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Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show to celebrate the RAF’s centenary

PUBLISHED: 12:42 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 23 July 2018

An Avro Lancaster, Tornado GR4 and F-35B Lightning II will display at the IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: Ben Dunnell.

An Avro Lancaster, Tornado GR4 and F-35B Lightning II will display at the IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: Ben Dunnell.

Ben Dunnell

The Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will bring the centenary of the Royal Air Force to a resounding finale with a celebration of 100 years of RAF history.

IWM Duxford is Britain’s best preserved Second World War airfield, with a fascinating history that dates back to the First World War.

Historic aircraft can regularly be seen taking to the skies from Duxford’s wartime airfield in Cambridgeshire.

The 2018 Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will take place over the weekend of Saturday, September 22 to Sunday, September 23.

An array of historic aircraft from the past 100 years will take to the skies, showing the development of the RAF from its earliest aeroplanes flown in 1918, when Duxford first opened as an RAF station, through to aircraft from the 1930s, the Second World War and the Korean War.

Spitfires on the flightline at IWM Duxford. Picture: IWM.Spitfires on the flightline at IWM Duxford. Picture: IWM.

Flying displays from the RAF include the Red Arrows display team, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Avro Lancaster, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Grob 115E Tutor.

In celebration of the prestigious 617 Squadron, renowned for the WW2 Dambusters Raid, there will be a display of the squadron’s aircraft – past, present and future – featuring the Avro Lancaster, Tornado GR4 and F-35B Lightning II.

The air show will also include one of the last flying displays by the Tornado GR4 before it retires from active service in 2019.

In a unique display for IWM Duxford in 2018, the RAF will demonstrate its air-to-air refueling capabilities with the Voyager KC Mk.2 tanker taking to the skies alongside an immense Atlas A400M transport aircraft and two Eurofighter Typhoons.

The Red Arrows will display at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show 2018. Picture: IWM.The Red Arrows will display at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show 2018. Picture: IWM.

The RAF100 Inspire Showcase will take over IWM Duxford’s Conservation Hall in the AirSpace exhibition.

This will showcase cutting-edge technological developments from the Royal Air Force’s industry partners, including BAE Systems, Airbus and Fujitsu, who are presenting a large-scale virtual flying display.

The RAF100 Inspire Zone hosts the final of the Royal Air Force Engineering Competition 2018 on September 22 and the winners of this esteemed competition will be announced at the air show.

The Battle of Britain, a pivotal moment for the Royal Air Force and RAF Duxford, will be demonstrated by historic aircraft that would have been flown by RAF pilots during the Second World War.

A massed formation of Spitfires at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: IWM.A massed formation of Spitfires at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: IWM.

Up to 20 Spitfires will take to the air in a poignant massed flypast and tail chase display.

Six Hawker Hurricanes will fly in formation and the rare Bristol Blenheim will fly with a Lysander – famous for dropping agents into occupied France in the Second World War – and a Gloster Gladiator biplane.

On the ground at the air show, visitors will be transported back to the 1940s and experience the sights and sounds that kept spirits up during the Battle of Britain, from dancing the jitterbug to live bands to meeting a cast of wartime characters, wearing 1940s fashion, having a ’40s hairstyle and playing family-focused games of the era.

As seen on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, the wartime spirit will also be brought to life by the heartfelt harmonies of the D-Day Darlings.

A flying display at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show with Bearcat and Fury aircraft. Picture: IWM.A flying display at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show with Bearcat and Fury aircraft. Picture: IWM.

In the Meet the Authors tent, there will be talks, question and answer sessions and book signings.

Among well-respected authors taking part will be historian, writer and broadcaster James Holland, who regularly presents documentaries for the BBC and was the history expert for the BBC One broadcast of the RAF 100 flypast in July.

Tickets for all Duxford air shows must be booked in advance. No on the day tickets will be available.

An early bird offer is available until Sunday, September 9.

D-Day Darlings, finalists on Britain's Got Talent, will perform at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: D-Day Darlings.D-Day Darlings, finalists on Britain's Got Talent, will perform at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: D-Day Darlings.

Kids go free when an adult ticket is purchased for the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show.

All flying is subject to weather, serviceability and operational commitments.

• For more information, and to buy tickets, visit www.iwm.org.uk/events/duxford-battle-of-britain-air-show-2018

Living history groups depicting Second World War RAF personnel will bring the historic airfield to life at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: IWM.Living history groups depicting Second World War RAF personnel will bring the historic airfield to life at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. Picture: IWM.

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