September’s Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will celebrate 50 years since the 1969 classic starring Michael Caine and will include displays from an array of original Second World War aircraft, including P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts, and will culminate in a mass flypast of 19 Spitfires.

The 1969 film Battle of Britain will be remembered with a formation of four former Spanish Air Force  Hispano Búchon fighters which played the role of Luftwaffe Bf109s. A further Battle of Britain formation flight of three Mk. I Spitfires and four Hurricanes will take to the skies to in salute to famous Duxford resident Douglas Bader whose life was portrayed in ‘Reach for the Sky.’ Hurricanes and Spitfires also featured alongside Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in Pearl Harbour (2001) and Squadron 303 (2018). Joining them will be the B-17 Flying Fortress called Sally B which featured in the 1990 remake of Memphis Belle.

Other highlights this year include the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, a USAAF Vultee BT-13 Valiant, a Russian Yakovlev Yak-9 from Switzerland plus the MiG-15 and T-33 Silver Star Korean War jets from Norway. Also flying are the Bremont Great War Display Team whose aircraft which played roles in the 2016 Flyboys film starring James Franco and Wonder Woman. A Hawker Fury will be flying a solo display, while a Mercury formation will feature two Westland Lysanders and a Gloster Gladiator.

On the ground, visitors can explore IWM Duxford’s exhibitions and hangars. The Battle of Britain hangar tells the story of the aerial campaign, and features an Mk I Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3. Next door is Hangar Base, the concrete floor remains of a First World War hangar that was blown up and destroyed by the Battle of Britain film crew as part of the Eagle Day sequence.

IWM Duxford will be transformed into a film set once again, giving visitors the opportunity to dance their way into a party scene, or step in as an extra and deliver their lines. History lovers can watch cinematic footage from IWM’s archives, while fashionistas can enter a best dressed competition, or try on a costume from the wardrobe department.

The D-Day-themed Normandy Experience in the Land Warfare Exhibition features a soundscape and costumes from Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998). In the American Air Museum, there is a display on Willie Wyler, the director of The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944) who served during the Second World War with the U.S. Air Force.

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 September 2019 – 

Tickets from £35; kids go free*

  • Ticketing information is available on the IWM website. Tickets for all air shows must be booked in advance; no on the day tickets are available.
  • All flying is subject to weather, serviceability and operational commitments.
  • *Kids under 15 go free when an adult purchases a ticket for the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show.