Autumn Air Show 2014 - Duxford / United Kingdom

The main theme shifted from the Great War to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain – which historically is not really correct. The Battle of Britain is defined by historians in the period between the 10th of July till the 31st of October 1940! The ten thousands of spectators did not really bother about the correct date and enjoyed some great displays from Spitfires flying in formation with a Hawker Hurricane as well as the Hawk displays (Curtiss P-40F Warhawk and a Curtiss Hawk 75, both from The Fighter Collection).

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The highlight of the IWM Duxford Autum airshow was for sure the unique Lancaster display. Unique because it was not only the common BBMF Lancaster Mk. III but also the Canadian based Lancaster Mk. X from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at Hamilton, Ontario which one could see in the sky above Duxford. Unfortunately the two Lancs flying in close formation was available on Sunday only. For the Saturday event IWM organized another showstopper – the AVRO Vulcan XH558. This huge strategic bomber from the Cold War impressed the crowd not only with its sheer size but also with a remarkable display. Especially the final pass was unbelievable: a high angle climb with full power followed by an almost completed barrel roll (some 120 at least). The first passes of the Vulcan were accompanied by two Folland Gnats coming from North Weald, which made a very nice and unique formation (the tiny little Gnat made the Vulcan look even more impressive).

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Absolutely unexpected (at least we did not have this one on our radar screen) was another great display by a Boeing 727. The very first public appearance of a privately owned airliner (by the company T2 Aviation’s Oil Spill Response) was not a common airliner flyby but an extremly dynamic show. No wonder, as the pilot in the Boeing 727 was no one less than Dan Griffith. Dan is one of the best and most respected airshow pilots in Europe and one of only two people with the type rating to fly the DeHavilland DH 110 Sea Vixen.

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The airshows in Duxford are always highly recommended! The September 2014 show was definitely no exception. The main themes were not really clear, but, who cares? There was plenty of flying and also plenty of highlights for everybody. We are already looking forward to the next season, which will start in Duxford at the 23rd/24th of May 2015 with the VE Day Anniversary airshow – CU there!

Robert Kysela / CHK6

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