Archive for May, 2011

US Promise Air Tattoo Show of Force

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

United States military aircraft will be out in force at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

The Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 16-17, traditionally displays the largest range of US aircraft in the UK and this year will see around 18 fast jets, transport and specialist aircraft as well as helicopters touching down at the Cotswolds airfield.

Among those taking part are two F-16 multi-role fighters and two A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from 52 Fighter Wing at RAF Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany; a giant C-5B Galaxy from the 312th Airlift Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California and a B-52H bomber from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Base, North Dakota.

Also participating in this summer’s airshow will be three US Air Force Special Operations aircraft: an MC-130E Combat Talon from Elgin Air Force Base in Florida and an MC-130H Combat Talon II and MC 130P Combat Shadow based at RAF Mildenhall. All three aircraft have the capability to deliver troops and supplies into hostile territory as well as carrying our low-level refuelling missions.

Other USAF aircraft taking part include an RC-135 from the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron, based in Nebraska and two F-15s and an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. The primary mission of the HH-60G is to recover personnel from war zones. The US Marine Corps will be represented by a KC-130T refuelling aircraft from Fort Worth in Texas.

The US Navy will be sending a P-3C Orion from the Maritime Patrol Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) and a Mercury E-6B command and control aircraft for static display. The FRS provides flying training to naval aviators and naval flight officers prior to them joining the fleet whilst the Oklahoma-based Mercury E-6B, provides command and control communications. Both are for static display.

Air Tattoo Deputy Director of Air Ops Rob Windsor said he was delighted that once again the US military felt able to support the Air Tattoo.

He said: “The US Air Force, US Marine Corps and US Navy rarely display in the UK in such numbers and thanks to them the Air Tattoo has become known as the place in Europe to come each year to see many of their assets. We are hugely grateful.”

This summer’s Air Tattoo will be marking its 40th anniversary and hosting a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.

Tickets are available by visiting or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

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Brought to Life

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June


Tales of wartime endeavour are Brought to Life during Spring Half Term.

Every day between 10.30am and 2.30pm, visitors have the opportunity to handle items from a range of military campaigns, comparing and contrasting objects from the past and present. By getting hands-on with military equipment, they can learn more about the war as it was fought on the front line.

Visitors can learn more about the meaning of bravery in the field of conflict, making their own individual medals and then finding out the history and meaning behind such accolades.

On Wednesday 1, Thursday 2, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June between 11.00am and 1.00pm, veterans from a wide range of military conflicts will be chatting to visitors about their experiences and sharing their own personal memories of their time at war.

Veterans from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Army and the Home Front from the Second World War will be present, together with ex-servicemen from the Royal Anglian Regiment and the Parachute Regiment who served in the Malayan Conflict, the Falklands War and Northern Ireland, in addition to veterans of the Korean War.

Men and women of varying ages, backgrounds and experiences, they have fascinating and individual stories to tell about their own personal war. Veterans will have artefacts and photographs with them, which they are happy to discuss with visitors.

Veterans attending Brought to Life include:

· A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment (1986 to 1994) who served in Germany, the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, the UK and Canada.

· An Able Seaman in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

· A Second World War evacuee who later served in the Royal Navy.

· A Second World War RAF electrician responsible for keeping airfields operational.

· A National Service conscripted serviceman who served in Trieste and then in the Korean War from 1951to 1952.

· A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment and the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry.

· A Sergeant in the Army during the Second World War.

· A member of the Parachute Regiment (1982 to 2003) who completed seven tours of Northern Ireland and served in the Falklands War.

· A Petty Officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War who served in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

· A member of the Parachute Regiment (1971 to 1974) who completed four tours of Northern Ireland and who also carried out Jungle Warfare Training in Malaya.

· A member of the 1st Battalion of the 3rd East Anglian Regiment (1959 to 1961) who served in the Malayan conflict.

· A Captain in the Royal Engineers, who during the Second World War was a Troop Leader, assisting the Irish Guards Armoured Section.

· A Sergeant in the Royal Marines during the Second World War who provided bombardment support to the Land Forces at major landings.

· A Royal Marine (1978 to 1982) who was in 41 Commando and did a tour of duty with the United Nations in Cyprus in 1979.

· A Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment in the early 1950s who served in the Korean War from 1951 to 1952.

· A Royal Marine during the Second World War whose ship was one of the first to land at Sword Beach during the Normandy Landings in June 1944.

· A Gunner with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, who served in India, Changi, Taiwan and Japan and was held in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp.

· A member of the Royal Air Force (1944 to 1953) who flew with Bomber Command just after the end of the Second World War, then with Fighter Command from 1949 and who flew some of the earliest jets, including the Vampire and Meteor.

· A Field Gunner in the 94th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, who served at Normandy and Arnhem.

· A schoolchild on the British Home Front during the Second World War who will share her memories of rationing, air raid precautions and growing up during the 1940s.

· A member of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War who served in Bomb Disposal and on escort duties for submarines and shipping.

· A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment (1973 to 1979) who was stationed in Peterborough, driving Land Rovers and 4 tonners to transport personnel and equipment for use on deployment.

· A telegraphist in the Royal Navy during the Second World War who served on HMS Uganda, took part in the Battle of the Atlantic and was part of an escort that took Winston Churchill to the USA in 1943.

· A Second World War schoolchild who enjoyed playing on the bomb sites and later joined the Royal Air Force.

· A Second World War evacuee.

· A member of the British Resistance Organisation (Churchill’s Secret Army) (1940 to 1943) who then joined the Royal Air Force and was a Flight Sergeant until 1947.

Different veterans will be attending on Wednesday 1, Thursday 2, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June.
Attendance by veterans is subject to availability.

War Memorial by Richard Walker

In addition, local artist Richard Walker will be showing his latest work, War Memorial, in AirSpace.

This large-scale painting took two years to paint and a year and a half to research. It is made up of 35 separate canvases, brought together in five panels, which is based on a medievalist judgement painting.

The painting is a war memorial, dedicated to the people who served in the GreatWar. It centres on marking the memory of people and actions via their individual possessions and associated objects. The material objects left behind become a reference to that person, marking their absence.

The images in the paintings are of objects and ephemera from the different branches of the military services, including uniforms, medals, medical kits, signal flags and some weapons. In addition, there are private and personal objects included, which were found in many family archives, such as personal letters, postcards, photographs, memorial plaques, newspapers and commemorative items.

They are arranged in such a way that they imply a sense of cause and effect with personal objects from the Front balanced against objects that reference warfare.

Richard Walker lives and works in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, where he teaches art and art history at Kimbolton School. He studied Fine Art at the Central St Martin’s School of Art, London, graduating in 1989, after which he worked in the medium of sculpture, until about ten years ago, when he started exploring military objects and aircraft through the medium of complex ink drawings.

War Memorial will be on display in AirSpace throughout Spring Half Term. Richard Walker will be in attendance at ImperialWar Museum Duxford from Saturday 28 May to Friday 3 June, from 10.30am to 2.30pm, hosting timed talks to discuss War Memorial in more detail and to answer visitors’ questions. More detail on the timed talks will be available on arrival at the Museum.

To see examples of Richard Walker’s work go to

Brought to Life presents the experiences of war through the first-person stories of those who fought so valiantly for their country throughout 20th century conflicts. It gives visitors the opportunity to hear directly from these unsung heroes.

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Female pilots wow the crowds at the Spring Air Show

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Thousands of visitors visited Duxford for the Spring Air Show on Sunday 22 May.

Despite blustery weather conditions, a fantastic flying programme wowed the crowds, including Anna Walker flying the rare Supermarine Seafire alongside Carolyn Grace in the Spitfire; aerobatic pilot Diana Britten in the CAP 232; Polly Vacher in the Piper Dakota, Helen Holliday in the Vans RV6, Tracy Curtis-Taylor in the Ryan PT-22, Clare Tector in the Chilton, Tizi Hodson in the Firefly, Mel Saggers in the Prentice and Anna Walker in the Jungmann.

Flight Lieutenant Juliette Fleming drew the flying programme to a close with a spectacular performance in the RAF Hawk.

Visitors enjoyed a packed day of entertainment, with the Museum open as usual and a range of exciting activities on offer throughout the day, including an Airfix Make and Paint Zone, a Military History Hands On History Zone with costumed interpreters chatting to visitors, children’s rides, mini tank riding and a fun Second World War dressing up and paintball area.

The next air show will be Flying Legends on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July 2011.

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RIAT 2012 anyone??

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Want to be the first with tickets to the Royal International Air Tattoo 2012?

In that case you may be interested to know that the winner of this years calendar competition will be the first with a pair of tickets to RIAT 2012 AND a DVD of RIAT 2011.

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world’s largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The show typically attracts a total of 150,000 to 200,000 spectators over the weekend.

RIAT 2011 will be held on 16-17 July 2011. This year’s Air Tattoo will look back over the past four decades as it celebrates the show’s 40th anniversary with a series of special aerial displays and ground entertainment. It will also host a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011.

To find out more about RIAT and this years airshow please visit

For rules & entry to this years competition please visit

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Celebrate Fathers Day in style at the Military Vehicle Show

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Imperial War Museum Duxford celebrates Father’s Day on Sunday 19 June with the power, excitement and thrill of the Military Vehicle Show.

Hundreds of military vehicles of all shapes and sizes will be on display, including a 1943 Excelsior Welbike, 1966 Daimler Ferret, 1943 Dodge WC63, 1924 Morris Bullnose Home Guard Staff Car and the iconic Sherman Tank. The very rare Sturmgeschutz III assault gun, Germany’s most produced armoured fighting vehicle during the SecondWorld War, will also be on display.

A number of military vehicles normally on static display at the Museum will move out of Land Warfare for the Military Vehicle Show. Land Warfare will be open as usual and visitors will be able to take a sneak peek behind the scenes in the workshop where military vehicles are being conserved and rebuilt.

Activities will take place across the Museum with a number of living history groups bringing military campaigns to life:

The 1939-45 Living History Society’s British Airborne Forces section will represent military personnel from 1942 to 1945, who deployed by parachute and glider into the European, North African and Far Eastern theatres of war.

On display will be a living history encampment, with troops under canvas in Orderly Offices and accommodation sections. There will also be a Motor Transport Section, with motorcycles and jeeps, together with a recreated traditional British pub.

Displays will include weapons and personal kit, tactical communications equipment, field engineering and demolitions apparatus. The Society’s Auxiliary Territorial Service section will also be in attendance, portraying the essential supporting role of women working with vehicles and communications during the Second World War.

The Burma Mule Living History Group will be discussing the Forgotten War, with Burma Star veterans chatting to visitors about their wartime experiences, period equipment and mules carrying authentic war-issue pack saddle and loads.

The Royal Ulster Rifles represent the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the regiment in North-West Europe from 1944 to 1945. The Royal Ulster Rifles uniquely had both battalions present during the Normandy Landings on 6 June 1944. After weeks of bitter fighting, the 2nd Battalion had the honour of being the first Allied unit to enter the French city of Caen. Through some rare and authentic exhibits, the Royal Ulster Rifles aim to demonstrate what it would have been like to experience the D-Day Landings at first hand.

There will be guided tours of the Normandy Experience in LandWarfare at 12.00pm and 2.00pm and, as part of the regular programme of Funday Sundays at IWM Duxford, there will be craft activities, object handling sessions and the opportunity to meet a wartime costumed character in Hangar 4: Battle of Britain.

At 2.00pm there is the opportunity to see the military vehicles in action as they take part in a cavalcade along Duxford’s runway, with accompanying commentary. Following the cavalcade, one of the amazing vehicles on display will be awarded Best in Show.

There will also be a Military and Aviation Book Fair in the American Air Museum, together with a range of themed traders, mini tanks on display and the opportunity to ride in a tank between 10.30am and 1.00pm.

The Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicles Association will be holding its 2011 UK National Championship at the Military Vehicle Show.

This event is included in standard admission to the Museum. Children aged 15 and under go free when accompanied by an adult.

For the first time, exclusively for Military Vehicle Show, digby trout Restaurants will be offering a traditional Sunday lunch to make Father’s Day extra special for all the family. It will be served in the Conservation Hall, under the wings of some of Duxford’s mightiest aircraft, from 11.30am to 3.30pm. Lunch is £19.95 for adults and £9.95 for children. To purchase tickets for the Father’s Day Lunch, call 01223 497 511.

Enjoy the power, excitement and thrill of Military Vehicle Show – the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day!

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60th Anniversary of Valiants First Flight

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

First Flight 18th May 1951

Wednesday 18th May 2011 will mark the 60th Anniversary of the first flight of the Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant. Part of the Royal Air Forces V-Bomber nuclear deterrent during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Valiant was the first of the V-bombers to make it into the air, when prototype WB210 took to the skies on 18th May 1951.

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is home to the world’s only complete example, Vickers-Armstrongs Valiant B (K).1 XD818. The Valiant is on display in the Museums award winning National Cold War Exhibition, the only place in the world where you can see all three of Britain’s V-Bombers: Vulcan, Victor and Valiant on display together under one roof.

This British four jet bomber went into active RAF service in 1955 and played a significant role during the Cold War period. With a wingspan of 114ft, over 108ft in length and a height of over 32ft, the Valiant had a bomb capacity of a 10,000lb nuclear bomb or 21 x 1,000lb conventional bombs. In total 107 aircraft were built, each carrying a crew of five including two pilots, two navigators and an air electronics officer. The type was retired from RAF service in 1965 due to structural problems.

 RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Al McLean says:

“The Valiant was the first of the V-bombers to enter service, the first to drop a nuclear weapon and the first to go into combat. One of the few pilots to have flown all three of the V bombers also described the Valiant as being the nicest to fly of the three. “

 The Museums Valiant B (K).1 XD818 was one of eight Valiant’s specially modified by Vickers for involvement in Operation Grapple – the testing of Britain’s first H-bomb. The modifications included measures to protect the aircraft and crew, instrumentation for scientific operations and the addition of extra and special equipment for navigational and bombing requirements. The modified aircraft carried the metal anti-flash screens for the crew and bomb bay cameras to record the bomb drop characteristics.

The Museum is open daily from 10am. Entry to the Museum is FREE. For further information please contact the Museum on 01902 376200 or visit

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RAF Yearbook Offers Inside View

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The RAF’s rapid initial response to the recent Libyan Crisis and its continuing role in Operation Ellamy is uncovered in the 2011 Royal Air Force Yearbook.

The RAF’sofficial yearbook also offers an insider’s view of operations at Camp Bastion along with special reports and photos from the frontline at Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

Featuring articles by some of aviation’s most respected writers, the RAF Yearbook gives a fascinating insight into behind-the-scenes RAF operations, deployments as well as the new technology that is set to take the Service into the future. From the state-of-the-art remotely-piloted Taranis aircraft to the RAF’s new airlifter, the A400M, readers will be able to learn all about the Royal Air Force’s increased capability in the 21st century and beyond.

As well as looking forward, the RAF Yearbook 2011 celebrates important milestones such as the Spitfire’s 75th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of both the Air Cadets and the RAF Search and Rescue Force with a series of fascinating, in-depth articles.

With the RAF Yearbook 2011 comes a free eight-page pull-out colour supplement telling the story of the RAF’s involvement in the UK’s most exciting military airshow – the Royal International Air Tattoo – during the past 40 years and how the airshow has contributed to UK Defence Diplomacy since 1971.
The official RAF Yearbook 2011 is now on sale at WH Smith, Tesco and all good newsagents, priced £4.99. It can also be purchased at

The yearbook, which is published by the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises, helps raise money for the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. For details about the charity, visit

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Duxfords New Air Show App Goes Live Today

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Imperial War Museum Duxford has today launched an innovative and exciting Smartphone Application for the 2011 air show season.

The Duxford Air Shows 2011 App is now available for download from the Apple store and Android marketplace.

The App provides a dynamic on-the-day flying schedule for each of the Museum’s famous air shows, which automatically updates the phone screen with details of each aircraft taking part in the show as its display commences.

It also provides an extensive library of photography, statistics and information about over 150 classic aircraft, some of which can be seen flying in the Duxford air shows, and where in the Museum’s exhibitions you can find out more about them.

App users can keep a log of their favourite aircraft, add them to a schedule and receive a live countdown to inform them when that aircraft will take to the skies. With a map highlighting useful amenities at the Museum, the App is an indispensible tool for ensuring maximum enjoyment of Duxford’s celebrated air shows.

Duxford’s first air show of 2011 is the Spring Air Show on Sunday 22 May.

Whether you are in the audience at Duxford eagerly awaiting the first aircraft display or are virtually engaging with the air show from elsewhere in the world, the Air Show App will keep you informed of all aircraft displays as they happen.

As a special introduction, the App is FREE for a limited time. It can be downloaded at any time in the run up to the Spring Air Show and on the day itself. IWM Duxford is providing wifi access at the Museum to help people download on the day.

This dynamic guide to the Spring Air Show, and our other air shows in 2011, is a first for Duxford and demonstrates the Imperial War Museum’s commitment to innovation in new technologies and to improving our visitor experience. It aims to be the most innovative air show app around.

For further information go to

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Fantastic female pilots are the stars of Duxford’s Spring Air Show

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Launching the 2011 air show season, ImperialWar Museum Duxford’s Spring Air Show, on Sunday 22 May, celebrates the integral role played by women in the development of aviation.From technological advancement to daring aerial aptitude, in military and civil aviation; aerial adventure and aerobatics; engineering and mechanical endeavour, the achievements of women have informed air travel from its earliest incarnations to its contemporary technological advancement.

The Spring Air Show presents stunning aerial displays by a formidable line-up of superbly talented female aviators.

Anna Walker (flying a Supermarine Seafire and Bucker Jungmann aircraft) has been flying for over 30 years. At the age of 13, she started gliding and moved on to power-flying as a tug pilot. After undertaking formation and aerobatic training, Anna took part in aerobatic competitions, in her Bucker Jungmann, winning three out of every four competitions entered.

Anna now regularly displays at air shows, flying a Bucker Jungmann, a Beech Staggerwing and a Harvard IV. She is the first woman to fly a Hawker Hurricane since the female ferry pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary.

Angie Soper (flying a Yak 11) learnt to fly in 1983 at Biggin Hill, becoming a qualified flying instructor at Stapleford in 1987. Gaining a commercial flying licence, she flew Dart Heralds on night freight runs for British Air Ferries between 1989 and 1990. In the 1990s, she became joint owner of a Harvard and began display flying, before acquiring a Yak 11 in 1998. She also operates a Yak 50 and Yak 52, which are both based on her farm strip.

Diana Britten (flying a CAP 232) embarked on a career in competition aerobatics with only 60 hours flying to her credit. From 1981 to 1986, Diana progressed through the levels from Standard to Unlimited, making her World Aerobatic Championship debut in 1986.

Diana has flown in six World Championships, five European Championships and became the British Aerobatic Champion in 1995, the first-ever non-commercial pilot, and the first woman, to take the title. She followed that with the title of British Freestyle Champion.

Carolyn Grace (flying the Grace Spitfire and a Stampe) is one of only two female Spitfire pilots in the world. She successfully completed her training in the Grace Spitfire in 1990, and hasn’t looked back since, gaining her Display Authorisation in 1991 and adding Aerobatic and Formation qualifications to that in the following years.

Carolyn has perfected a graceful aerobatic display that is immensely popular with air show crowds and Spitfire devotees alike. Judy Leden MBE (flying a hang glider with microlight tug pilot Shelley Smith) is a World Champion hang glider and para glider. Current holder of four world records, Judy has also successfully
completed a long list of daredevil stunts, including flying across the English Channel in a hang glider in 1989, after being released from a hot air balloon 12,000 feet up; and jumping off the edge of Cotopaxi, which at nearly 20,000 feet, is one of the world’s highest active volcanoes.

Competitive successes include winning the Women’s World Hang Gliding Championships in 1987 and again in 1991. She has been British Women’s Champion six times and in 1995, she won the Women’s Para Gliding Championship.

Judy broke the tandem altitude record for hang glider balloon drops in 1998 and also recently broke the Tandem World Aerotowing Altitude Record, with TV presenter Matt Baker. They were towed aloft by a microlight, reaching 11,020 feet. Judy was awarded the MBE in 1989 for services to hang gliding.

Tricia Neville (displaying the Thruxton Jackaroo G-ANTZ) comes from an RAF family. She began by flying gliders at Booker and in 1990 she learnt to fly on Tiger Moths at Cambridge, where she completed her Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL). In 2002, Tricia gained her Display Authorisation.

Although Tricia never originally thought that she would learn to fly herself, she had been an active part of the ground crew for the Barnstormers Flying Circus for over a decade. She has now become an active flying member of Captain Neville’s Flying Circus and takes part in the majority of routines, organising the boys en route.

At the Spring Air Show, Tricia will be leading three aircraft in one of the Flying Circus’ most popular extravaganza displays.

Leah Hammond (flying the Auster) started flying at the age of 16. Once qualified, she did a tailwheel conversion on the Auster, before going on to fly a 450hp Stearman and then flew some 90 hours on the Harvard. At the Spring Air Show, she will be displaying the Auster, which she has been displaying since 2009.

Clare Tector (flying the Chilton monoplane) has been flying since 1999, having initially caught the flying bug as an air cadet in the early 1990s. She achieved her PPL just in time to celebrate the Centenary of Powered Flight in late 2003. Since this time, Clare has taken part in basic aerobatic competition and, in the last few years, has displayed various aircraft in shows at Old Warden.

In 2010, she was a recipient of the Fiona McKay Flying Bursary through the de Havilland Educational Trust, giving her a chance to learn how to fly the Tiger Moth. Earlier this year, she was invited to become an Apprentice Display Pilot with the Shuttleworth Collection.

Royal Air Force 208 Squadron will be displaying the BAE Systems Hawk, flown by Flight Lieutenant Juliette Fleming.

The flying programme wouldn’t be complete without a display by Jeanne Frazer, IWM Duxford’s Flying Display Director, who will be flying a Piper L4 Cub.

See some of the world’s premier female pilots perform breathtaking flying displays at the Spring Air Show, in a celebration of the women who have courageously led the way in aerial adventure.


Announcing the IWM Duxford Air Show App 2011

Imperial War Museum Duxford is launching an innovative and exciting Smartphone application for the 2011 air show season. Available from mid -May 2011, the App will give real time, up-to-theminute information about what is flying at our air shows, as the aircraft display. Available for both Android and iPhone platforms, the App will also include an extensive library of photography, statistics and information about classic aircraft you can see flying in the air shows and where in the Duxford exhibitions you can find out more about them.

As a special introduction, the App will be FREE for a limited time at launch. It will be available for download prior to the Spring Air Show and on the day itself – IWM Duxford will be providing wifi access at the museum for live downloading.

This dynamic guide to the Spring Air Show, and our other air shows throughout 2011, is a first for Duxford and demonstrates the Imperial War Museum’s commitment to innovation in new technologies. It aims to be the most innovative air show app around.

For further information go to

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Air Tattoo Aircraft in D-Day Tribute

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

This summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford will feature a tribute to a Wiltshire-based aircraft that was involved in preparations for the historic Pegasus Bridge landings on D-Day during World War Two.

Among the hundreds of aircraft taking part in the Air Tattoo, on July 16-17, will be a Dakota from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, painted in D-Day invasion stripes and with the markings carried by No233 Squadron Dakota FZ692. This aircraft was delivered to No233 squadron at RAF Blakehill Farm, Wiltshire in March 1944, and on the night of June 5 1944, 30 Dakotas from the squadron took gliders and parachutists from the 3rd Parachute Brigade to Normandy, returning later in the day to drop supplies.

Nurses stationed at Blakehill Farm who looked after wounded soldiers on evacuation flights became the first female RAF aircrew to fly into the combat zone. A Dakota from No233 Sqn became the first aircraft to land at a British-controlled airstrip in France after the invasion, on June 13. The squadron went on to provide aircraft towing gliders that carried troops from the 1st Airborne Division to Arnhem for Operation Market Garden, the attempt to capture key bridges across the Rhine in September 1944.

This summer’s Air Tattoo will be marking its 40th anniversary and hosting a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.

Tickets are available by visiting or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.

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