October 20 2014 Latest news:
By Alan Davies
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Iron Maiden have released video footage of frontman Bruce Dickinson’s World War One dogfight above Knebworth’s 2014 Sonisphere Festival.
As part of the three-day rock and metal festival in the grounds of Knebworth House, Dickinson took to the skies in a Fokker Dr1 Triplane as part of an eight-strong air show.
The dogfight took place above Knebworth in tribute to the brave pilots who flew in World War One.
The Iron Maiden lead singer, a qualified pilot, along with colleagues from The Great War Display Team, recreated some classic dogfight formations in an awe-inspiring aerial display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1.
Dickinson, who also dropped in on nearby RAF Henlow, said: “What some of these fighter pilots achieved back then was nothing short of miraculous given the conditions they were working under and the seriousness of what was at stake.”
The Iron Maiden star flew his replica Fokker Dr1 Triplane, the same model used by infamous German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron.
Also from the German side there was a Junkers CL1.
Dickinson added: “Having been brought up on Biggles to the horror of my English teachers, the chance to fly a Fokker triplane Dr1 was second only to owning a Sopwith Camel.”
Later that night, Iron Maiden brought their epic Maiden England world tour to a close with a triumphant two-hour headline performance.
The British heavy metal legends powered through their greatest hits including Can I Play Madness, Run To The Hills and Fear Of The Dark.
Sponsored by Iron Maiden’s Trooper beer, The Great War Display Team started out in 1988.
It was an ad hoc collection of aircraft, including five SE5as, two Fokker Dr1s and a Fokker D7, many of them flown by their builders.
The team currently has five different types of aircraft available to fly, with nine aircraft in total.
Designed by Reinhold Platz, the Fokker Dr1 Triplane was a direct attempt to copy the successful British Sopwith Triplane.
Armed with two forward-firing Spandau machine guns, it was highly manoeuvrable, and was a favourite mount of a number of German aces, such as Werner Voss and the legendary Manfred von Richthofen.
* For more information about The Great War Display Team’s planes, pilots and general activities, visit www.greatwardisplayteam.com
* For the latest festival news, visit the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ Sonisphere Festival section here.