Picture gallery: Duxford IWM celebrates 40 years of air show with a spirited flying display

Pilots from across the years at IWM Duxford pose for a commemorative photograph with Supermarine Spi

Pilots from across the years at IWM Duxford pose for a commemorative photograph with Supermarine Spitfire MH434, owned by Old Flying Machine Company. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of visitors turned out to join in the celebrations as Imperial War Museum Duxford marked 40 years of air shows in grand style on Sunday.

The Red Bull Matadors excited the crowd with their thrilling aerobatics.

The Red Bull Matadors excited the crowd with their thrilling aerobatics. - Credit: Archant

The Autumn Air Show included a packed flying programme with a wide variety of aircraft displays.

Opening the flying display was B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, a well-loved aeroplane which has been resident at IWM Duxford since 1975, longer than any other airworthy historic aircraft.

It was followed by the Westland Lynx helicopter from 702 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. The Royal Naval Air Station provided a flying display for Duxford’s first show in 1973 and presented a dynamic display at today’s air show 40 years later.

The Autumn Air Show also celebrated the aircraft restored and flown by IWM Duxford’s flying partners, who have been an intergral part of Duxford’s flying heritage for many of the past 40 years. A four-ship of elegant aircraft saw David and Mark Millers’ de Havilland Dragon Rapide take to the skies alongside the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver from Aircraft Restoration Company, the Beech Model 17 Staggerwing from The Fighter Collection, and the Boeing PT-17 Stearman from Golden Apple Operations Limited.

The Fighter Collection, also based at IWM Duxford, presented a range of its historic aircraft with a flying display by the Curtiss P-40B Warhawk, the P-40F Warhawk, the Curtiss Hawk 75, the Grumman F8F Bearcat and the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat.

Another IWM Duxford favourite, Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina took to the skies, followed by a pair of Miles Magister aircraft from the Real Aeroplane Company/P Holloway and the Shuttleworth Collection.

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The Royal Air Force has been present at many of IWM Duxford’s air shows since that first air show in 1973. They were represented by the Shorts Tucano from 72 (R) Squadron, RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

This rip-roaring display was followed by a selection of lighter aircraft, featuring the Piper L-4 Cub from Frazerblades, the Auster 5J1 Autocrat from D & M Miller, the DHC Chipmunk T Mk 10 from Aircraft Restoration Company and the balletic LeVier Cosmic Wind from Pete Kynsey and Anna Walker.

In scenes reminiscent of the Battle of Britain film which was filmed at Duxford in 1968, two Hispano Ha-112 Buchons took to the skies next, followed by historic US trainer aircraft in the form of a pair of North American T-28 Fennecs from Radial Revelations and Group Fennec respectively and a pair of North American Havard aircraft from The Fighter Collection and Aircraft Restoration Company.

The Army Air Corps flew at Duxford’s first air show in 1973 and today flew the AugustaWestland Apache AH Mark I helicopter from 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, Wattisham Airfield.

An exciting display by the vibrant Hawker Hunter Miss Demeanour represented the Hawker Hunter which flew at the 1973 and was a real crowd pleaser!

This was followed by the aerobatic talents of The Red Bull Matadors in their Xtreme XA41 aircraft before the Autumn Air Show concluded with the unique Duxford spectacle that is the sight of Supermarine Spitfires and a Hawker Hurricane over Duxford’s historic airfield. Yet again, talented pilots produced a very exciting flying display that gave the crowd goosebumps.

There were also fun activities to enjoy across the museum, with family activities where visitors could find out about the United States Army Air Forces and RAF Bomber Command in the Second World War and also the RAF in the post-war Cold War era.

It was a fitting end to IWM Duxford’s 2013 air show season and a fantastic celebration of 40 years of air shows.