Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Flypast -Goodwood – 15 September 2015

On Battle of Britain Day 2015 a flypast of 33 aircraft took off from Goodwood Aerodrome to mark the 75th anniversary of that historic event. Wartime Hurricane and Spitfire pilot Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE, who is 95, led the formation from the rear seat of a two seat Spitfire in the first group of four – ‘white section’. Tom was joined in the air by Cpl Alan Robinson and Nathan Forster, two wounded servicemen backed by the Spitfire Scholarship in partnership with The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, which Prince Harry launched in 2014, and who also attended. Prince Harry was due to also be a passenger in a two-seat Spitfire but unfortunately was unable to do so due to a technical issue with one of the aircraft.

Over 30,000 people attended the event inside the airfield with many thousands more viewing from the surrounding hillsides and on the routes taken as the sections (detailed below) ‘patrolled’ various locations around the south of England with historical links to the battle.

Most of the aircraft taking part in the flypast were already on the aerodrome having taken part in the weekend’s Goodwood Revival (seeĀ Goodwood Revival), with the remainder arriving in the morning.

The participating aircraft were:

White P7350, SM520, PV202, AB910

Red MK356, PZ865, LF363, TE311

Green R4118, PL965

Blue TD248, MV268, JT-10

Orange X4650, ML407, PP972

Yellow L6739, MH434, P7308, EP120

Purple TD314, N3200, BM597, P3700

Pink SX336 (should also have had RR232 but this aborted its take-off)

Brown TA805, P2921, TE184

Black AG224, 3W-17, MT928

RR232 did manage to take off at the back, and P-51 Mustang KH774 also followed as camera-ship

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Duxford Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Airshow – 20 September 2015

There have been a number of outstanding moments commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of ‘The Few’, and one of those was the Spitfire formation and tail-chase at IWM Duxford’s September show. The following hopefully illustrates that, plus a number of the other display acts.

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Battle of Britain ‘Hardest Day’ mass flypast at Biggin Hill – 18 August 2015

Taking off from Biggin Hill, 5 Hurricanes, 16 Spitfires and a Seafire flew over south-east England today to mark 75 years since the Battle of Britain’s ‘Hardest Day’. On 18 August 1940 Biggin Hill was amongst many targets which came under attack from the Luftwaffe as it attempted to gain air superiority by launching its largest number of aircraft in an attempt to defeat the RAF. It became known as the ‘hardest day’ as both sides recorded their greatest loss of life during the battle. Against great odds the RAF defended Britain during the hard battles through August and September, eventually causing Hitler to postpone his plans of invasion.

The flypast aircraft were gathered from the UK, Europe and the USA and split into three sections to cover a larger area. The weather of the day was heavy overcast, but thankfully the rain held off to allow for the event to go as planned.

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Battle of Britain Airshow – Headcorn – 11 July 2015

Held at the picturesque airfield near Maidstone in Kent, this event bravely clashed with Duxford’s Flying Legends show – but the packed public areas proved it a risk worth taking. The inclusion in the flying display of a number of warbirds also displaying at Legends meant that the flying would take place late in the afternoon and into the evening. The Battle of Britain theme featured strongly in the flying program and included an airfield attack by the two Buchons, soon seen off by defending Spitfires and a Hurricane. The touring US-based Spitfire IX SL633 was a welcome inclusion, and its surprise formation with the Blenheim offered a signature image of the day.

The small team that delivered this high quality event should be greatly applauded for their efforts in producing such a strong celebration of ‘The Few’.

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Abingdon Air & Country Show – 3 May 2015

Having suffered a number of pre-show cancellations, the show was also unfairly hit by the weather with a number of heavy downpours during the day adding to the blustery wind. The organisers however did manage to chop and change to serve up a very enjoyable show – as ever making great contributions to charities such as the featured Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance. The event saw the debut of the RAF’s 75th anniversary Battle of Britain pairing of Typhoon and Spitfire, which appeared just after one of the worst periods of the day’s rain and which could so easily have been added to the cancellations. The images below cover some of the highlights of the show and also illustrate some of the added attractions at the event, plus some ‘arrivals’ on the Saturday, a day which ended with a night shoot:

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Steam on London Mainlines – 14 February 2015

Two steam specials departed London mainline stations early on Saturday morning.

Battle of Britain Class locomotive 34067 ‘Tangmere’ left Kings Cross just after seven am pulling ‘The Valentines White Rose’ tour and heading north to the city of York, sending plumes of smoke into the cold dawn sky.

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Just after nine LNER B1 Class locomotive 61306 ‘Mayflower’ departed London Victoria bound for the south coast on a circular tour with ‘The Cathedrals Express’. Steam hauled passenger trains have become a popular attraction running throughout the UK rail network.

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