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"Flying Legends 2010", IWM, Duxford, England.


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Europe's biggest and best annual warbird fest, "Flying Legends", was held at the Imperial War Museum's aviation branch, at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, England on the weekend of July 10/11. This is also the home of the superlative American Air Museum in Britain, built in grateful thanks to honour and commemorate the thousands of young American airman who flew from British soil in defence of the freedoms which we all enjoy and take for granted today.

 

"Flying Legends" is one of the world's premier airshows...a magnet for all fans of piston-powered warbirds. As usual, many thousands of aviation fans turned up to witness the two-day spectacle under blue skies in temperatures of 30C...perfect flying conditions! The pull of this event is quite remarkable. At my vantage point I was in the midst of a host of Frenchmen, Germans, Dutchmen, Danes, Finns and Italians...with a few Yanks too...all united by a love for aviation history. I've never seen so many big lenses in one place at the same time!

 

The flying programme lasts for about three hours each day and, one begun, is continuous with the sky being alive with the glorious throaty roar of those piston-engines! Virtually every aircaft on display is at least 65 years old but they look and fly as though they were made yesterday. This is a tribute to the warbird community who lovingly restore and maintain these extremely valuable machines. Living history in action! I hope the photos which follow will convey something of the flavour of the event. I'm already looking forward to "Flying Legends 2011"!!

 

Sabrejet :thumbsup:

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One of three bronze busts of great American aviators / 8th AF commanders of WW2 inside the American Air Museum.

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Some familiar faces. Movie stars who served in the USAAF during WW2!

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A display of USAAF uniforms set up by some enthusiasts. Also, a collection of superb original 8th AF A2s, permanently displayed behind glass!

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Two of the interior exhibits. The assembled exhibits, which include a B-29, B-52 and B-17 is like a gigantic jigsaw. How did the fit all those planes in there?!

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Outside. The F-15 Eagle and a view of the vendors stalls, early on day one.

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A squadron of airworthy Spitfires! Duxford was the original home of the Spitfire.

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The mighty Rolls-Royce Merlin..the power behind the Spitfire, the Mustang and the Lancaster.

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One of the hangars where warbirds are brought back to life. The P-40 flew in last year's show. It's a genuine Pearl Habor survivor!

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I spotted these behind a hangar. These tiny, two-seat SMART cars are very popular in Europe (my wife has one!) but probably not often seen in the US? This pair have had British/German "Battle of Britain" style graphics applied. I love 'em! I wonder if I can persuade Mrs Sabrejet.....maybe not!? ;)

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Waiting for the flying to begin. The large grass field, little changed from WW2, can be seen in the background.

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Always a show-stopper, Europe's only airworthy B-17 "Sally B" taxis in after her fly-past!

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