|Flying Legends 2015: July 11-12, 2015,
|Location: IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK
|Admission: from £34.50 per person various options were available
|Parking:Included in price
|Rating out of 10: 10
2 Gloster Gladiators in formation
The historic airfield at Duxford, (part of the Imperial War Museum [IWM]) in the Cambridgeshire countryside, once again was this summer's host for a sun-scorched edition of the Flying Legends which brings together a varied and spectacular collection of propeller driven aircraft from all over the globe.
P-51Ds and Spitfires feature heavily in every edition and this year was to be no exception. Ten Supermarine Spitfires and a Seafire LF.IIIc scrambled to open proceedings, with the lead of four being taken by griffon engined examples. Considering that this Seafire has taken two decades to restore one would have imagined that it would be given its own slot, but as things turned out it was treated like any other of its land-based stable mates, surely a missed opportunity there.
The recent addition of Stephen Grey's Curtiss P-36C debuted at Flying Legends after having been shipped from California. The aircraft made its first appearance at Planes of Fame Airshow earlier this year. The two Curtiss Hawks – the P-36C and a Hawk 75 – along with a P-40C and a Merlin powered P-40F provided a unique formation, almost covering the whole lineage of the type. One cannot see anything like this anywhere else today.
Rare appearances included the Flying Bulls 'shiny duo' from Austria, made up of a B-25J Mitchell and the P-38J Lightning. Another favourite of mine is undoubtedly Red 7, a Messerschmitt bf109G-4 owned by the Airbus Group which was flown alongside two Hispano Buchons based at Duxford.
The inter-war years were represented by two Gloster Gladiators and a trio of Hawker biplane types, made up of two Hawker Nimrods and a Hawker Fury. Such graceful aircraft are simply delightful both on the ground and in the air.
Important naval prop types at this year's Legends included the Grumman TBM Avenger, two versions of Corsair, two RAN Sea Furies and a Grumman Wildcat in FAA Martlet colours.
Being the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, TFC took the opportunity to display the wonderful and recently restored Bristol Blenheim MkI in formation with three Spitfire MkIs and a Hurricane MkXII. This formation was simply wonderful to watch, and the Blenheim solo showed just how manoeuvrable the type can be.
In total, around fifty aircraft graced the skies this year at Duxford. Flying Legends is my annual pilgrimage, and one which I plan for well ahead. Long may it continue to thrill its audiences in years to come.
| Some of the many on Flying Display
GRUMMAN F8F-2P BEARCAT
GRUMMAN TBM AVENGER
GRUMMAN WILDCAT FM2
GOODYEAR CORSAIR FG-1D
CURTISS HAWK 75
CURTISS P-40C WARHAWK
CURTISS P-40F WARHAWK
GLOSTER GLADIATOR G-GLAD
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MKVB
VICKERS-ARMSTRONG SPITFIRE FR XIV
TF-51D MUSTANG MISS VELMA
HAWKER SEA FURY T-20
BEECH D-17S STAGGERWING
NOORDUYN MK.IIB HARVARD
HAWKER NIMROD MK.I
HAWKER SEA FURY FB.11
BRISTOL BLENHEIM MK.I
RED BULL: B-25J MITCHELL, P-38J LIGHTNING
|Report and photography by Christopher Mifsud for