Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May
Celebrating the reopening of the transformed American Air Museum
May Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May) will see the American Air Show at IWM Duxford, celebrating the reopening of the newly-transformed American Air Museum .
Over the weekend, vibrant flying displays will be accompanied by evocative living history, veterans’ voices and powerful film and music to show the developing relationship between Britain and America through the World Wars, Cold War and into the present day.
In addition to the dynamic flying display, visitors will be able to meet living history groups representing the United States Air Force in the Second World War and during the Vietnam era, listen to nostalgic music performed by Miss Holliday Swing, The Bluebird Belles and Pete Wayre and explore the newly-transformed American Air Museum, containing the best collection of American aircraft on display outside North America.
Highlights of the flying programme include:
• Epic flying displays depicting the bomber operations of the Second World War, the war in the Pacific and the Vietnam War.
• Thrilling contemporary displays by the Patrouille de France (Saturday only), the Red Arrows (Sunday only) and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
• Two replica Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a biplanes and a replica Nieuport 17, representing the relationship created between Britain and America during the latter stages of the First World War.
• Four North American Harvards, key training aircraft for British and American pilots, take to the skies to represent the British-American alliance reinforced while America remained neutral in the Second World War. The Harvards are followed by a Spartan Executive and a Ryan STA, glorious 1930s aircraft that were also used for training purposes.
• Archive sound and film footage places visitors on an Eighth Air Force bomber airfield in the Second World War as the ground crew await the arrival of the last B-17 Flying Fortress to return from a mission. B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B flies in, accompanied by two P-51 Mustangs and a TF-51 Mustang, the fighter aircraft that accompanied the huge bombers for part of their mission. Following a poignant display by B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, the Mustangs are intercepted by a Hispano Buchón (Messerschmitt Bf 109) and a thrilling tail chase ensues.
• As two Douglas C-47 Skytrain aircraft fly in, large screens are filled with footage of American paratroopers and, in a filmed interview, Henry ‘Duke’ Boswell, a paratrooper in the Second World War, describes his experiences as a young man carrying out combat jumps, including on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The two C-47 aircraft are followed by a de Havilland Dragon Rapide and a Piper L-4 Club.
• Demonstrating the war against Japan in the Pacific, a North American B-25 Mitchell, Mitsubishi A6M Zero Replica, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Grumman FM-2 Wildcat and Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, take to the skies accompanied by archive film footage of the Doolittle raid.
• In commemoration of the decade-long Vietnam War two North American T-28 Fennecs take to the skies to the unmistakable sound of Jimi Hendrix. Bell UH-1 Iroquois (‘Huey’) and Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (‘Loach’) helicopters fly through accompanied by the dramatic Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner. The Vietnam display concludes with a display by a North American OV-10 Bronco and a Shorts SC-7 Skyvan to the rousing music of The Doors.
The story of British and American collaboration in conflict concludes with an exploration of modern warfare and the causes of conflict in the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq.