Duxford Imperial War Museum, known for its beautiful collection of vintage aircraft and for the air shows, such as The Flying Legends in July , The Battle of Britain in September and the  upcoming Daks over Duxford event on June 4 and 5. But let's talk about the opening Airshow of the Imperial War Museum. the Duxford Air Festival 2019.

Opener of the show was for the multi-rol Typhoon FGR4 from 29 Squadron at RAF Coningsby, The Typhoon FGR4 is a highly capable and extremely manoeuvrable fighter; The Typhoon FGR4 features a canard foreplane to give extra agility, lift and STOL performance. Much of the airframe is made of carbon fibre composite and light alloys. The twin Eurojet EJ200 Turbofans engine’s give the Typhoon a top speed of Mach 1.8 with a service ceiling to 55,000 feet. All this power was in the professional hands of Flt Lt Jim Peterson.

A skillfully brought ballet against the wind, is how you can describe the display of the Tiger 9 Aeronautical Display Team.  The team members come from a variety of backgrounds and include airline pilots, ex-airline pilots, former military pilots and even a farmer and an anaesthetist and all with one passion for flying this eye conic British Classic airplane ,The Tiger Moth.

Time for the heavy lift helicopter,  The Royal Air Force Boeing Chinook based at 27 Squadron RAF Odiham, home of the UK Chinook Force.  The Chinook is an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter that can be operated from land bases or seaborne vessels into a range of diverse environments, from the Arctic to the desert or jungle.  The aircraft may be heavily armed and is fitted with a suite of self-defence equipment allowing it to operate across highly contested battle space.  Chinooks are primarily used for trooping, resupply and battlefield casualty evacuation (casevac) but the crews are trained to accomplish these tasks under threat from both ground and air based enemies.

With its triple-hook external load system, internal cargo winch, roller conveyor fit and large reserves of power, the aircraft can lift a wide variety of complex underslung or internal freight, including vehicles. It can carry up to 55 troops or up to approximately 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.

Its secondary roles include search and rescue (SAR), and supporting a wide variety of specialist tasks, including the National Resilience commitment.  A Chinook crew traditionally comprises two pilots and two crewmen, supplemented by specialists dependent upon mission requirements.

Westland Whirlwind HAR10 and Percival Provost T1 were afflicted by technical problems and therefore cannot participate in the Air Festival.

Next in line is for the Grob Tutor T1 display team and in the professional hands of display Pilot is Flight Lieutenant Neil “Ski” Owczarkowski.  Neil was born in Frimley, Surrey and was a former member of 457 (Farnborough) Squadron Air Training Corps where he attained the rank of Air Cadet Warrant Officer and completed both gliding and flying scholarships. Since 1999 it has equipped Air Experience Flights, University Air Squadrons and Elementary Flying Training Squadrons. Being easy to handle and fully aerobatic, the aircraft is excellent for teaching the basics of flight.  It normally carries 2 crew members sitting side by side, with instructor on the left and student on the right, but for display flying the student is omitted and the pilot flies from the right hand seat.  The Aircraft is 96% Carbon fibre, of semi-monocoque construction and is powered by a single 180hp Textron-Lycoming engine, the Tutor cruises at a respectable speed of 135 knots.

The Jet engine area with the BAC Jet Provost T3, the first prototype of the Jet Provost flew first on 26 June 1954 from Luton Airport with Dick Wheldon at the controls. The aircraft was developed in liaison with the RAF Flying Training Command to ensure that it incorporated many of their desired characteristics such as easy instructional processes and low cost maintainance.  In 1957 Hunting Percival received their first tangiable success for Jet Provost when a production order was received for 40 T3 aircraft with the increased power Armstrong Siddeley Viper engiine, ejector seats and a revised undercarriage arrangement.  In total, 201 T3's were built at Luton between 1958 and 1962 although the T4 variant was already underway by mid-1960.  The T4 carried an improved Viper ASV.11 power unit and it was very quickly adopted into RAF service by the key training facilities at Cranwell, Little Rissington, Linton-on-Ouse as well as RAF Leeming and RAF Ackington. 198 T4's were built before a further engine upgrade and the addition of pressurisation saw the arrival of the T.5 which first flew on 28th February 1967.The Jet Provost and Strikemasters are now in private hands.

In the same family as the Jet Provost, British Aircraft Corporation(BAC) 167 Strikemaster pair, the Strikemaster first flew from the company’s Warton airfield in 1967.its was essentially a weaponised version of the Hunting Percival Jet Provost T5 trainer then in use by the RAF, with an uprated Rolls-Royce Viper 535 engine, dual ejector seats, a strengthened airframe and wing hard-point capable carrying 4,500 lb bombs. The Strikemasters exported to operators in the Middle East and elsewhere.The strike master did see many combats as in Ecuador, Omen and Yemen, bud most were in fact used as a training aircraft.

Another famous RAF display team, the Attack Helicopter Display Team with the Agusta Westland Apache AH MKI from RAF Middle Wallop. The Boeing AH-64D Apache Longgbow attack helicopter is able to operate in all weather conditions, day and night. Equipped with advanced system that detect, classify and priorities up to 256 potential targets in seconds A potent mix of  weapons can be carried, including rockets and  hellfire missiles. The Smart Onboard Data Interface Module (SMODIM) transmits Apache data to an AWSS ground station for gunnery evaluation.[58] The AH-64's standard of performance for aerial gunnery is to achieve at least 1 hit for every 30 shots fired at a wheeled vehicle at a range of 800–1,200 m.] The AH-64 is powered by two 850 she Rolls-Royce Turbomeca turboshafts engines with high-mounted exhausts on either side of the fuselage.

After the wall of fire of the Apache AH MKI Attack helicopter, the time has come for a quiet moment during the Air Festival, time for The Historic Army Aircraft Flight a quiet interplay of the Beaver, Auster, Siox and Scout.The flight ’s Auster AOP.9 was built in 1961 and spent its operational life at Middle Wallop  as a training aircraft. The Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver also built in 1961, and spent six years in the Far East before returning to the UK, where it finished its career at Middle Wallop. The HAAF’s Augusta Bell Sioux AH Kk1 known as ‘ The Clockwork Mouse’ was built in 1964 and during its military service was used for flying training  and engineering familarisation at Middle Wallop.The flight’s versatile Westland Scout AH Mk1 entered service in 1963, ending its military career witch the Territorial Army.

The Blades are a full-time civilian aerobatic display team consisting of ex-Red Arrows pilots and a national aerobatic champion. During their dynamic four-ship display the goal is to showcase the amazing capabilities of the Extra 300. The Blades operate the Extra 300 LP version, witch is certified to plus oe minus 10g, while  for his solo performance Blade 4 flies the Extra 330SC with a more powerful engine. As holders of an Air Operator’s Certificate The Blades are in effect a fully fledged airline with allows them to fly formation aerobatics while carrying fare-paying passengers.Something for you check the Blades website https://theblades.com 

Aerobility make it possible for disabled people to participate in aviation. To Provide more challenging experiences the charity decided to form a flying display team made up of disabled  pilots, the first of its kind in the UK. In the summer of 1941, a notice appeared on 616 Squadron’s noticeboard at RAF Tangmere:’Bader’s Bus Company-Daily tickets to the Continent-Return tickets only’. Seventy-eight years later, a once unthinkable event came to the Duxford Air Festival. The UK’s first ever disabled display team make their first public appearance at an airshow. Bador 1 Mike Wildeman, Bador 2 Alan Robinson and Bador 3 Barry Hobkirk with their PA-28 Cherokees gave a heart-warming display. If you want to discover more about this wonderful team, check out https://www.aerobility.com/news/baderbuscompany 

The Boeing B-17 G ”Sally B” is the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe and based at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and flies under the colour scheme of the USAAF 447th Bomb Group. As well as flying regularly  at air shows and commemorative events it acts as the United States Army Air Force’s official flying memorial to the thousands of young Americans who gave their lives during the Second World War.

USAAF Fighters, The Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, the P-47D was built in 1945 and put into storage until it was sold to the Peruvian Air Force in 1953, with whom it served until 1967. It was taken back to the United States in 1969 and restored to flying condition. In 1986 it joined The Fighter Collection at IWM Duxford, welknown as ‘ No Guts No Glory’.The aircraft is now in the colors of the 48th Fighter Group’s 492nd Figter Squadron under the name ‘ Nellie’.

The North American TF-51D Mustang from Anglia Aircraft Restorations Ltd/Air Leasing flew together with the P-47D Thunderbolt the tribute to the USAAF Fighters and assisted on Sunday by 2 F-15E Strike Eagle Flypast from the 48th Fighter Wing, USAF, RAF Lakenheath.


The AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers breathtaking sequence of acrobatics and handstands. In their modified Boeing Stearmansused by the team have had the control column removed from the front cockpits to allow the wing walkers to climb up and on to the wing. The engines are powerful 450hp radials to compensate for the extra drag produced by the wibgwalkers, and the aircraft feature  an extra pair of ailerons on the upper wing to give a greater roll-rate. As the ladies perform their routine the pilots fly a series of loops, rolls and stall runs up to speeds of 150 mph while pulling from +4G to -2G. This transforms the aircraft into a ‘Super Stearman’ capable of electrifying barnstorming displays.

The Miles Trio; M38 Messenger 2Ax2 and Miles M.65 Gemini, the Messenger were built as communications aircraft for the RAF. Instantly recognizable by its three fins, the Messenger was produced for civilian market and after the war only 92 had been build before collapsed in 1948. The Miles M.65 Gemini was conceived as a twin-engine retractable landing gear version of the Messenger. It flew in 1945 and was an immediate success. The Gemini was popular with private owners for touring, but it was also used as a light business transport and for charter work.


The Catalina make its first flight in 1935 as a long-range patrol bomber and anti-submarine warfare, convoy protection and as an air-sea rescue aircraft. The Catalina was built in Canada in 1943, serving the Royal Canadian Air Force on anti-submarine patrols. In 2004 it arrived at IWM Duxford and wears now and overall white livery with the markings of the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron based at Halesworth in Suffolk.

The Breiling Jet Team is Europe’s largest civilian aerobatic display team formed in 2003 and based in Dijon, France, the team flies seven Aero L-39 Albatros, Czech-made two seat military trainer. The Breitling Jet Team have displayed across the globe, including the Far East and North America. Their display includes formation flying, opposition passes , sol routines and synchronised manoeuvres and the team is led by Jacques Bothelin. More info about the team at https://www.breitling.com/ch-en/partnerships/breitling-jet-team/ 



The end of the Air Festival was for a genuine Dunkirk veteran, the Spitfire Mk1a N3200, built in 1939 and joined 19 Squadron, based at RAF Duxford.