The iconic Battle of Britain Air Show returns to IWM Duxford this year for two-days of awe-inspiring aerial displays on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September.

The standout event is the second major air show of Duxford’s 50th anniversary Flying Season, and to mark this special occasion, children aged 15 years and under can attend for free. Visitors will be treated to unmissable displays from over 60 vintage and contemporary aircraft, including a mass flypast of 12 Spitfires and 4 Hurricanes, to commemorate the brave service men and women who risked their lives to defend Britain in the summer of 1940.

In a must-see moment for aviation fans, the last airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress in Europe – ‘Sally B’ – will be brought together with the RAF’s Avro Lancaster for a rare formation of the two most recognisable allied heavy bombers of the Second World War. The formation will be the first time the two bombers have flown together for over two decades and the first time ever at Duxford.

Other crowd-pleasers in the packed aerial line-up include the only airworthy two-seater Hawker Hurricane in the world, a Hispano HA1112 Buchon aircraft replicating a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt fighter, the legendary North American P51-D Mustang, and the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which will feature the Avro Lancaster, flanked by the Spitfire and Hurricane in a moving tribute to those who served.

The world-famous Red Arrows will take to the skies of Duxford on both days of the weekend event with a thrilling display of daring aerobatics.

On the ground, crowds will be transported back in time to the sights and sounds that kept spirits up in the summer of 1940, and meet a cast of wartime characters recreating the daily life of RAF Duxford as a Battle of Britain Fighter Station. Visitors can dress up in vintage attire, swing dance to wartime music, get their hair done in the style of the era and hear stories of those who lived and served at the historic base.

The ticket price includes access to IWM Duxford’s exhibitions and hangars throughout the day, packed full of aircraft, vehicles, collection items and personal stories of war and conflict.

Phil Hood, Air Show Event Manager, said: “The Battle of Britain Air Show is a highlight of IWM Duxford’s annual Flying Season as visitors get to experience what life would have been like for those who lived and served at RAF Duxford during the war.

“This is a very special year for IWM as we celebrate fifty years of entertaining crowds through aerial displays. This year’s air show is no exception, with appearances from an array of fan favourites, including the return of Duxford’s famous Spitfire flypast, and an historic formation when the Sally B and Avro Lancaster fly together for the first time in decades. We’re looking forward to greeting visitors, both old and new, to the show this year and hope to be entertaining crowds at Duxford for another 50 years to come.”

In addition to the Air Show, IWM Duxford will also be commemorating the Battle of Britain with the following events:

IWM In Conversation: Battle of Britain | 9 September | 9am – 6pm

Tickets £40 (Ticket price includes general admission)

Join us for a day packed with fascinating talks from guest speakers, historians, authors, pilots and IWM experts. Featuring in a static display, get a closer look at IWM Duxford’s Supermarine Spitfire MK.1 N3200 alongside Hawker Hurricane MK.1 V7497, which flew with 501 Squadron during the Battle of Britain.

Battle of Britain Tour | Daily from 9 to 15 September | 2pm

Tickets £10 (Admission to IWM Duxford not included)

Join one of our expert IWM guides for a 60-minute tour exploring Duxford’s role in the Battle of Britain. Hear about the background to the battle, learn about the RAF’s secret weapon the ‘Dowding System’ and uncover the myths, controversies and realities surrounding this iconic aerial campaign. Ask your own questions to our expert and explore our exhibitions The Battle of Britain Exhibition and Battle of Britain: Ops Block.

IWM Presents: The Battle of Britain | 23 September | From 10:30am

Tickets £30 (Ticket price includes general admission)

Join best-selling author Dilip Sarkar MBE FRHistS at IWM Duxford as he introduces his latest book titles, Faces of the Few and Battle of Britain the Movie. Hear Dilip talk about both publications in detail, adding more of his in-depth knowledge about the many people involved in the Battle of Britain. The event also includes a book signing with the author, followed by a chance to watch a screening of the film Battle of Britain (1969) in our Marshall Auditorium.

Duxford In a Different Light: Battle of Britain | 23 September | 5pm to 9pm (entry to IWM Duxford from 4pm)

Tickets £80

Join us for an outdoor, after-hours photography event dedicated to this pivotal moment in 20th century history. Using lighting and living history actors, Spitfires, Hurricanes and more will be brought to life against the backdrop of Duxford’s historic buildings to create evocative opportunities for your photographs. The event will culminate with the Westland Lysander performing an engine run as the sun goes down for an extra special photo opportunity.