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Gallery: Duxford's Battle of Britain Airshow

The Battle of Britain Airshow at IWM Duxford marked the 50th anniversary of director Guy Hamilton’s Battle of Britain film last weekend.

Member of the Battle of Britain pilots re-enactment group. Picture: Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic
Member of the Battle of Britain pilots re-enactment group. Picture: Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic

Partly filmed at RAF Duxford, Battle of Britain was celebrated by a flying display, highlighting the role that Duxford has played in making movie history.

There were plenty of other attractions and activities on offer too over the weekend (September 21- 22) as well as the sight of visitors walking around in period costume.

Rachel Powell, communications officer at IWM, said: “We had just under 40,000 people come over the weekend, and the main focus of the airshow was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Battle of Britain film.

"So we had a reenactment of one of the dogfighting scenes in the film – and then we had a lot of showground activities focused on a cinematic theme as well, such as screenings of archive films from IWM’s film collection.

“We encouraged visitors to dress up in vintage and we had a collection of vintage clothing that people could try on and take photographs with.

"We had a lot of living history groups, including Spirit of Britain, who dressed up as RAF pilots and members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

“Leading up to the event, we digitised some footage of Prince William of Gloucester’s behind-the-scenes visit to Duxford that was filmed around 1968.

"We released that to the public and there was a screening of it at the airshow.”

Along with the inevitable Spitfire, other popular aircraft involved in flypasts and displays included the B-17 Flying Fortress, a couple of Hispano Buchons, Lancaster Bombers, Blenheims, and some Korean jets.

“There was quite a variety but predominantly Second World War fighter jets,” said Rachel, who added: “There was a live big band and some swing dancing, and we had some Cold War veterans as well who spoke to the public about their experiences of working at Duxford during the 50s and 60s.”

Next year will see IWM Duxford celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Visit iwm.org.uk/visits/iwmduxford to register for alerts for next year’s flying shows.

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