September the Imperial War Museum at Duxford presented its 3rd and
last airshow of the 2016 season. And what a show it was !
This show, named "Meet the Fighters", gathered a lot of
fighters but also some heavier stuff and aerobatic teams. But this
show could have been called "Meet the Fighter" (without
Indeed, the finale previous to the Red Arrows alone was worth the
journey to the mythical airfield of Duxford, which is part of the
histroy of the second World War.
Let us start with this spectacular finale made up of 14 Spitfires,
ranging from the Mk Ia from the battle of Britain to the Mk XVIII,
who knew her glory days with the RAF in the after-war period. After
a taxi to the holding point, we witnessed the take-offs of these
magnificent metallic birds under the characteristic roar of their 'Merlin'
and 'Griffon' engines. A few minutes later the 14 airplanes were
together and we were gratified with 3 colorful formation fly-by's
thanks to their various color schemes. Followed by a break in boxes
of 2 x 4 and 2 x3 airplanes to offer a marvelous show with Spitfires
flying all over the skies, giving us a hard to time trying to follow
all of them. In short, a breathtaking performance ended by the
landing of these beautiful planes.
Alas ! This was only possible on Sunday as the Saturday weather let
a great deal of visitors down. Constant and at times heavy rain
showers forced the organizers to cancel a great number of
presentations or allow only some taxi runs so the visitors still
could have a look at the airplanes.
let us go back to the Sunday show under beautiful summery skies
giving the visitors a flying panel ranging from ancient planes from
the first World War, through the Cold War period and the between the
Wars period, onto the second World War.
To depict the conflict from 1914 to 1918, the "Great War
display team" left his fumed and anti-aircraft exploding marks
in the skies of Duxford, followed by the Bristol Fighter and the new
Sopwith Snipe from Shuttleworth.
The between the wars period was materialised by the Gloster
Gladiator, Hawker Nimrod and Hawker Demon. Superb biplanes with
already some powerful engines under the hood.
The larger part was dedicated to the second World War with a Hawker
Hurricane simulating a shooting training on a towed target. In these
times this ungreatful task was done by the Miles Martinet but for
this days occasion a good old 'Piper Cub' did the job.
A little bit heavier… The demonstrations of the Avro Lancaster of
the BBMF, the Boeing B-17G "Sally B" and the superb
Catalina belonging to Plane Sailing.
The Messerschmitt ME109, alias Hispano HA-1112 Buchon, duet, swiftly
chased by 2 Spitfires owned by the Commanche Fighters. The Spitifre
Mk Ia had this particularity as it was wearing a special livery for
the big screen motion picture : Dunkirk. Not to be missed when
The Goodyear FG-1D 'Corsair' was also present and flew together with
the Yakovlev Yak-3 owned by M. Davy, but this latter landed quite
rapidly after a technical problem had developped.
Another superb duo was the Grumman F-8F 'Bearcat' accompanied by the
Hawker Sea Fury FB.11, which we had seen some weeks before at the
last 'Flying Legends' show.
Following those two powerful planes build at the end of the war and
used substantially during the Korean war, we entered a new
conflictual period in Europe… The Cold War, opposing the NATO and
the Warsaw Pact forces. To depict the fighters of this troubled
period, the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron attended the
show with the MIG 15 UTI and two De Havilland Vampires, a FB.52 and
a T.55. A beautiful demo with a formation fly-by of these three
first hour jet aircraft.
In short, history with a big 'H' was once again masterly presented
and higly appreciated, with those superb airplanes from past times.
Which just shows you have to put Duxford in your agenda without any
The "Global Stars" were also part of the program with the
particularity not only having a 'dotty-smoke' system, adding to the
dynamic nature of the show but also regarding the composition of
team with various aircraft types including 1 Extra 360, 1 Extra 330
SC and 2 Mudry Cap 232. On the side, the team is led by Mark
Jefferies, UK aerobatic champion, flying a solo presentation giving
away his adroitness in this field. Their presentation was only flown
on Saturday under a milky and rainy sky and this team certainly
needs to be seen again in better weather conditions.
At last, we had team awaited for by our British hosts, the "Red
Arrows", always in a dazzling shape offering a highly coloured
demonstration under a setting sun. Sheer hapiness !
Once again, this September show was a great succes, at least on
Sunday, and we can only motivate our readers to have the journey to
Duxford during the next show season.
more better and more awaited than this written resumé, is our
dedicated photographic overview, but due to the richness of the
images, the report is divided in three parts.
First part takes you wandering along the flightline, not with the
usual 'from profile' pictures depicting the serials and markings of
the aircraft much too the 'spotters' like pictures, but rather
unusual sights or particular markings of those canvas, woorden and
second, more traditional part with an overview of the airshow with
some images from in between the raindrops on Saturday and of course
from the bright summery Sunday show.
third and last part will take you to meet Her Majesty of the air…
the Spitfire with the 14 Spitfires present at Duxford. The pleasure
to see them here, is just as joyfull it was for us picturing them !
SBAP-team wishes to thank heartily Mrs Esther Blaine, Public
Relation manager and her team for the always perfect and warm
welcome, the detailed visit of the flightline and the facilities
granted during our stay at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
Time has almost come for our team to conclude the 2016 season, but
be assured that DUXFORD is already entered in our agenda in capital