Classic Aviation

Classic Aviation

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Battle Of Britain Airshow - Duxford 2010

A sun soaked morning greeted the early birds at this year's September show; this year marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. Spitfires and Hurricanes were in attendance en masse in a true tribute to "The Few".
A new Me109 Buchon graced the flight line recently restored by ARCo. Another rare aircraft on the duxford apron was a Norwegian vampire with Mickey Mouse emblem. The sun beaming down made for fantastic pictures.
On the Saturday the gates were shut as the museum reached capacity and the anticipation for the show ahead could be felt all over the airfield.
A pre-show performance from the RAF Red Arrows brough the entire airfield to a stand still.
Oddly the show was opened by aircraft that have no relation to the Battle what-so-ever; TFC's Sea Fury & Bearcat. Nevertheless this was a powerful opening which lead into a well rehearsed routine by ARCo and TFC's Harvard pair. The Belgian F-16, a regular at Duxford and at other UK airshows, added a bit of power, thrust and after-burn to the display.
B-17 Sally B then opened for the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane as the true BoB remembrance took place. Again the airfield came to an absolute stand still as the three aircraft did their routines and fly-bys.
A tranquil break in the form of a Leopard Moth and Hornet Moth; gracefully and effortlessly doing circuits around the aerodrome display line.
ARCo's Me109 Buchon provided representation for "the enemy" followed by a quartet of Hurricanes. Peter Vacher, Hanger 11, HAC and and Shuttleworth's Sea Hurricane made up a beautiful and very rare formation. With the BBMF's Hurricane now on the ground; this left just one airworthy Hurricane in the UK not in attendance (also operated by the BBMF). This was followed by a beautiful solo display by Hanger 11's immaculate Hurri-Bomber. Gladiators took part in early exchanges with the Luftwaffe in the months leading up to the Battle Of Britain and this was represented by the Shuttleworth's example in the air and TFC's on the ground; the only two airworthy in the world!
The RAF came agin the their Eurofighter Typhoon display which was soon contrasted by the Miller family's Dragon Rapide. 19 Squadron, the Spitfire squadron based at Duxford during the battle, then did formation fly pasts in their current type Hawk T.1 and T.2's.
Jungmann and Jungmeister put on a German acrobatic display which was followed by a one minute silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the conflict.
Then for the finale pieces. A unique, rare and magnificant formation of no less than 16 Spitfires of various types and marks. A grand spectacle commemorating the people and machines that took part in Britain's finest hour. "The Few" were truely represented. This was followed by tail chases by the 16 Spits. A great showcase of Mitchell's machine - the sounds can only be described as truely beautiful.
The Petrouille De France closed the show with a well-polished display as light started to fade and display conditions started to deteriorate. A great show from the IWM Duxford that definately paid it's tributes to the men and women that took part, some of whom lost their lives, in the Battle Of Britain 70 years ago.

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