French Air Force to present three display teams at 2018 Duxford Air Festival

Duxford Air Festival at IWM Duxford - a Dassault Rafale Dassault Rafale C 133/4-GL from the French A

Duxford Air Festival at IWM Duxford - a Dassault Rafale Dassault Rafale C 133/4-GL from the French Air Force. Picture: David Mackey / IWM. - Credit: IWM

A thrilling flying line-up has been announced for the Duxford Air Festival 2018, with the French Air Force set to present three display teams at the show for the first time.

Duxford Air Festival

Duxford Air Festival - Credit: IWM

The Duxford Air Festival will take place at the historic airfield over the weekend of Saturday, May 26 to Sunday, May 27.

The air show promises a feast of action-packed entertainment for all the family, with children under 16 going free when an adult buys a ticket.

For the second annual Duxford Air Festival, the French Air Force will bring three display teams to IWM Duxford for the very first time.

The French Air Force’s Dassault Rafale, a powerful and agile multi-role fighter aircraft used in combat over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and the French Air Force Equipe de Voltige, a duo of Extra aircraft performing close formation, high-precision aerobatic displays, will appear at Duxford.

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Flying on the Sunday only will be the Patrouille de France aerobatic team.

In addition to the exhilarating flying displays, there will be activities for all the family at the late May Bank Holiday weekend, including the Family Flight Challenge featuring Richard Meredith-Hardy, the first person to fly over Mount Everest in a microlight.

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Other flying highlights in this year’s Duxford Air Festival include The Royal Air Force Chinook display team (Saturday only), and the AeroSuperBatics Wingwalkers, the world’s only aerobatic formation wing-walking team.

Also appearing will be the Great War Display Team with flak, bombing and strafing effects, the Global Stars team of British aerobatic champions, the Tiger Nine formation team of nine 1930s Tiger Moth biplanes, and the extraordinary post-Second World War Swiss Air Force C-3605 ‘Schlepp’.

The flying programme also includes the B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, the only flying B-17 in Europe, and IWM’s rare Mark I Spitfire.

A Douglas C-47 Skytrain in authentic D-Day markings, which appeared in the seminal TV series Band of Brothers, will also feature in the flying list.

All flying is subject to weather, serviceability and operational commitments.

• For the latest flying list, visit the Imperial War Museums website at

Taking place across the Cambridgeshire museum, the Family Flight Challenge will feature a host of captivating activities.

In the Trailblazers Zone, in the Battle of Britain exhibition, Channel 4’s Arthur Williams will be in conversation with some of the finest adventurers and trailblazers from the world of aviation.

Arthur has presented and written a number of leading documentaries on military history, travel and aviation, as well as Paralympic sport.

He will be in conversation with Brian Jones who, along with Bertrand Piccard, co-piloted the first successful uninterrupted circumnavigation of the world onboard the balloon Breitling Orbiter 3.

Arthur will also talk to Ademilola Odujinrin, the first British African pilot in history to fly solo around the world, and Richard Meredith-Hardy, a British extreme microlight pilot, who was twice World Microlight Champion and is also the first person to fly over Mount Everest in a microlight.

In the American Air Museum, visitors can try their hand at building a large-scale model of a Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

Visitors can also get up close to a Chipmunk aircraft and a Pitts aircraft, experience an interactive 1950s RAF mobile control tower, and meet members of the Dawn Patrol living history group, who will be portraying aviators of the Great War period.

Entry to IWM Duxford is included in the ticket price for all air shows.

Visitors can get up close to the aircraft that have revolutionised flight, including the futuristic Blackbird spyplane, which performed top secret operations for almost 30 years, and the B-52 Stratofortress, which stretches the length of the American Air Museum.

Iconic aircraft, including the Spitfire, Concorde and the contemporary Tornado, are on display across the museum.

• Tickets for all air shows must be booked in advance. No on the day tickets are available.

A fantastic early bird offer is available until Sunday, May 13.

To book tickets, visit

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