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Visitors enjoy spectacular displays at Duxford’s 1940-themed Battle of Britain air show 2021

Visitors immersed themselves in a day of 1940’s-themed action during a spectacular display of historic planes at an RAF site that served a key role in the country’s finest hour – The Battle of Britain.

Thousands of spectators were transported back to the summer of 1940 as the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, hosted its annual Battle of Britain display after it was cancelled due to the pandemic last year.

Ageless planes that once dominated the skies, including the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and Avro Lancaster bomber stunned those in attendance as the roar of their powerful engines filled the afternoon air. 

Many of the 10,000 visitors donned their best outfits of the era, including contemporary clothes such as top hats and vintage suits, as re-enactors pulled on their overalls to help the crowd feel more involved in the action.

Living history groups and 1940s music and dancing topped off the afternoon’s display as thousands are set to return for the final day of action tomorrow.

 An RAF Hawker Hurricane prepares to take flight as part of the final Big Wing display at IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire during the annual Battle of Britain display 

12 Spitfires and four Hawker Hurricanes fly in tight formation as the 10,000 spectators in attendance roar the planes that once dominated the skies on

12 Spitfires and four Hawker Hurricanes fly in tight formation as the 10,000 spectators in attendance roar the planes that once dominated the skies on

Thousands of those in attendance were transported back to the summer of 1940 as the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, hosted its annual Battle of Britain display after it was cancelled due to the pandemic last year

Thousands of those in attendance were transported back to the summer of 1940 as the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, hosted its annual Battle of Britain display after it was cancelled due to the pandemic last year

A pilot flying a Hispano Buchons, painted like a Messerschmitt BF 109, prepares to take off at The Battle of Britain airshow at IWM Duxford

A pilot flying a Hispano Buchons, painted like a Messerschmitt BF 109, prepares to take off at The Battle of Britain airshow at IWM Duxford

A re-enactor in an American Red Cross uniform poses beside an RAF Supermarine Spitfire at IWM Duxford's Battle of Britain display, September 2021

A re-enactor in an American Red Cross uniform poses beside an RAF Supermarine Spitfire at IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain display, September 2021

Members of historical reenactment group Spirit of Britain stand by a Hawker Hurricane on the flightline on Saturday, September 18

Members of historical reenactment group Spirit of Britain stand by a Hawker Hurricane on the flightline on Saturday, September 18

Thousands of people have enjoyed a day at the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show in Cambridgeshire today which had several aerial displays and dozens of visitors dressed up in 1940s costume. 

Saturday’s spectacular array of aircraft featured Spitfires, Hurricanes and one of the only two airworthy Avro Lancaster bombers that remain operable in the world. 

Other air displays throughout the day showcased jaw-droppingly daring air displays and aerobatics featuring historic Thunderbolts, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress ‘Sally B’, Hispano Buchons, the Bremont Great Warbird Display Team, North American Mustangs, and a Curtiss P-40F Warhawk.  

Now the country’s largest aviation museum, the aerodrome at Duxford served a key role itself during the Battle of Britain in 1940 when the RAF bravely fended off wave after wave of German attacks and defended the country from Nazi tyranny. 

A Curtiss P-40F Warhawk prepares to land on the grassy airfield at IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire as part of The 2021 Battle of Britain airshow

A Curtiss P-40F Warhawk prepares to land on the grassy airfield at IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire as part of The 2021 Battle of Britain airshow

Spectators stand in awe and take pictures of the impressive flypast featuring 12 Spitfires and four Hurricanes at IWM Duxford

Spectators stand in awe and take pictures of the impressive flypast featuring 12 Spitfires and four Hurricanes at IWM Duxford

A re-enactor, donning his best 1940's themed American Bomber crew uniform, poses for the camera at The Battle of Britain airshow at IWM Duxford

A re-enactor, donning his best 1940’s themed American Bomber crew uniform, poses for the camera at The Battle of Britain airshow at IWM Duxford

A crowd of aircraft enthusiasts strain to watch on as more than 30 historic aircraft took to the skies over Duxford's Cambridgeshire airfield on Saturday, featuring a wide array of planes used during the 1940s and beyond

A crowd of aircraft enthusiasts strain to watch on as more than 30 historic aircraft took to the skies over Duxford’s Cambridgeshire airfield on Saturday, featuring a wide array of planes used during the 1940s and beyond

Buily in 1917 as the First World War raged on, Duxford was an important wartime fighter station that played a key role in the D-Day landings during the Second World War. 

More than 30 historic aircraft took to the skies over Duxford’s Cambridgeshire airfield on Saturday, featuring a wide array of planes used during the 1940s and beyond.

But the finishing touches were put on the day during the impressive flypast of  12 Spitfires and four Hurricanes, which flew in a tight formation for The Big Wing Finale to the delight of spectators.  

Phil Hood, Airshow Event Manager at IWM Duxford said: ‘The Battle of Britain Air Show is always a very special event at IWM Duxford given the important role the site played during this pivotal moment in the Second World War.

‘We also get to pay homage to the iconic Spitfire, an aircraft with a very close association to Duxford as the first station to receive it in 1939.

‘It has been great to welcome visitors back to our Air Shows this year and we are thrilled to be able to increase the capacity to this event, allowing even more people to enjoy our air displays and showground entertainment.’ 

The planes put on an impressive display today, delighting crowds who gathered to enjoy the stunning spectacle. Pictured: The Big Wing Finale of 12 Spitfires and four Hurricanes

The planes put on an impressive display today, delighting crowds who gathered to enjoy the stunning spectacle. Pictured: The Big Wing Finale of 12 Spitfires and four Hurricanes 

Hundreds of people took to Twitter to praise the stunning displays, which benefitted from the last blast of September sunshine. Pictured: A re-enactor dons her American Red Cross uniform

Hundreds of people took to Twitter to praise the stunning displays, which benefitted from the last blast of September sunshine. Pictured: A re-enactor dons her American Red Cross uniform

Some members of living history group the Spirit of Britain, pictured, dressed up as RAF pilots for the annual event today and were seen running across the grass on the airfield

Some members of living history group the Spirit of Britain, pictured, dressed up as RAF pilots for the annual event today and were seen running across the grass on the airfield

Living history groups and 1940s music and dancing topped off the afternoon's display as thousands are set to return for the final day of action tomorrow. Above: A re-enactor reads a 1940's newspaper dressed in full RAF regalia

Living history groups and 1940s music and dancing topped off the afternoon’s display as thousands are set to return for the final day of action tomorrow. Above: A re-enactor reads a 1940’s newspaper dressed in full RAF regalia

Hundreds of people took to Twitter to praise the stunning displays, which benefitted from the last blast of September sunshine. 

Mark Cooper wrote: ‘Superb day at IWM Duxford and the Battle of Britain airshow. Beautiful day, great flying.

Catherine Taylor added: ‘Just back from the Battle Of Britain airshow at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire. What a fantastic day! 

‘When those three iconic Supermarine Spitfires took off from the runway, their engines roaring, I felt such a huge sense of awe.’

Andrew Higgins added: ‘Excellent Day One of BattleOfBritain airshow. Beautiful weather, great planes.’ 

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