Thursday 26th August 2021

Fourteen Spitfires will take to the skies at the IWM Duxford Air Show this September in the Battle of Britain Air Show.

It’s time to practice your lindy hops and dust off your tweed jackets as IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show returns on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September, transporting visitors back to the summer of 1940 as the historic airfield prepares for a weekend of vintage showground entertainment and historic flying displays.

Following a successful return to Air Shows in July, IWM Duxford is thrilled to welcome visitors back for its final Air Show of the season which will see the historic site transformed with living history groups, 1940s music and dancing and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. The Battle of Britain Air Show will also see a spectacular array of aircraft take to the skies, including The RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial flight. They will open the show’s packed flying programme with a Spitfire, Hurricane, and one of only two airworthy Avro Lancaster bombers remaining in the world. Air displays throughout the day will showcase the best of Second World War aviation with plenty more Spitfires as well as seaplanes, and Thunderbolts. Also featuring are the Great War Display Team who will be performing a choreographed dogfight with authentic First World War aircraft.

The showground will offer no shortage of entertainment including, for the first time, a vintage fairground complete with a carousel and ferris wheel, jazz and big band sounds from The Debonaires and 1940s classic songs from the cover act, Perfect Vintage. There will also be the chance to dance the lindy hop or try your hand at a swing dance and be sure to say hello to living history re-enactment groups, including Spirit of Britain who will portray the life and roles of 19 Squadron, based at RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. Explore static aircraft inside and up close and meet both current and former pilots to hear their stories of life in the air.

Group of fighters at sunrise/sunset.
Battle of Britain Air Show.
Group of fighters at sunset.

All IWM Duxford hangars and exhibitions will be open throughout the weekend including the recently opened Ops Block, an audio-visual experience that captures how men and women defended Britain from Luftwaffe attacks in the former nerve centre of RAF Duxford during the Battle of Britain. With the stories of real people who served here alongside their uniforms, keepsakes, and testimonies, the Ops Block links the personal to the extraordinary feats in the sky.

IWM Air Show Event Manager, Phil Hood, said “The Battle of Britain Air Show is always a very special event at IWM Duxford given the important role the site played during this pivotal moment in the Second World War. We also get to pay homage to the iconic Spitfire, an aircraft with a very close association to Duxford as the first station to receive it in 1939 and seeing fourteen of these warbirds close out the Air Show is guaranteed to be a spectacular site. It has been great to welcome visitors back to our Air Shows this year and we are thrilled to be able to increase the capacity to this event, allowing even more people to enjoy our air displays and showground entertainment.”

IWM will be asking that ticket holders over the age of 18 produce evidence (in line with an NHS Covid Pass) of either a negative Covid-19 test result or proof they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination. Please refer to the website for full details regarding entry requirements and other measures we will be keeping in place to keep everyone safe at this event.

Tickets to the Battle of Britain Air Show are available to purchase now.
Prices: Adult £42.50 / Children 5-15 £14.25 / Children under 5 and carers free
Applications for media accreditation are now open and if you’d like to apply please email [email protected]

Get your tickets

What else is coming up at IWM Duxford?

  • After Hours Flying Evening
    £28.50; £22.50 concessions; £14.25 children | Saturday 28 August Join us after-hours on Saturday 28 August for an evening of spectacular aerial display as the sun goes down over this historic airfield. From camera-ready flypast moments to enjoying refreshments on a balmy summer’s evening, see Duxford in a whole new light at this one-off special flying event.
  • Duxford In A Different Light
    Fighter Night £80; In The Hall of the Tanks £75 | Saturday 4 September and Saturday 23 October Join us for two limited-availability photography events dedicated to Duxford’s evocative collections. Fighter Night will feature six Second World War fighters, brought to life by living history groups and against the backdrop of Duxford’s historic buildings and airfield whilst In The Hall of the Tanks will grant attendees after-hours access to Land Warfare Hall where vehicles of key historical importance will be lit up with innovative lighting to create atmospheric opportunities for your photographs.
  • Duxford Dash
    £13 family mile; £26 5K or 10K | Sunday 17 October Set a race record on Duxford’s historic runway with the return of Duxford’s 5K, 10K, and new family mile running challenge. Everyone is welcome to take on the flat, chip-timed course, whether you’re more comfortable at the front of the pack or enjoying the company at the back. Whatever your time, finish victorious with a photo opportunity with your medal at the finish line in front of a spectacular Spitfire.
  • In The Cockpit
    In the Cockpit: £45; £60 gift experience; Inside the Lancaster: £10; £8 concessions; £5 children. Get closer than ever before to places usually only seen by pilots with Duxford’s In the Cockpit experiences. Join an expert guide and sit inside the cockpit of our airworthy Mark 1 Spitfire N3200 or an Avro Vulcan XJ824. New this summer, IWM had introduced the Spitfire N3200: The VIP Experience which includes closed cockpit access with no time limit, a talk and questions for the ticket holder and two additional guests, and an in-depth look inside open parts of the Spitfire. The ticket will include a limitededition gift item to ensure that the day remains a truly unforgettable experience. Duxford also offer a behind the ropes exploration of The Lancaster with the chance to enter the rear of the fuselage and learn about the heroism of the young men in Bomber Command and the harsh conditions they faced in combat. Ends

    IWM Duxford
  • IWM Duxford is Europe’s largest air museum, with a fascinating history that dates back to the First World War. Duxford has been a witness to world-changing events over the past 100 years where ordinary people have had extraordinary experiences. Exploring state of the art exhibition halls and historic buildings, visitors can walk in the footsteps of the men and women who served at RAF Duxford. Through the powerful stories of the individuals involved and the rich displays of aircraft, we tell the story of the impact of aviation on the nature of war and on people’s lives. Historic aircraft can regularly be seen taking to the skies from the historic airfield and IWM Duxford also holds annual Air Shows and Flying Days with entertaining ground content and signature flying displays. IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4QR

See also: IWM

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