Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show Sunday   24th September 2017
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Starting from Castle Meadow with some friends, I boarded an Easton's coach to Duxford. Once past Thetford, heading for Duxford, it was almost a clear run as it was an all ticket event. After having our bags and bodies searched, I bought a programme before heading outside. We joined a queue to pay our admission to the Flightline, while some private aircraft were arriving and some people were enjoying pleasure flights in the Tiger Moths, Dragon Rapides and a Harvard. Once I had finished the Flightline, I had a look around the hangers to see if I could see the two Mustangs ("Miss Helen" and a shark nosed one). On the Saturday "Miss Helen" had part of its rear clipped by the shark nosed one. However, they had been taken to one of the hangers you normally can't get to, so I was unable to see them, but I did see a BN-2A Mk III Trilander (G-BEVT) amongst the Duxford Aviation Society Collection.

At 1 p.m. the flying display started with The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team jumping from a Canadian registered Dornier 228 (C-FPSH). After they landed they saluted and the Dornier did a low pass before landing and parking along the flight line. This will be going back to Summit Air in Canada fairly soon. Next came a wonderful sight of five Hawker Hurricanes and a Sea Hurricane in formation.

At 1.30 p.m. the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flew over in the form of an Avro Lancaster B1 (PA474), now in its new markings and a Hurricane IIc (PZ865). This was the first time I had seen the Lancaster with its new markings. Later The Tiger Nine Display Team, made up of nine DH82A Tiger Moths, took off in formation. It flew in other formations and did aerobatic manoeuvers. A Curtiss P-40C came next, before a Hispanio HA112 and two Yakovlev Yak-3 had a mock battle to show what happened at the Russian Front, with pyrotechnics going off. As the wind was fairly strong the Hawker Fury Mk1 and Hawker Nimrod Mk1 could not fly. While I was in the American Hanger the Great War Display Team in the form of two Fokker Dreidecker triplanes, an RAF BE2c, an RAF SE5a and a Sopwith Triplane had a battle with more pyrotechnics. Fortunately the hanger has a glass front so I could just make out what was happening.

At 3 p.m. the Bristol Blenheim flew a solo display as the Gloster Gladiator and Westland Lysander could not fly. Then at 3:30 I rejoined the crowd line to watch the main display and the Navy Fighters which took off in the form of a Bearcat, Corsair and a Hawker Fury FB11. It was then the turn of the Navy Display with a Catalina and a Grumman Wildcat/Martlet. At 4 p.m. it was time for some classic jets which consisted of the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron with their two Vampires and a Mig-15. These did some lovely formations before taxiing back to the jet pan in front of me. As they came round, "Sally B" a Boeing B-17G was warming her engines and two Douglas C-47 Skytrains came round before taking off later and forming up to make an unusual formation before splitting up, sadly without the Mustangs. Before several Spitfires took off, the RAF Falcons Dornier took to the air and headed home. It was then time for thirteen Spitfires to take off and do several flypasts. Finally at 5 p.m. a Spitfire, Blenheim, Gladiator, five Hurricanes and a Sea Hurricane all flew in formation and did several circuits before landing to end the Show.

Andrew Elphick

Click this Link for more information about next year's events! Duxford 2018