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Duxford Summer Air Show 2021: Flight times in full, plus our guide to the new zone system and Covid safety measures




From the Red Arrows to the B-17 ‘Flying Fortress’, there will be plenty of thrilling aerial entertainment on offer at IWM Duxford’s Summer Air Show this weekend.

Parachuting displays from the Falcons and wingwalking from Aerosuperbatics promise to thrill the crowds as they return to the Cambridgeshire airfield in full for the first time since the pandemic began.

Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018 at IWM Duxford. Photographed Sunday 23nd September 2018. North American P-51D Mustang 44-73877 – Norwegian Spitfire Foundation (49515528)
Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow 2018 at IWM Duxford. Photographed Sunday 23nd September 2018. North American P-51D Mustang 44-73877 – Norwegian Spitfire Foundation (49515528)

Below, we’ve got the full flying schedule - and it has been updated today from the initial expected schedule. Flight times always remain subject to change.

Flying is due to take place from 1.30-5pm on both Saturday July 24 and Sunday July 25.

A flight display from the RAF Red Arrows (49515526)
A flight display from the RAF Red Arrows (49515526)

IWM air show event manager Phil Hood said: “Air shows have been a highly anticipated fixture on the IWM Duxford events calendar for many years so we are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors back to the Duxford Summer Air Show this July. We are delighted to have secured such an amazing array of aircraft and flying acts, which will provide hours of entertainment for visitors.

“Those familiar with our air shows will notice a few changes we have introduced in order to enable this event to go ahead in the safest way possible and we are confident it will be a memorable weekend, allowing us to get back to what we do best!”

Entry to the Summer Air Show and the new zone system

New this year is entry via three zones (Blue, Green and Red). Each will include dedicated viewing areas, food and drink stalls, retail traders, ground activities, entrance and exit, toilets and car parking. Visitors will be required to stay within their designated zone throughout the day.

What can be seen in each zone?

There will be plenty of ground entertainment in each zone.

A map of the IWM Summer Air Show (49516815)
A map of the IWM Summer Air Show (49516815)

Download a high-resolution pdf version of this map here.

Red Zone

  • DAS Military Vehicle Wing – A vehicle demonstration at 11am on each day and an opportunity for visitors to take rides in military tanks.
  • Royal Anglian Regiment Museum – They will be showcasing equipment used during the war such as the uniforms worn, weapons used and the foods that were rationed. There will be a fun, free kids trail aimed at those aged five-plus, with stickers as a reward. Participants will search for laminated cards which have various regimental pictures on them. This will lead them towards the memorial and then back to the RAM display area.
  • Tail End Charlies living history group) - The TECs celebrate the history of the RAF from 1918-1955, telling the story of the organisation and its servicemen and women.
  • The British Model Flying Association (BMFA)– A show will help visitors learn more about model flying and the BMFA's work. It will offer all visitors to the stand a free trial flight at either the BMFA's National Flying Centre or a model club local to them. The stand will feature several typical club-type aircraft and the BMFA's flight simulator trailer will be present. It holds two big screen model flying simulators, allowing visitors the chance to get hands on and into the air.

Green Zone

  • Spirit Of Britain (LHG) - a re-enactment group who are predominately dressed as 19th Squadron.
  • US Army Air Forces (USAAF) Aviation Armorers and Mechanics Display - Using practical demonstrations and period artefacts, they portray the work of the armorers, mechanics and ground crew found at any USAAF fighter or bomber airfield in England during the Second World War. It will Include a display of military trucks and an area dedicated to showcasing the home front lifestyle in the 1940s. It will be supported by Sweatin’ Out The Mission (LHG) - celebrating the male and female personnel of the US Army Air Forces who served in the Second World War.
  • Laguna Spitfire Legacy (LHG) - A group dedicated to showcasing the support given by the Polish pilots during the Second World War to Britain. There will a campsite, re-enactment group, Polish lessons and static air crafts. There is also support from the Historic Aircraft Collection.
  • 14 Group Royal Observer Core (LHG) – The display will be within an exact replica of an observer post used in Essex during the Second World War.
  • Opts 39-45 (LHG) – Close to the flight line, these actors will be re-enacting a squadron of fighter pilots and commanders from the Second World War. They will be engaging with visitors as they appear to be getting ready for battle.
  • Red Arrows’ Tent - Main information point for the Red Arrows display. They will have shots of the aircrafts for sale and may provide opportunities to meet and greet with a Red Arrows pilot at the end of the show.

Blue Zone

  • Aces High living history group - This group takes great care to give an accurate portrayal of a First World War Royal Flying Corp and will be situated next to a classic, static First World War aircraft. They have authentic kit and equipment.
  • Civil Defenders living history group - Meet civil defenders, recreating home front life during the Second World War. The team will bring the spirit, humour, and atmosphere of the period to life with amazing authenticity.
  • Aircraft Restoration Company and Aerial Collective Duxford - Their NHS Spitfire will be showcased on the ground, giving visitors the chance to see the names written across the aircraft.
  • Airborne Assault Museum display area - Tabletop displays of paratrooper equipment from over the years and soldiers’ food rations during the war.
  • Visitors can also see household weight comparisons to the equipment carried by paratroopers and a build-your-own paratrooper activity to take home with you.
  • There will also be an opportunity to talk to a serving para sniper, who will explain optics/distance/ballistics and chat to the public about his service.
A Spitfire on the airfield at IWM Duxford, along the Flightline Walk which for the first time will be included for all ticket holders at this year’s Summer Air Show. Picture: IWM
A Spitfire on the airfield at IWM Duxford, along the Flightline Walk which for the first time will be included for all ticket holders at this year’s Summer Air Show. Picture: IWM

Whichever zone you’re in, there will be plenty to see and do.

Covid safety measures

In addition to the designated zones, IWM has introduced other measures to keep visitors, staff and volunteers safe and ensure social distancing.

On arrival, ticket holders over the age of 11 will be asked to produce one of the following:

  • A vaccination record showing proof of two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine - you must have had your second dose at least two weeks before attending
  • An email or text with a negative PCR test or rapid lateral flow test result received within the past 48 hours. Please do not bring your physical test with you, this will not be accepted as proof. A rapid lateral flow test is available for free and can be ordered via the NHS website
  • An email or text with a positive PCR test within the past six months – this is obtainable after you've finished self-isolating and up to 180 days after taking the test
  • All hangars and indoor exhibition spaces will be closed for the duration of the air show, with all historic ground activity being focused outdoors.

IWM Duxford is also:

  • Strongly encouraging the wearing of face coverings indoors and in congested areas for visitors, staff and volunteers
  • Restricting the number of visitors compared to pre-pandemic numbers and encouraging attendees to keep their distance where possible.
  • Encouraging all ticket holders aged 16 and over to scan in via the NHS Test and Trace app or provide their contact details on arrival.
  • Closing the Family Experience, Grandstand, Members’ Area and Gold Experience for the July Air Show.
  • Asking anyone who feels unwell before the air show not to attend in order to protect visitors, staff and volunteers on site.
  • Installing plenty of hand sanitising stations across the site which visitors are encouraged to use.
  • Regularly cleaning public areas, such as the toilets and cafes.
Duxford Air Festival 2019 at IWM Duxford. Photographed Saturday 25th May 2019. Aircraft Type: Boeing PT-17 Stearman Operator/Display Team: AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers (49515530)
Duxford Air Festival 2019 at IWM Duxford. Photographed Saturday 25th May 2019. Aircraft Type: Boeing PT-17 Stearman Operator/Display Team: AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers (49515530)

Tickets

Tickets are available in advance from https://www.iwm.org.uk/airshows/duxford-summer-air-show/tickets/. You cannot buy tickets on the day.

When do the gates open?

Gates open at 8.30am and flying starts at 1.30pm.

Sally B - B-17 Flying Fortress. Picture: IWM (49515524)
Sally B - B-17 Flying Fortress. Picture: IWM (49515524)

What should I bring?

Don’t forget your:

  • Your ticket and ID - you can download your ticket to your phone, but make sure it’s charged...
  • Evidence that you are at low risk for transmitting Covid-19
  • Face covering
  • Additional sanitiser
  • Clothes for the forecasted weather - don’t forget the suncream and hat if it’s sunny, but it could get pretty wet at times this weekend

There’s a full list here.

Read more

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