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In pictures: the first Duxford Air Show of 2023





There was something special in the air last weekend (June 24-25) as not only did the Duxford Summer Air Show make a welcome return, but the event – which drew 27,000 visitors over the two days – was also marking Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford’s 50th anniversary flying season and 120 years since the invention of the aeroplane by the Wright brothers.

Duxford Summer Air Show, the Red Arrows. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, the Red Arrows. Picture: Keith Heppell

A particular highlight was a Great War display team replicating how aircraft were flown – and how they fought – during the First World War over the trenches of Northern France and Belgium.

Performances from Hawker Hurricane Mk XIIs – which were based at RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain – also offered plenty more feats of crowd-pleasing action.

Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell

With temperatures reaching in excess of 30C, crowds gathered under parasols and queued up for ice creams to keep cool.

However, the hot weather and strong wind speeds proved too much for one plane, as the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe was forced to pull out of the show on Sunday, after it had flown on the Saturday.

The plane’s crew could be seen sheltering under its wing to escape the sun.

Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Big Blue Moon performing at the Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Big Blue Moon performing at the Duxford Summer Air Show. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, the Red Arrows. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, the Red Arrows. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, the Red Arrows. Picture: Keith Heppell
Duxford Summer Air Show, the Red Arrows. Picture: Keith Heppell

Away from the flying, there was some excellent live music staged just inside one of the entrances to Hangar 4. Big Blue Moon, one of the acts appearing, impressed with their jazz standards and modern-day swing mash-ups, covering songs by the likes of Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

Adam Kendall, head of commercial services at IWM Duxford, said: “It was fantastic to welcome so many people back to Duxford for the 2023 Summer Air Show.

“With nearly 27,000 people on site across the two days, this year’s event was our busiest summer show since before the pandemic.

“We’ve already had some amazing feedback from our visitors, and we’re excited to put on even more show-stopping events so that our 50th anniversary flying season is an unforgettable experience for all our visitors.”

[Read more: In pictures: Filming takes place at IWM Duxford for Tyler Perry’s Netflix war movie Six Triple Eight starring Kerry Washington and Ebony Obsidian]

The Battle of Britain Air Show takes place this year on September 16-17. For more information, visit iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford.



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