Flying Legends Air Show at IWM Duxford to feature Battle of Britain movie aircraft
- Credit: John Dibbs.
The Flying Legends Air Show at IWM Duxford this weekend will feature five of the original German aircraft from the 1969 movie Battle of Britain.
The 50th anniversary of 1969's Battle of Britain movie is set to be celebrated in dramatic style at this weekend's Flying Legends show.
No fewer than five of the rare Buchon aircraft, which played the enemy Messerschmitt 109 fighters during filming, will together take to the skies over historic IWM Duxford.
It is thought to be the first time such a large formation of Buchons - Messerschmitt 109 airframes equipped with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines - has flown in formation since the filming.
The 1969 Battle of Britain movie starred Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Susannah York, Trevor Howard and Ian McShane.
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The Buchons were used by the Spanish air force up to 1965.
Among those present will be the last single-seat fighter to have been flown by the famous Luftwaffe ace Adolf Galland, who was a technical adviser to the movie.
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He is said to have taken the Buchon aloft without permission during filming of the Battle of Britain in Spain, having been checked out in the two-seat machine, which will also form part of the Flying Legends display.
Pilot and engineer Richard Grace, from Air Leasing Ltd, said: "The Buchon is an incredible aircraft to fly, all the more so when you consider the people that flew these aircraft during the making of the Battle of Britain, which for any vintage aviation enthusiast will always rank among their favourite movies.
"I have been fortunate enough to fly several different types of warbirds, but these are very special.
"After filming ceased, the famous American aviator and movie pilot Connie Edwards took the Buchons as payment and shipped them back to Texas where they languished gathering dust in his hangar for decades.
"We rescued some and have restored them to airworthy status.
"This will be the first time the public has seen five fly together since the Battle of Britain film wrapped in 1968."
Other acts to feature at this year's Duxford air show include the world-famous Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team - the Red Arrows - who will make a spectacular return to Flying Legends, providing one of the few opportunities to see their dynamic aerobatics before they head on a tour of the United States.
A firm favourite with the crowds, the team's display on Saturday, July 13 will be the only chance to see them at Cambridgeshire airfield Duxford this year.
The Reds will perform their high-energy routines before tens of thousands of people - and for the first time at Flying Legends, kids under 16 go free.
Car parking charges at IWM Duxford have also been waived, meaning all visitors can park for free.
Widely regarded as one of the world's greatest air shows, Flying Legends will feature historic aircraft in choreographed set piece displays, from an incredible collection of Spitfires to Duxford-based favourites such as B-17 'Sally B' and a host of exotic visiting warbirds.
The show will also mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day when the Allies stormed Normandy to free Europe from Nazi tyranny.
Another show debut will be a recently completed de Havilland DH9 biplane.
Nick Grey, director of the Fighter Collection, said: "Seventy-five years ago, the largest armada ever to set sail left our shores for France.
"We celebrate the courage of the young men and women who gave their lives to save the free world.
"Flying Legends is a tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to the millions who designed, manufactured, flew and maintained the flying machines that helped win the war.
"It is a special privilege to present this unique show with our friends at IWM Duxford and, in particular, to celebrate this major D-Day anniversary."