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Duxford Spring Airshow 2013

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:37 PM

What a fine airshow at Duxford last Sunday! After a bad spell of harsh weather, the end of May Bank Holiday has reserved some fine sunny weather - particularly good for an Airshow. The highlight of the day was the formation flight of the Red Arrows with the Eagle Squadron. See the IWM press release for all the details:

Red Arrows & Eagle Sqdn by Paolo Tagliaferri (PaoloTagliaferri)) on 500px.com
Red Arrows & Eagle Sqdn by Paolo Tagliaferri

The Spring Air Show takes place on the 70th anniversary of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting RAF Duxford to welcome the 78th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces to Great Britain.

We’ll be celebrating this royal occasion in spectacular style as we bring together contemporary and historic aircraft for a fabulous day of flying. The highlight of the Spring Air Show will be the first-ever display by the Eagle Squadron. This historic four-ship display comprises a Mark I Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, P-47 Razorback Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang Princess Elizabeth. Princess Elizabeth is being shipped over from the USA specifically for the Spring Air Show.

The Eagle Squadron will fly in four-ship formation, as pairs and also in an evocative display alongside B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B. The four aircraft will be piloted by Dan Friedkin, Ed Shipley, Steve Hinton and Paul Bonhomme. Dan, Ed and Steve are best known as The Horsemen Flight Teamand have performed spectacular P-51 Mustang displays at the Flying Legends Air Show in the past. The Horsemen perform their stunning aerobatic routine in a host of vintage platforms (P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, P-38 Lightning etc) at shows and events across the globe. Paul Bonhomme is a Red Bull Air Race pilot and has displayed historic aircraft at over 500 air shows to date.

The Eagle Squadron represents the history of American pilots in the Second World War. Spitfires and Hurricanes were flown by American volunteers in the Royal Air Force prior to the United States officially entering the Second World War. Soon these American recruits were formed into their own squadrons within the RAF, known as Eagle Squadrons.

From its arrival at RAF Duxford in April 1943, the 78th Fighter Group flew P-47 Thunderbolts on bomber escort duty switching to P-51 Mustangs in December 1944.

The Eagle Squadron forms the centerpiece of the Spring Air Show where historic US warbirds will take to the skies as we remember the time when the stars and stripes flew at RAF Duxford.

Wingwalker by Paolo Tagliaferri (PaoloTagliaferri)) on 500px.com
Wingwalker by Paolo Tagliaferri

In addition, the Stearman from the Breitling Wingwalkers did put on an excellent breathtaking acrobatic display. Other highlights of the day were the F-86 Sabre and the P51C Princess Elizabeth. I particularly enjoyed the bomber formations with the escorting fighters - For the USAAF, the B-17 "Sally B" and for the RAF the Avro "Lancaster"  - Overall it was a good day to take some nice pictures and videos! You can find all the Duxford Airshow photos here.

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