Three iconic World War Two aircraft will bring history to life at this summer’s Wales Airshow.
Flying in the skies above Swansea Bay on July 2 and 3, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will showcase three of just a handful of planes still in the air more than 70 years after their finest hours.
The Avro Lancaster, just one of only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world, will delight aircraft enthusiasts as it flies in formation with the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane over the huge crowds lining the bay for the two-day event.
The free event run by Swansea Council has already announced that the RAF Red Arrows will feature in the line-up, on both days of the Wales Airshow.
Councillor Robert Francis Davies, Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration & Tourism, said “The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is arguably the most historic and evocative flight display in British History.
“Without these planes, their pilots, crews, and the thousands of people working on the ground that supported our fighters and bombers defending Britain, our story would quite possibly have been very different.
“To see them in flight, in the skies above Swansea Bay, really is to see living history and we are proud to be hosting them here in the city.
“Combining with modern aircraft, exciting aerobatic displays and ground-based entertainment, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is among many spectacles that thousands of people will enjoy at Wales Airshow.”
Inaugurated on 11 July 1957 at Biggin Hill, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aims to maintain the planes that defended Britain in the Second World War in an airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of our country.
There are now only two airworthy Lancaster bombers left in the world out of a total 7,377 that were built. The Lancaster PA474, which will fly at Wales Airshow, came off the production line at the Vickers Armstrong Broughton factory in Hawarden on 31 May 1945 and has not participated in any hostilities.
Critical in defeating the Luftwaffe air attacks during the Battle of Britain in 1940, the Supermarine Spitfire became a symbol of freedom during the war and has since gone on to be the most famous British fighter aircraft in history. There are six Spitfires in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s hanger, out of a total 20,341 aircraft that were built, more than any other British combat aircraft before or since World War Two.
The Hawker Hurricane, alongside the Spitfire, played a vital role defending Britain in frantic battles during the summer of 1940. Hurricanes destroyed more enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain than did all the other air and ground defences combined. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight maintains two of these amazing fighter planes: Hurricane LF363, believed to be the last Hurricane to enter service with the RAF; and Hurricane PZ865, the last Hurricane to be built out of a total 14,533 aircraft.
Figures show the Wales Airshow regularly attracts 250,000 people and is estimated to be worth more than £9m to the local economy.
Councillor Francis-Davies added “The councils is working on attracting many more exciting additions to the line-up in coming weeks – on the ground as well as in the air. There will be exciting displays, state-of-the-art military aircraft and vintage planes, as we’re looking to make the 2022 Wales Airshow better than ever!