aviation calendar. Each of the historic aircraft on display at the Flying Legends Air Show is a living tribute
to the outstanding skills of the people who built, maintained and flew them and to the dedication of those who have brought these stunning aircraft back to life.
The Flying Legends Air Show presents these iconic aircraft in a spectacular display that honours their history and aerial achievements. The flying display promises an unmissable fusion of power, sound, excitement and nostalgia as a series of rare and unique piston-engined aircraft perform their breathtaking flights over the historic airfield at IWM Duxford.
Buy now and save!
Purchase your tickets for the Flying Legends Air Show by Monday 1 July at our advance booking rate and enjoy 10% off our ‘on the day’ ticket prices.
On Monday 27 May, the Eagle Squadron will carry out a commemorative formation flypast of American Second World War airfields to honour the American airmen who died whilst fighting for their country from British soil.
The Eagle Squadron’s historic Hawker Hurricane X, Supermarine Spitfire Mk I, Republic P-47G Thunderbolt and North American P-51C Mustang Princess Elizabeth will fly alongside B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B in a poignant commemoration of the legendary fighter and bomber aircraft flown by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in England.
Leading the Eagle Squadron and B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B will be two-seater P-51 Mustang Miss Velma, which will be carrying a very special passenger, United States Army Air Forces veteran Clarence ‘Bud’ Anderson. The Eagle Squadron formation takes off from IWM Duxford at approximately 11.48am.
This year, IWM Duxford commemorates the 70th anniversary of the United States Army Air Forces arriving at RAF Duxford. From its arrival at RAF Duxford in April 1943, the 78th Fighter Group flew P-47 Thunderbolts on bomber escort duty, switching to P-51 Mustangs in December 1944.
From IWM Duxford, the Eagle Squadron formation’s first destination is Bassingbourn Barracks, which was home to the USAAF 91st Bomb Group from August 1942 to June 1945. The 91st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses, the most famous of which was the Memphis Belle.
On leaving Bassingbourn, the Eagle Squadron will fly over Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley, where a memorial ceremony is being held.
The formation then continues to RAF Mildenhall, home to the modern-day United States Air Force in Europe, and from there to Bodney airfield, which was home to the 352nd Fighter Group from May 1943 until V E Day.
From Bodney, the aircraft continue to RAF Snetterton Heath, which was used by the 8th Air Force 96th Bombardment Group from June 1943 until its deactivation in December 1945.
Then onwards to RAF Knettishall, which was built for the 8th Air Force during 1942-1943 with a specification to accommodate heavy bombers. It was home to the 388th Bombardment Group from June 1943 until V E Day.
The next destination is RAF Horham, which was handed over to the 13th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 3rd Bomb Division in 1942. Horham was mostly home to the 95th Bombardment Group (Heavy) which flew B-17 Flying Fortresses in bombing campaigns until V E Day.
From Horham, the Eagle Squadron over flies RAF Thorpe Abbots, which was originally built as a satellite station to RAF Horham.
The 100th Bombardment Group of the 8th Air Force arrived at Thorpe Abbots in June 1943. The Group earned the nickname The Bloody Hundredth due to heavy losses incurred during eight missions to Germany. A dozen or more aircraft were lost on a single mission.
The 100th Bombardment Group flew its last mission on 10 April 1945; its 306th combat mission.
The commemorative flight then continues to RAF Halesworth, which was home to the 56th Fighter Group, flying P-47 Thunderbolts, and then to the 489th Bombardment Group (Heavy), flying B-24 Liberators.
From Halesworth, the Eagle Squadron makes its way to RAF Leiston. This will be an emotive experience for veteran Bud Anderson, as he flew his P-51 Mustang Old Crow with the 357th Fighter Group from this airfield. At this point, P-51 Mustang Miss Velma, carrying Bud Anderson, peels away from the formation for a reminiscent return to RAF Leiston.
Following on from Leiston, the Eagle Squadron continues to North Weald airfield, which was home to two American Eagle Squadrons in 1940, flying Supermarine Spitfires.
The Eagle Squadron’s final destination before returning to IWM Duxford is RAF Debden. This airfield was home to RAF Eagle Squadrons which were later formed into the 4th Fighter Group when the USAAF took over the airfield.
On returning to IWM Duxford, the Eagle Squadron will perform a missing man formation and a display before landing.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Iconic “Huey” Vietnam era and Falkland Veteran helicopter to appear at Military and Flying Machines Show
The most iconic helicopter of them all! Military and Flying Machines is extremely proud to announce the attendance of one of only two flying Huey Vietnam Era Helicopters in the UK and making its first ever appearance at the show both as a flying and static display.
The image of American troops disembarking from a Huey has become an iconic image of the Vietnam War, and can be seen in many films, video games and television shows including The Green Berets, Platoon, Hamburger Hill, Apocalypse Now, Casualties of War, and Born on the Fourth of July. It is prominently featured in We Were Soldiers as the main helicopter used by the U.S. Author Robert Mason recounts his career as a UH-1 “Slick” pilot in his memoir, Chickenhawk.
The HU-1A first entered service with the 101st Airborne Division, the Army quickly pressed the new helicopter into operational service and Hueys arrived in Vietnam in March 1962. The Huey has long been a symbol of US involvement in Vietnam, and as a result of that conflict, has become one of the world’s most recognized helicopters.
During service in the Vietnam War, the Huey was used for various purposes and various terms for each task abounded. Hueys tasked with a ground attack or armed escort role were outfitted with rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns. These gunships were commonly referred to as Frogs or Hogs if they carried rockets, and Cobras or simply Guns if they had guns. Hueys tasked for troop transport were called Slicks due to an absence of weapons pods. Slicks did have door gunners, but were generally employed in the troop transport and medevac roles.
There’s so much more to see and do whilst visiting the Military & Flying Machines 2013 show, our excpectional 2 hour flying schedule, including the awesome B-17 “Sally B”, helicopter pleasure flights, 300+ military vehicles, living history displays, live entertainment, arena activities, including big bangs and even bigger vehicles! Kids’ activities, vintage funfair, refreshments, stalls, meet the veterans – there truly is something for everyone and at great value for money!
For the latest updates on the show visit www.militaryandflyingmachines.org.uk
AIRSHOW NEWS: Experience the Spring Air Show in American style
We’re now only days away from the Spring Air Show (Sunday 26 May), where we’ll be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the American air forces arriving at RAF Duxford in the Second World War.
Commencing at 2pm, the flying programme presents a wide range of historic American aircraft, including the first-ever display by the Eagle Squadron, which will open the flying display.
We’ve just had confirmation that the Eagle Squadron will also fly in formation with the Red Arrows, giving a spectacular finale to the Spring Air Show. This momentous occasion is a break in tradition for the Red Arrows and honours the historic Anglo-American relationship that has endured at IWM Duxford since the latter stages of the First World War.
The magnificent sight of the Eagle Squadron’s historic Hawker Hurricane X , Supermarine Spitfire Mk I, Republic P-47G Thunderbolt and North American P-51C Mustang Princess Elizabeth alongside the modern Hawk jet aircraft of the Red Arrows will be a unique air show moment never to be forgotten!
There’s plenty of American atmosphere to soak up too as you explore the museum during the morning of the Spring Air Show.
There will be cheerleading displays throughout the morning on the hangar base in front of Wing Co Joe’s Café.
Andrews Sisters-style singing group The Three Belles will perform nostalgic 1940s songs on the hangar base at 11am and 12.15pm.
Colonel Richard Graham makes a welcome return to IWM Duxford, hosting his popular talks around the SR-71 Blackbird in the American Air Museum. His talks will take place at 10.30am and noon. Colonel Graham will also be signing copies of his new book SR-71: The Complete Illustrated History of the Blackbird.
Also in the American Air Museum will be a display from Madingley American Cemetery, Britain’s only Second World War American cemetery. Find out more about the American servicemen who lost their lives fighting on British shores.
Second World War United States Army Air Forces veteran Bud Anderson will be signing books and chatting to visitors in the Tower Shop between 11am and noon.
The Rangers Re-enactments living history group portrays the 2nd Ranger Battalion with the uniforms and equipment that they would have used on Omaha Beach on D-Day. They will have an evocative living history display next to the Control Tower.
Last, but not least, the stunning photographic exhibition Somewhere in England: Portraits of the Americans in Britain 1942 to 1945 can be seen in the Mezzanine gallery in AirSpace.
These striking images, many of which have not been seen by the public before, show the range and diversity of the roles undertaken by the men of the United States Army Air Forces and the women of the Women’s Army Corps and the Red Cross – it wasn’t just pilots and ground crew that kept the aircraft flying.
We tell the individual stories of these men and women, their wartime experiences in Great Britain and how their own personal war ended.
The photographs also capture rare off-duty moments and show how the American airmen became part of the community in which they were based.
In addition to the American atmosphere that can be enjoyed across the museum, there will also be children’s rides, the opportunity to explore retro 1950s and 1960s commercial airliners in true Pan Am
style, tank riding and lots of enticing shopping opportunities.
Join us this Sunday for the Spring Air Show as we remember the time when the Stars and Stripes flew at RAF Duxford.
AIRSHOW NEWS: Red Bull Aviation Icons to Shine at Air Tattoo
Two iconic American warbirds rarely seen in the UK are set to steal the show at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds.
The stunning Lockheed P-38L Lightning and Vought F4U-4 Corsair, which form part of the Flying Bulls’ fighter collection based in Salzburg, Austria will take part in the Air Tattoo’s seven-hour flying display on July 20-21.
The Lightning, which will be making its Air Tattoo debut piloted by Raimund Riedmann, has a distinctive twin boom design and a sleek, highly polished metal finish that guarantees it will shine at this summer’s airshow. The dark blue Corsair will stand out as one of only two airworthy examples in Europe.
Both aircraft types have long since assured their place in aviation history. The Lightning first flew with the US Army Air Force in 1939 and it proved so effective as a twin-engine combat aircraft that the Luftwaffe nicknamed it ‘Der Gabelschwanz Tuefel’, or ‘the fork-tailed devil’. As the war went on, the Lightning not only performed a combat role but many were fitted with cameras and used as reconnaissance aircraft, providing valuable intelligence data throughout the conflict.
Nicknamed ‘Hose Nose’, the US Navy’s F4U-4 Corsair was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of WW2. As well as being an outstanding fighter, the aircraft proved to be an excellent fighter-bomber, serving almost exclusively in the latter role throughout the Korean War and during the French colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria. Displaying the aircraft will be former French Air Force Mirage 2000 pilot Eric Goujon.
Air Tattoo Chief Executive Tim Prince said these two aircraft were wonderful additions to the flying display which also features iconic British warbirds such as the Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane.
He said: “Iconic US warbirds such as the Lightning and Corsair are not only beautiful aircraft but they are rarely seen on these shores. I am sure they will provide one of the many highlights at what is looking like a very exciting Air Tattoo.”
Among other aircraft taking part in the Air Tattoo’s flying display are an RAF Typhoon, a Swedish Air Force Gripen, the Vulcan bomber, the barnstorming Breitling Wingwalkers and the RAF Red Arrows.
The Royal International Air Tattoo takes place at RAF Fairford on July 20-21. For a full list of all the visitor opportunities and to purchase tickets, visit airtattoo.com or call 0800 107 1940. All under-16s go free. Free parking.
AIRSHOW NEWS: First-ever display by the Eagle Squadron opens the Spring Air Show
The Spring Air Show (Sunday 26 May) commences its flying programme in superb style with the first-ever display of the Eagle Squadron, a historic four-ship comprising a Hawker Hurricane, Supermarine Spitfire, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and North American P-51 Mustang.
P-51C Mustang Princess Elizabeth was shipped over fromthe USA specifically for the Spring Air Show.The Hurricane and Spitfire have received new paint schemes especially for this display.The Eagle Squadron will fly in four-ship formation, as pairs and also in an evocative display alongside
B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B.
The four aircraft comprising the Eagle Squadron represent the history of American pilots serving in Europe during the Second World War. Spitfires and Hurricanes were flown by American volunteers in the Royal Air Force prior to the United States officially entering the war. Soon, these American recruits were formed into their own squadrons within the RAF, known as Eagle Squadrons. The display is named in their honour, with the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang representing themassive effort by the United States Army Air Forces during the latter half of the conflict.
The aircraft will be piloted by Dan Friedkin, Ed Shipley, Steve Hinton and Paul Bonhomme. Americans Dan, Ed and Steve are best known as the Bremont Horsemen Flight Teamand have performed spectacular P-51 Mustang displays at the Flying Legends Air Show and at events around the globe. Paul
Bonhomme is a Red Bull Air Race pilot and has displayed historic aircraft at over 700 air shows to date.
Eagle Squadron lead Dan Friedkin has worked closely with aviation photographer and historian John Dibbs to develop andmanage the concept. Dan said “It is a great honour to present the Eagle Squadron, a vivid aerial tribute to the 70th anniversary of American involvement in the Second World War. We look forward to debuting this tribute, flying in the vintage fighters which once soared over Europe, in memory of the brave aces who piloted themand the greater Anglo-American air power alliance.”
The Spring Air Show takes place on the 70th anniversary of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting RAF Duxford to welcome the 78th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces to Great Britain. From its arrival at RAF Duxford in April 1943, the 78th Fighter Group flew P-47 Thunderbolts on bomber escort duty, switching to P-51 Mustangs in December 1944.
Richard Ashton, Director of IWMDuxford, said “I’mthrilled that the Eagle Squadron will be presenting its debut flying display as the centrepiece of our flying programme at the Spring Air Show. The Eagle Squadron represents, in one flying display, Duxford’s Second World War American air force history, from the Eagle Squadron volunteers flying Spitfires and Hurricanes with the RAF, to the 78th Fighter Group flying Thunderbolts and Mustangs.”
Each Eagle Squadron aircraft features the paint scheme andmarkings of American pilots whose inspiring wartime stories stand the test of time.
Hawker Hurricane AE977 G-CGTK has been painted as P3886 for the show, with coding UF-K, representing a Hurricane of No.601 (County of London) Squadron. P3886 was flown by Americans William M L Fiske III and Carl R Davis.
Billy Fiske – No.601 (County of London Squadron), Royal Auxiliary Air Force – was one of only 11 American pilots flying in the Battle of Britain. Flying Hurricanes fromTangmere, he was credited as a natural fighter pilot and was popular amongst his peers. His wartime career ended when a German
gunner put a bullet through his reserve fuel tank. His engine cut out immediately, but knowing that his Hurricane was essential to the war effort, he elected to nurse the aircraft back to Tangmere rather than bail out and save himself. Billy made it back to Tangmere, skimming over the hedge in themidst of an enemy bombing raid on the airfield. He landed safely, butmoments later his aircraft exploded, trapping himinside. He was rescued from the burning cockpit, suffering severe burns to his hands and face. Later that night in hospital, he was reported to be in great spirits, but only 48 hours later, he died fromshock resulting from his severe injuries.
Billy was buried close to Tangmere, with his tombstone bearing the epitaph ‘He died for England’. The following year, the British government unveiled a plaque to hismemory in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, enscribed ‘An American citizen who died that Englandmight live.’ Only 29 years old, Billy Fiske was the first American to die in service with the RAF during the Second World War.
Carl Davis – No.601 (County of London) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force – had his first taste of combat on 28 November 1939, flying a Blenheimduring the successful BorkumRaid, which attacked the Luftwaffe seaplane base on the Frisian Islands. Five seaplanes were destroyed during the surprise attack
with no damage to the Blenheim squadron.
In March 1940, the squadron received its first Hawker Hurricanes. On 11 July 1940, Carl Davis made his first combat kill, shooting down a Bf 110. Having joined the RAF much earlier thanmost American volunteers, Carl’s experience served himwell during the Battle of Britain. His final tally of nine-and-a-half aerial victories made him a Double Ace and equaled those claimed together by the other ten Americans who saw combat during the Battle of Britain. In August 1940, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
On 6 September 1940, 601 Squadron were sent out on a final scramble before taking some much-needed leave. Carl had flownmissions consistently for 12 weeks. Thatmorning, the squadron was taken by surprise by a large formation of Bf 109s over Kent. Carl’s aircraft was one of four Hurricanes
destroyed in the attack. His aircraft broke in two as it plummeted towards the ground. He crashed, inverted, into a back garden in the village of Matfield.
The police officer who first arrived at the scene discovered Carl strapped into his burnt and broken aircraft with his feet still on the rudder bars. Carl Davis, like Billy Fiske, was only 29 years old.
Supermarine Spitfire MkIa AR213 G-AIST was one of the last Mark I Spitfires constructed. For the Eagle Squadron display, it is painted in themarkings of Pilot Officer WilliamR Dunn of No.71 (Eagle) Squadron, RAF Voluntary Reserve.
Bill Dunn grew up on the plains of Minnesota. He was determined to fly but ended up in the infantry twice – first in the USA and secondly in Canada. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force was not accepting American pilots, so he joined the Canadian Army instead and was
sent to fight in England. Luckily for Bill Dunn, the Air Ministry soon sent out a notification to all Commonwealth armed forces asking for any personnel with adequate flying experience to sign up for the RAF. The stated flying experience was 500 hours. Bill only had 160 hours, but, according to his memoirs, his ‘pencil slipped on the application form’ and he was officially accepted into the RAF in December 1940.
Training on type usually lasted six weeks but after amere four days, Bill was sent to the newly-formed No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron. He was assigned Hurricane XR-D and sent straight into combat. His first dogfight left himterrified, but he claimed his first kill in July 1941, becoming the first Eagle Squadron pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft.
The squadron began receiving Spitfire Mk Ias in late July 1941. Having shot down four enemy aircraft to date, Bill Dunn gained Ace status on 27 August, shooting down a further two Bf 109s whilst providing cover to Blenheims attacking steel factories at Lille. During the flight, Bill and his aircraft were badly damaged by a Bf 109. Bullets ripped through Bill’s legs and glanced off his skull. 20mmcannon fire
destroyed his instrument panel and blew the toes off his right foot.
Bill’s victoriesmade himthe first Eagle Squadron Ace and the first American Ace of the Second World War. However, the terrible injuries he sustained left himhospitalised for several months. Doctors saved his foot and he was granted leave in the United States, followed by a peaceful posting as an instructor in Canada.
Bill returned to his Eagle Squadron only to pick up his kit before heading home. In 1943, he received orders to join the United States Army Air Forces. By March 1944, he was back in England, flying P-47 Thunderbolts with the 406th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force. He remained with the United States
Air Force, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel. He passed away in 1995.
Republic P-47G Thunderbolt G-CDVX, built under license by Curtiss, is one of only two airworthy Razorback Thunderbolts in the world. It is painted to represent SNAFU, the aircraft flown by 1st Lieutenant Severino B Calderon of the 84th Fighter Squadron, part of the 78th Fighter Group based at
Severino B Calderon enlisted in February 1943 at the age of 22. He became SNAFU’s regular pilot and, surviving the war, remained in the United States Army Air Force, transferring to the 56th Fighter Group.
Tragically, he was killed in a P-51 Mustang crash in August 1946 at the age of 25.
By the end of the Second World War, the 78th Fighter Group had claimed a total of 688 enemy aircraft destroyed. 50 pilots were credited with over half of those victories. They received two Distinguished Unit Citations for ground attack successes.
P-51C Mustang Princess Elizabeth N487FS was shipped over fromthe USA specifically to take part in the Eagle Squadron display.
The aircraft is painted in themarkings of the original P-51 Mustang Princess Elizabeth, flown by 1st Lieutenant William T Whisner of the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces, at the time of the D-Day invasion.
The original Princess Elizabeth only wore her D-Day stripes for a day, as the aircraft was shot down by ground fire, on 6 June 1944, over France. Another pilot, Lieutenant Robert Butler, was flying her that day.
He parachuted safely behind Allied lines and soon returned to duty, but the aircraft was lost.
Bill Whisner, Princess Elizabeth’s regular pilot, began his SecondWorld War flying career on P-47 Thunderbolts with the 487th Fighter Squadron. Initially providing bomber escort cover, the P-47’s short range impeded its ability to get involved in the action. A change of escort tactics provided the unit with more opportunities to engage with the enemy and Bill’s first kill came within days, destroying a Fw 190 which had just shot down a B-17 Flying Fortress.
In March 1944, the 352nd Fighter Group was equipped with P-51 Mustangs and its success rate dramatically improved. By the end of April 1944, Bill had been made an Ace.
As was customary in aerial warfare, all fighter aircraft were nicknamed by their respective pilots, with names and accompanying insignia painted onto the aircraft’s nose. At this point, Bill was flying the only unnamed Mustang on the squadron and was not impressed to discover that his P-51 Mustang had been christened without his knowledge or input. An 8th Air Force Press Officer decided to honour an impending visit by Princess Elizabeth by naming a Mustang after her. Unfortunately for Bill, his commanding officers agreed with the idea and Whisner’s aircraft was so named. He endured a lot of
teasing fromhis fellow pilots and did not welcome the resulting publicity.
Bill received his first Distinguished Service Cross for actions against enemy fighters on 21 November 1944 while escorting bomber aircraft deep into Germany. Set upon by a large formation of enemy fighters, Bill was credited with destroying six Fw 190s and twomore probable kills.
He won a Silver Star for a strafing attack against a heavily defended railway junction on 24 May 1944.
Separated from his unit with a damaged aircraft, he pressed home his attack, destroying no less than ten locomotives. One of his attacking runs was so low that his canopy was sprayed with oil froman exploding train. The official dispatch stated, “this outstanding record attests to LieutenantWhisner’s gallantry, indomitable fighting spirit and skill as a pilot.”
His second Distinguished Service Cross was awarded for airfield defence in Belgiumon 1 January 1945. As the 362nd Fighter Group’s Belgian base came under attack, an hour-long low altitudemass dogfight ensued. Bill destroyed a Fw 190 but then was hit by 20mmcannon fire. Despite a damaged aileron and
an oil-covered canopy, he carried on fighting and proceeded to shoot down two Me 109s and a further Fw 190.
By the end of the Second World War, the 352nd Fighter Group had claimed 519 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air and 287 destroyed on the ground. Bill Whisner had claimed 15 and-a-half victories, putting him in the top 20 of United States Army Air Forces Aces in the European Theatre of Operations.
He also reached Ace status in the Korean War, becoming one of only seven pilots to achieve Ace status in both the SecondWorld War and the Korean War. He was one of only three pilots to be awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses, winning a third for actions in Korea. He retired from the United States Air Force with the rank of Colonel and passed away in July 1989.
It is the stories of these courageous and determined individuals, and many more like them, that we honour in the Spring Air Show.
The Eagle Squadron forms the centrepiece of the Spring Air Show where historic US warbirds take to the skies as we remember the time when the stars and stripes flew at RAF Duxford.
Purchase your tickets for the Spring Air Show by Monday 13 May at our advance booking rate and enjoy 10% off our ‘on the day’ ticket prices. Also, one free child ticket is available with every adult or senior ticket purchased in advance. http://www.iwm.org.uk/duxford