Commemorating the Battle of Britain - IWM Duxford 2019

By Juri Keyter

When I attended the Battle of Britain Air Show at Duxford last year, it started raining when the first aircraft took off and stopped raining when the last aircraft landed, but it was still the best air show experience of my life. This year it was blue skies throughout the day and as expected, a mind-blowing experience.

Crowd roaming the flight line before show start

I knew that the Battle of Britain Air Show is about Spitfires, Hurricanes and P-51 Mustangs but I was pleasantly surprised by a component from the eastern front: A Yak 9, Yak 3 and a MiG 15. It gives me goose bumps just to write about it so to be there and witness it was simply priceless.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 15UTI
Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron

Yakovlev YAK-9UM

Yakovlev YAK-3AU

MiG 15 in formation with a Lockheed Shooting Star

The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is known for its Spitfire formations, Spitfire solo displays, Spitfire static displays and the awesome sound of a Spitfire. During the Spitfire solo display on the day, you could hear a pin drip. No one said a word or made a peep, truly another emotional experience for me. Of course, when 14 Spitfires came over in formation was another rare experience.

Supermarine Spitfire Solo

Supermarine Spitfire Formation

Supermarine Spitfire Formation

Supermarine Spitfire Formation

Supermarine Spitfire Solo

Hawker Hurricanes are somewhat fragile due to predominantly wood construction and we therefore do not see them often anymore but at the Battle of Britain Air Show we saw 4 fine examples of this historic aircraft.

Hawker Hurricanes in formation

When Neil Diamond wrote the song “What a beautiful noise” I think he had a P-51 Mustang in mind. I simply don't have words to describe it.

P-51 Mustangs in formation

WWI was also commemorated with a range of WWI fighters flying on the day. Although they had a slightly slower pace compared to the other aircraft on the day, they were still super spectacular and complimented with pyrotechnics throughout their air show routine.

Various Aircraft in a WWI fighter display

A significant amount of other American war aircraft flew on the day, some in formation and others in solo displays. All of them fantastic to see but if I have to single out one, it would be the FG-1D Corsair.

The Fighter Collection's FG-1D Corsair

Furious Formation - 2 Hawker Furys and a Sea Fury

Grumman FM-2 Wildcat

B-17 Flying Fortress and P-47 Thunderbolt

So, they covered the British, the Russians, the Americans, what is missing? Yes, the Germans (well, almost). The 4 Hispano Buchon fighters we saw are essentially Messerschmitt BF109 airframes mated with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and served in the Spanish Air Force until 1965.

Hispano HA-1112M1L Buchon formation

Events 2019
Best of Britain

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