Posts Tagged ‘News’

French Air Force to present three display teams at the Duxford Air Festival for the first time

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Rafale at Duxford Air Festival

For the second annual Duxford Air Festival, the French Air Force will bring three display teams to IWM Duxford for the very first time. They are the Patrouille de France aerobatic team (Sunday only), the French Air Force Dassault Rafale, a powerful and agile multi-role fighter aircraft used in combat over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria; and the French Air Force Equipe de Voltige, a duo of Extra aircraft performing close formation, high precision aerobatic displays. In addition to the exhilarating flying displays, there will be activities for all the family at the Duxford Air Festival, including the Family Flight Challenge, featuring Richard Meredith-Hardy, the first person to fly over Mount Everest in a microlight.

Additional flying highlights in this year’s Duxford Air Festival include: The Royal Air Force Chinook display team (Saturday only); the Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers, the world’s only aerobatic formation wing-walking team; the Great War Display Team with flak, bombing and strafing effects; the Global Stars team of British aerobatic champions; the Tiger Nine formation team of nine 1930s Tiger Moth biplanes; the extraordinary post-Second World War Swiss Air Force C-3605 ‘Schlepp’; B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, the only flying B-17 in Europe; IWM’s rare Mark I Spitfire and a Douglas C-47 Skytrain, in authentic D-Day markings, which appeared in the seminal TV series Band of Brothers (see Notes to Editors for full flying display list).

Taking place across the museum, the Family Flight Challenge will feature a host of captivating activities. In the Trailblazers Zone, in the Battle of Britain exhibition, Channel 4’s Arthur Williams will be in conversation with some of the finest adventurers and trailblazers from the world of aviation. Arthur has presented and written a number of leading documentaries on military history, travel and aviation, as well as Paralympic Sport. Arthur will be in conversation with Brian Jones who, along with Bertrand Piccard, co-piloted the first successful uninterrupted circumnavigation of the world onboard the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3; Ademilola Odujinrin, the first British African pilot in history to fly solo around the world and Richard Meredith-Hardy, a British extreme microlight pilot, who was twice World Microlight Champion and is also the first person to fly over Mount Everest in a microlight.

In the American Air Museum, visitors can try their hand at building a large-scale model of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Visitors can also get up close to a Chipmunk aircraft and a Pitts aircraft, experience an interactive 1950s RAF mobile control tower and meet members of the Dawn Patrol living history group, who will be portraying aviators of the Great War period.

Entry to IWM Duxford is included in the ticket price for all air shows. Visitors can get up close to the aircraft that have revolutionised flight, including the futuristic Blackbird spyplane, which performed top secret operations for almost 30 years and the B-52 Stratofortress, which stretches the length of the American Air Museum. Iconic aircraft, including the Spitfire, Concorde and the contemporary Tornado, are on display across the museum.

Tickets for all air shows must be booked in advance; no on the day tickets are available. A fantastic Early Bird offer is available until Sunday 13 May.

Climb on board the F-111 and VC10!

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

RAF Museum Cosford VC10

Date: 19 May 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Cost: £13.50 per person

The second of four ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this year, will be held on Saturday 19 May. Up to 600 aviation fans will have the opportunity to get a closer look inside more aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s collection, during an afternoon and evening session.

The RAF Museum Cosford and London is home to over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles and event organisers have selected 100 from the collection that they believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events will celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary by giving visitors access to aircraft and vehicles, spanning the services entire career.

The May event at Cosford will be themed around aircraft and vehicles from the National Cold War Exhibition, the transport and training collection in Hangar 1 and a selection of aircraft in the Museum grounds.

From the Cold War collection, aircraft and vehicles on the night include the General Dynamics F-111 F-CF. Built as a two-seat fighter-bomber, the F-111A variant became the first variable-geometry combat aircraft to enter service, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War. As well as serving with US forces, the F-111C variant were produced for the Royal Australian Air Force. The final production variant, the F-111F (as seen at Cosford) featured improved avionics, including navigational and digital computer systems, improved wing structure and landing gear, and more powerful engines. Their main offensive load was Paveway laser-guided bombs, with Sidewinder missiles carried for self-defence. A total of 106 were built from 1972 and they saw much service during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Other Cold War aircraft and vehicles open for the special event include the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis, Leopard tank, Bv 202 Over snow, and the Green Goddess (close view only).

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s transport and training vehicles, used for moving troops and equipment and retained to teach aircrews the wide variety of skills they must master before becoming operational. The Museum’s collection consists of some of the largest and smallest machines flown by the Royal Air Force and one of the event highlights will include the Vickers VC10 (weather permitting). Designed as a long-range airliner able to operate from short runways at airfields in hot and high conditions, the VC10 had a high cruising mach number with very good short field performance. In the later part of its service the aircraft was modified for the tanking role but kept its passenger and freight carrying ability. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event in May will be the first-time aviation fans have been given the opportunity to step on board the aircraft since its arrival at the Museum in 2015.

Another transporting giant of the RAF, the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 (weather permitting) will also be open to visitors, along with the advanced navigation trainer Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1.

Aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s Hangar 1 collection will include the de Havilland Chipmunk, one of the RAF’s longest serving aircraft types Vickers Varsity T Mk I brought into RAF service in 1951 for crew training as a replacement for the Wellington T10. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Morris Minor Traveller, Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Junkers Ju52/3M during the May event.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle and available to answer any questions. A special Log Book can be purchased for an additional £1, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!

A total of 600 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 19 May and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive access. The afternoon session will run from 1pm-4pm, followed by an evening session 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 5pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). Details on the RAF Museum London events are also available online.

Attending the exclusive ‘Open Cockpits and Cabs’ events is an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, which is a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

Red Arrows to Headline Centenary Celebrations at RAF Cosford

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Red Arrows at Cosford

On Sunday 10th June, RAF Cosford will host the most spectacular and interactive Air Show tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary, and today organisers released more details on aircraft scheduled to attend, including the spectacular RAF Red Arrows.

The event, with an expected attendance of 60,000 visitors, is proving more popular than ever due to the unique RAF100 commemorations planned. Organisers are urging those who wish to attend to purchase their tickets soon as they are already selling at an unprecedented rate. Almost all private enclosure and hospitality options are already sold out with only a few seats left.

Today it was confirmed that all of the Royal Air Force’s display assets would be performing in the action packed six-hour flying display, including the world famous Red Arrows display team with their nine Hawk jets. The RAF Falcons Parachute Display will be dropping in, carrying the RAF100 Baton, and modern aircraft such as the Typhoon, Chinook & Tutor would also be performing thrilling solo displays.

In the Royal Air Force’s centenary year the mission of the Air Show is to Commemorate the past achievements of the Royal Air Force, Celebrate the RAF of today and Inspire generations about opportunities in the future. As part of the commemorative element of the RAF Cosford Air Show, the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be flying their Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster & Dakota to honour those who served in WWII. An assortment of other historic aircraft from throughout the Royal Air Force’s history will also be on display at the event, with more to be added over the coming weeks.

On the ground, entertainment will include a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the 100 years of the RAF story told through a static line up of 100 aircraft. Four themed villages and two Science Technology Engineering and Maths hangars will take that story even further with interactive displays and fascinating fun for all ages.

Station Commander RAF Cosford, Group Captain Tone Baker, said “We are delighted to be hosting our biggest and best ever Air Show this summer. 2018 is a special year as we mark RAF100 but also RAF Cosford itself celebrates its 80th birthday, and there is no better way for the public to get involved than coming along to the Air Show and see behind the scenes of an active Royal Air Force station.”

Air Show Tickets, priced at £29.00 per adult, are now sale in a number of outlets across the region including a variety of Tourist Information Centres and Theatres. They are also available directly from the Air Show website Accompanied under-16s enter the Air Show for free, making the event an excellent family day out and great value for money.

Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Morning at Brooklands Museum

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Volunteers at Brooklands

Thursday 3rd May 2018

Some fantastic volunteering opportunities will be on offer at a special event on Thursday May 3rd from 10am – 12noon at Brooklands Museum. Everyone is welcome to come along to the Museum’s Volunteer Recruitment Coffee Morning to meet some of the current volunteers and staff and discover the wide range of options to suit all ages, interests and levels of commitment.

By joining the Volunteer programme you can make a real difference to the Museum, make new friends and share your skills and experience to help preserve and interpret the heritage of Brooklands to hundreds of weekly visitors. Brooklands is the birthplace of British motor sport and aviation, home of Concorde and has just completed a multi-million pound development. The new Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed exhibitions have transformed the site and generated a lot of interest with a marked increase in visitor numbers.

There are also collections of Vickers and Hawker aircraft, vintage racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles and historic buildings where many of them were built and tested. The unique history of the site is brought to life every day with the valuable support of volunteers. In 2016 the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was awarded to the Brooklands Volunteers – the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Volunteers cover a wide variety of roles vital to the Museum, from stewarding and guiding both adults and school children to restoration of aircraft and vehicles, research, administration, marshalling at events, painting and gardening. Over 800 volunteers are registered at the Museum, coming from every sector of the community and professional background, and priding themselves on their professionalism, knowledge and enthusiasm. Visitors often comment about how much their visits are enhanced by interaction with them.

Entrance to the Museum to prospective volunteers is free and tours of the Museum will be available. So why not come and meet the team and Sue Lewin, Volunteer Resources Manager at Brooklands Museum. Entry is via Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL. If you are interested in discussing some opportunities but are unable to make the date, please contact Sue Lewin, Volunteer Manager on 01932 857 381 Ext 242 or email

RAF Centenary Spitfire Challenge

Monday, April 16th, 2018

RAF100 Spitfire Challenge

Spitfire 100K Challenge
100K in 100 days
Date: Entries open until 1 April
Location: Anywhere you like!
Cost: £20 per person

Spitfire 10K and Family Run
Date: 2 September 2018
Time: Family Run 9.15am / Spitfire 10K 10am
Location: RAF Museum, London NW9
Cost: Standard entry £22.50 per person (15+ years); £5 each for fun run

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and as part of the celebrations and commemorations, the award-winning RAF Museum is inviting runners to take part in some exciting events to mark the once in a lifetime occasion and help raise funds for the RAF 100 Appeal.

SPITFIRE 100k Challenge:
To celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force, the RAF Museum has set a new centenary year challenge to run 100K in 100 days. The Spitfire 100K Challenge is a virtual race which launches on 1 April 2018 and runners have exactly 100 days to walk, jog or run 100K in a location of their choice. Runners will be given a log sheet to record their 100K before being rewarded with a spinning propeller Spitfire 100K Challenge medal.

Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds from the Spitfire 100K Challenge will go towards the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities – Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, Royal Air Forces Association, Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum.

As a virtual race, the 100K challenge can be completed anywhere in the world and runners from as far as America, Germany and Denmark have already signed up. Online registration is now open and closes on 1 April when the challenge begins. Limited edition Spitfire 100K Challenge t-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online.

SPITFIRE 10k and Family Fun Run:
This year we are offering 800 runners the opportunity to run a 10K on our historic airfield site in North West London. 2018 is a big year for the Royal Air Force and for the Museum. We have three new exhibitions and a beautiful landscaped site, evoking the London Aerodrome from 100 year ago. You will start under the Sunderland and run through the site and then continue around the streets of Colindale, before coming back on site to finish on our ‘taxiway’.

At the end of the race you will be awarded with an exclusive Spitfire 10K medal, which will be extra special for 2018 as this year will be the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

T-shirts can be ordered when you purchase your Spitfire 10K entry and will be available for collection on the day. The deadline to pre-order your t-shirt is Sunday 12 August 2018.

Entry to the Museum is free of charge and runners, spectators and supporters are encouraged to explore the site on race day.

Spitfire Family Run:
For 2018 we will also be holding a NEW Spitfire Family Run. This gentle run will take place around our transformed site. Each registered runner will receive a special medal upon completion. The race is suitable for all ages, but children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Standard entry (all ages): £5 (this includes a medal). Please note that only paying participants will be awarded a medal.

The Spitfire 10K is a UK Athletics licenced race over an accurately measured course and is suitable for keen runners and novices alike, so if you’re aged 15 and over why not give it a go? Whether you’ve been entering races for years, or you’re just getting into running, the Spitfire 10K is guaranteed to be fun and memorable.

Organisers are also encouraging participants to get into the spirit of the Spitfire 10K by dressing in wartime attire – don your victory curls or flying jacket and run this event in style! Or, why not sport a bespoke 2018 Spitfire 10K t-shirt, available to purchase when you register online. The Spitfire 10K will be a fun family day out and spectators are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Plus, following the race, visitors have the added bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free Museum, where they will find over 75 historical aircraft on display.

To register for the event visit the Museum’s website Entry to the Spitfire 100K Challenge is £20 per person, the Spitfire 10K costs £22.50 per person (Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person), and participation in the Spitfire Family Run is £5 per person. All proceeds will go towards the RAF100 Appeal (registered charity number 1167398). For further details about the event can be found online.

Tornado GR4 now on display at IWM Duxford

Monday, April 16th, 2018

IWM Tornado GR4

On Wednesday 11 April Tornado GR4 ZA469 took pride of place on display in the Battle of Britain exhibition at IWM Duxford.

Tornado GR4 ZA469 was transported from the Conservation Hall in AirSpace to the Battle of Britain exhibition in order to be displayed to visitors.

The Tornado GR4 is the most significant combat jet used by the Royal Air Force during the last 27 years and continues in service until 2019. This aircraft – ZA 469 – deployed to Afghanistan between 2011 and 2014, frequently operated in support of ground forces. In 2011 it flew on Operation Ellamy, to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Most recently it took part in counter-ISIS operations in the Middle East.

Imperial War Museums is delighted to be working with RAF Marham to add Tornado GR4 ZA469 to our displays at IWM Duxford. Wing Commander Phil Marr, Acting Station Commander, RAF Marham, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to loan a Tornado GR4 to Imperial War Museums, especially as the Tornado Force enters its last year of service with the Royal Air Force. The Tornado has been supporting operations across the globe for just over 27 years and continues to fly sorties in the Middle East today so it is great for visitors to IWM Duxford to be able to see an aircraft up close that is currently being used on operations.”

Diane Lees, Director-General, Imperial War Museums said: “Imperial War Museums is actively building its contemporary conflict collections. This Tornado represents some of the most significant post-2001 conflicts in which UK armed forces have been involved. Over the next few years, we hope to work with former Tornado aircrew – especially those who have flown in this aircraft – to also tell the personal stories of those who have taken part in these conflicts.”

Red Arrows Headline RAF100 Tribute at Air Day

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Red Arrows by Paul Johnson

Smoke on! The world-class Red Arrows will lead the Royal Air Force’s centenary involvement at this year’s RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 7 July. The RAF has had the Red Arrows as its official aerobatic team for over half its lifespan. Flying their nine red-painted BAe Hawk T1 jet trainers, 2018’s Red Arrows are led by a new ‘Red 1’, Squadron Leader Martin Pert. The team’s all-action routine is sure to be an Air Day highlight once more, peaking with the Synchro Pair’s breath-taking crossing manoeuvres.

Joining the RAF convoy are a pair of Supermarine Spitfires, from the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby. A landmark RAF type, the immortal Spitfire is among the most famous of WW2 fighters. Also inbound is Dakota III ZA947: the flight’s example of US manufacturer Douglas’ ubiquitous twin-engine transport aircraft. In its No. 233 Squadron D-Day markings, the BBMF Dakota adds further RAF100 flavour to the show.

Bring the noise! The Typhoon FGR4 will be showcasing the sharp end of the RAF. A true multirole combat aircraft, the Typhoon’s taskings include UK QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties, air-to-air combat, air policing and peace support. Demonstrating the type’s outstanding performance capability will be Flight Lieutenant Jim Peterson, this year’s RAF Typhoon Display Team pilot.

The uniquely airworthy Bristol Sycamore will also be delivering some RAF100 zest to the show. Entering RAF service ahead of all other British-designed helicopters, the Sycamore was a real rotary pioneer. It was first flown in July 1947, barely two years after the end of WW2. Less than a dozen Sycamores now remain and this one, as the world’s only flyer, brings distinction and rarity to Air Day.

Further RAF100 related aircraft participation will be announced in due course. To book tickets and to see the full list of participating aircraft visit

Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale Saturday 14th April 2018

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Newark Air Museum Aeroboot

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale
Saturday 14th April 2018

The rearranged Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale takes place at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire on Saturday 14th April 2018. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again is a sell-out event, attracting participation from aviation enthusiasts and the general public from across the UK and Europe

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the final installation costs for new Café & Toilet facilities that are currently being commissioned at the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

48 tables, featuring around 37 different sellers, who come from around the UK will be arranged amongst the aircraft in Display Hangar 2 at the museum.

Buyers / visitors who attend this fund raising event will have the opportunity to search through a varied selection of aviation and avionic items: including books, paintings, prints, DVDs, plastic kits, die-cast models, clothing, radio equipment and aircraft parts. Regular updates / sellers information are being posted on the news page of the museum website

Buyers / visitors at this event will be able to access the museum site on Saturday 14th April, 2018 at a special discounted admission price of just £4.50 per person.

The museum opening times will be 09.00 to 17.00 hours; with the sale taking place between 09.00 and 14.00 hours; to get the best bargains we suggest that you get there early.

Further details are available on the Events Page of the museum website or by telephoning 01636 707170.

IWM Duxford announces 2018 air show season with fabulous flying and commemoration of the RAF Centenary

Sunday, April 8th, 2018


IWM Duxford will present a festival of flying for all the family in 2018, with children under 16 going free to IWM air shows.* Tickets are now on sale, with a fantastic Early Bird offer for all air shows.

Tickets booked for either the Duxford Air Festival or the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show before 23.59 on Thursday 8 February will automatically be entered into a prize draw to have a chance of winning a once-in-a-lifetime Spitfire flight with IWM Duxford’s pleasure flight partner Classic Wings.

Tickets for all air shows must be booked in advance; no on the day tickets are available.

IWM Duxford’s 2018 air show season commences with the Duxford Air Festival (May Bank Holiday weekend Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May) offering a thrill-packed weekend. The Flying Legends Air Show (Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July) is a feast of nostalgia while the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show (Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September) is an official partner for the Royal Air Force centenary, celebrating its famous aircraft, past and present.

The Duxford Air Festival will be a feast of action-packed flying full of speed, noise, power and thrills. Confirmed aircraft include the Tiger Nine formation team of nine 1930s Tiger Moth biplanes and the AeroSuperBatics WingWalkers, the world’s only aerobatic formation wing-walking team.

Across the museum, visitors can enjoy a wide range of events and activities. The Family Flight Challenge shows that it takes more than a pilot to make an aircraft fly: from scientists and engineers to designers and mechanics. You might find yourself leaping into the air, slipping-on goggles, meeting our real inventors and adventurers or working in a team to make something fly. In our ‘Meet the Authors’ marquee writers will discuss their current books and take questions from the audience.

The Flying Legends Air Show is organised and produced by The Fighter Collection. This world-famous air show combines flying displays of remarkable historic aircraft with engaging nostalgic activities to create an authentic 1940s atmosphere at IWM Duxford’s wartime airfield.

Rare aircraft travel across the globe to take part in the Flying Legends Air Show, performing exceptional aerial spectacles. At Flying Legends 2018 the Flying Bulls will present a five-ship formation for the first time in the UK, featuring two Alpha Jets, a B-25J Mitchell, Goodyear Corsair and P-38 Lightning. The world-renowned balbo, a massed-formation flying display, provides a remarkable finale to the air show.

In 2018, there will be two vintage villages at the Flying Legends Air Show, offering a wide range of nostalgic entertainment.

The Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show brings to life Duxford’s finest hour as an important Second World War fighter station defending Great Britain from aerial attack in 1940. The roar of Spitfires and Hurricanes over Duxford’s historic airfield make this a hugely engaging historic experience and a great British day out for 2018.

The Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show is an official partner of RAF 100, commemorating the centenary ofthe formation of the Royal Air Force. The flying display will showcase not only the famous historic aircraft of the RAF but will also present its modern capabilities with contemporary aircraft in service today.

Entry to the award-winning IWM Duxford is included in the ticket price for all air shows. Visitors can get up close to the aircraft that have revolutionised flight, including the futuristic Blackbird spyplane, which performed top secret operations for almost 30 years and the B-52 Stratofortress, which stretches the length of the American Air Museum. Iconic aircraft, including the Spitfire, Concorde and the contemporary Eurofighter Typhoon, are on display across the museum.

Life and Death in the Battle of Britain

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Life and Death in the Battle of Britain

Previously unpublished wartime diary reveals a moving insight into life on a Battle of Britain airfield and the young men who risked their lives in aerial battle.

Life and Death in the Battle of Britain is the powerful and moving unpublished diary of Guy Mayfield, Chaplain at RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain, a defining moment of the Second World War and one of the greatest aerial battles ever fought.

Through Mayfield’s engaging and evocative writing, readers are transported to life in early 1940s Britain, as the Battle of Britain raged in the skies above.

Guy Mayfield arrived at RAF Duxford on 2 February 1940 and wrote regular entries in his diary until his last day at Duxford, prior to a posting to Gibraltar, on 2 December 1941.

Through the emotive and insightful entries in his diary, the reader accompanies Mayfield as he describes the hectic nature of airfield operations and the constant call to scramble interspersed with off-duty time and high jinks in the Officers’ Mess. Mayfield’s intense grief is felt as he describes the loss of friends and colleagues who became so dear to him, while his gentle and endearing humour show why he was such a trusted friend to these young airmen and an integral part of life on this famous Battle of Britain fighter station.

Mayfield spoke, at length and in intimate detail, to pilots who knew they might not survive the next 24 hours. His documenting of these conversations in his diary provides a unique, never before published, insight into the lives of the young men who risked their lives daily in defence of Great Britain – their innermost thoughts, hopes and fears. Years after he wrote his wartime diaries, Guy returned to them, adding retrospective observations and remembrances which have been added to the original diary entries in this publication.

Guy Mayfield’s powerful words are accompanied by poignant photographs of the airmen he lovingly describes. Many of the images are from his personal photograph album and will be published for the very first time. In an introductory section, IWM historian Carl Warner explains why Mayfield’s diary is so remarkable in bringing a compelling and direct new perspective to the Battle of Britain:

“In the pages of his [Guy Mayfield’s] diary, we find one of the finest accounts of a fighter station at ar. It is full of insight into the mind of a man who made an enormous, unsung contribution to victory and into those of others on the station whose mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing he cared about so deeply.”

“Much has been written of Duxford’s role in this defining conflict, but there are few accounts as honest, open and revealing as this.”

“For scholars of the Battle of Britain, and of the Second World War RAF, Mayfield’s account is unique in that it provides us with access to the most heartfelt, deep and meaningful conversations that took place in 1940 as ‘the few’ faced the most monumental challenge of their young lives. It gives rare insight into the thoughts and feelings of young men who, underneath the famous ‘Brylcreem Boys’ exterior, were real people who overcame their own fears day after day – the very epitome of courage.”

‘Life & Death in the Battle of Britain is published by IWM on 19 April and can be pre-ordered here: