IWM Duxford set to reopen fully and new flying days announced

A Spitfire (front) and a Hurricane (back) fly in tandem.

A Spitfire (front) and a Hurricane (back) fly in tandem. - Credit: IWM / Phil Chaplin

IWM Duxford is set to reopen in May with a new series of themed Flying Day events also announced.

In line with the latest government guidance, the Imperial War Museums site in Cambridgeshire will fully reopen to the public from Wednesday, May 19.

Children stand beneath a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford.

Children stand beneath a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford. - Credit: IWM

Visitors will be welcomed back on site to experience all areas of the museum, including the hangars and indoor exhibitions.

Tickets have also been released today (Thursday) for the first three Flying Days, which will be taking place from May through to the autumn.

A new addition to the IWM Duxford calendar, Flying Days are themed events guaranteeing fantastic flying displays over the historic airfield and entertaining activities on the ground.

Three Hawker Hurricanes in the sky together at Duxford Air Shows.

Three Hawker Hurricanes in the sky together at Duxford Air Shows. - Credit: IWM


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IWM air show event manager Phil Hood said: “Following 2020’s cancellations we have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to organise an array of events at IWM Duxford which are adaptable to the ever-evolving situation.

"We are delighted to introduce our new series of Flying Days, which will kick off in May and continue right through to the autumn, each one of which has been themed to ensure no two events are the same.

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"We also can’t wait to unveil the plans for our two summer air shows which, although they may feel slightly different to the norm, will entail hours of incredible entertainment in the skies.”

From Wednesday, May 19, you will be able to step into the former Second World War nerve centre of RAF Duxford in the Ops Block: Battle of Britain exhibition. 

This first opened to the public last September before having to close due to national lockdown restrictions.

The American Air Museum at Imperial War Museum.

The American Air Museum at Imperial War Museum. - Credit: Imperial War Museum

You can also explore original aircraft and intriguing collection items in the newly Grade II*-listed American Air Museum.

General admission tickets can be purchased via the IWM website and must be booked in advance.

Tickets for IWM Duxford's opening events of the flying season are also available to purchase.

Children enjoy family activities at IWM Duxford.

Children enjoy family activities at IWM Duxford. - Credit: IWM

The first of the newly introduced Flying Days at Europe’s largest air museum will be Standing Together on Saturday, May 22.

Following Mental Health Awareness week, the first Flying Day of the season will feature ground content focusing on educating and informing people about issues relating to mental health.

This will include volunteer talks about the importance of promoting good mental health within the armed forces, both historically and in the present day.

A costumed actor looks on as a Hawker Nimrod II taxies out onto the airfield at IWM Duxford.

A costumed actor looks on as a Hawker Nimrod II taxies out onto the airfield at IWM Duxford. - Credit: IWM / Phil Chaplin

The second special flying event will be Celebrating D-Day on Sunday, June 6.

Vintage ground activities and living history groups will bring the 1940s to life at Duxford with the chance for visitors to learn more about this remarkable Second World War seaborne invasion.

Watch as vintage aircraft, including Spitfires and Thunderbolts, take to the skies over the former RAF base.

A Spitfire on the airfield at IWM Duxford at sunset.

A Spitfire on the airfield at IWM Duxford at sunset. - Credit: David Mackey / IWM

Thank You Dads follows a fortnight later on Sunday, June 20 – Father's Day.

Dads and father figures will be celebrated at this third themed Flying Day, complete with crazy golf and displays of contemporary, vintage and military aircraft.

Tickets for the remainder of IWM Duxford’s Flying Days will be released in the coming weeks. Visit www.iwm.org.uk/airshows for more details.

The Shuttleworth Collection's Westland Lysander visits IWM Duxford.

The Shuttleworth Collection's Westland Lysander visits IWM Duxford. - Credit: IWM

IWM Duxford’s two air show weekends of 2021 are scheduled to go ahead, with the Duxford Summer Air Show taking place from July 24-25 and the Battle of Britain Air Show from September 18-19.

More details and tickets for these events will be released shortly.

Sopwith Triplane (front) and Fokker DR1 (back) replicas.

Sopwith Triplane (front) and Fokker DR1 (back) replicas. - Credit: IWM / David Mackey

A P-51 Mustang landing at Duxford, painted with shark’s teeth.

A P-51 Mustang landing at Duxford, painted with shark’s teeth. - Credit: IWM / Phil Chaplin


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