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IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show enjoyed by thousands

A Battle of Britain formation flies above the Hundon Plough. Picture: David Rowlinson ANL-150921-133205001
A Battle of Britain formation flies above the Hundon Plough. Picture: David Rowlinson ANL-150921-133205001

The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show saw a sell-out crowd experience the history and atmosphere of Duxford’s Battle of Britain heritage on Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the flights, like the one above that was pictured by David Rowlinson, as it flew in front of the Hundon Plough, on Brockley Green, passed over the Haverhill area.

Visitors to IWM Duxford met living history groups who demonstrated aspects of RAF Fighter Command including fighter pilots awaiting the call to scramble, alongside WAAFs and ground crew mechanics.

The RAF Wyton Voluntary Band performed rousing tunes on the hangar base at the historic heart of IWM Duxford.

The flying display commenced with a poignant scramble, where two Hispano HA-112 Buchon aircraft and a Messerschmitt Bf 108 flew in as the instantly recognisable sound of an air raid siren was heard across the airfield.

On the sound of a scramble bell, living history interpreters representing RAF fighter pilots ran to scramble as a Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire took off to intercept the German fighter aircraft.

Among the many other displays on the weekend was one by a Bristol Blenheim Mark I with two Hawker Hurricanes and a Sea Hurricane.

The weekend also included a number of 1930s aircraft flown by the RAF at the outbreak of the Second World War, including a rare Hawker Nimrod Mark II and a de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth.

Contemporary aircraft commemorating victory in the Battle of Britain included a flypast by two F-15E Strike Eagles alongside two Mark I Spitfires and a flypast by a Eurofighter Typhoon accompanied by a Supermarine Spitfire.

The changing tactics of the fighter pilots as the Battle of Britain developed were demonstrated by three North American Harvard aircraft.

The vital importance of radar to the air defence of Great Britain was represented by a de Havilland DH87B Hornet Moth, a Calidus Autogyro, a Slingsby Kirby Kite, a Slingbsy Petrel and a Piper PA-18 Super Cub.

Eighteen Spitfires took to the skies to represent the Duxford Big Wing, a fighter tactic that was the inspiration of Douglas Bader and Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, in a fitting finale on Saturday which showed the Spitfires in formation and in tail chase displays.

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