The Duxford D-Day Anniversary Air Show
Supermarine Spitfire trio. Photo by Bob Franklin
In June 1944 the Normandy beaches were landed on by the Armed Forces from various nations who were about to change the direction of the Second World War. Almost seventy years later the Imperial War Museum staged an event which brought together people and aircraft to commemorate this major event.
Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th May 2014
A few days before the anniversary of the D-Day landings, Duxford had their own celebrations with a two-day air show and numerous exhibitions. A large variety of aircraft were on show not only on the ground but also in the air. The start of the Saturday show, was in the form of the French display team The Patrouille de France who as usual were flying their eight Alpha Jets. In fact the team were completing their first public display of the 2014 season carrying out some unique manoeuvres, it is always a pleasure to watch a display from one of our neighbouring countries, bearing in mind that France played their own part during the Second World War, it was fitting that they were represented at the show.
GliderFX Marganski MDM-1 Fox G-IIFX. Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
Something not seen before at Duxford was the glider balbo which included various Piper Cubs, a Piper Pawnee and several Robins towing gliders including a Slingsby Prefect, Petrel and a Kirby Cadet. The gliders and tugs took off en masse before returning and landing back on the airfield.
Douglas C-47A Skytrain. Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
Also of interest was the display by one of the Army Air Corps Apache helicopters from RAF Wattisham in Suffolk, always a popular item at any air show.
Eurofighter Typhoon. Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
From The Fighter Collection two ever popular aircraft were the Grumman Wildcat and the Curtiss Kittyhawk, both these aircraft put on their usual polished displays which are always a pleasure to watch.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX MH434 & P-51D Mustang G-BTCD Ferocious Frankie. Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
From The Old Flying Machine there was a nice pairing of the Spitfire MH434 and P-51D Mustang, with various aerobatic manoeuvres which kept the crows looking skywards throughout the display.
Patrouille de France. Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
One of the favourite displays of the weekend involved the fighters which include the Hurricane, a pair of Buchons and four Spitfires. The aircraft proceeded to carry out a tail-chase around Duxford's circuit which included various loops and rolls as quick as high speed passes.
Douglas C-47A Skytrain trio. Image courtesy of Bob Franklin
The RAF's contribution from The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was the Dakota and Spitfire (Mk19), with both these aircraft painted with invasion stripes. Both aircraft carried out spirited displays and like all of the flight's aircraft were a very welcome addition to the Duxford displays. Also displaying was the Typhoon flown by Flt Lt Noel Rees, the Typhoon was from 29 Squadron and also has invasion stripes added for this season. A low and slow flypast from a 47 Sqn C-130 Hercules from RAF Brize Norton was an added bonus.
One of the most interesting displays of the weekend was the four Douglas C-47A Skytrains, one of which was carrying the Red Devils parachute team (The British Army's Parachute Regiment display team). These aircraft were paying a tribute to the airborne forces, and after dropping the parachutists the aircraft carried out several flypasts.
Images courtesy of Bob Franklin
This was a well planned weekend which again proved that these special events which take place at Duxford are always well received and attended.