Three iconic World War II aircraft will bring history to life on both days of this summer’s Wales Airshow.
As part of the celebrations marking Swansea’s 50 years as a city, 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 Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (RAFBBMF) is administratively part of the Royal Air Force No 1 Group and operates from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
The Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and Avro Lancaster will make their mark at the Wales Airshow on July 6 and 7 in front of huge crowds.
The aircraft are regularly seen at events commemorating World War II, upon British State occasions, notably the Trooping the Colour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday and at air displays throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. They are proud to have HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as their Patron.
The free event run by Swansea Council has already announced that the RAF Red Arrows will feature in the line-up.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is arguably the most historic and evocative flight display in British history.
“Without the planes, the pilots, the crews and the thousands working on the ground that supported our fighters and bombers, Britain’s story could have been very different.
“To see them in flight is to bring history to life and in the 50th anniversary year of our inauguration as a city we are proud to be hosting them here in Swansea.
“Combining with modern aircraft, cutting-edge aerobatic displays and ground-based entertainment, this display is among many that many thousands of spectators will enjoy in the skies above Swansea.
“The council 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.
“Last year’s Airshow saw record attendances and we’re looking to make the 2019 show bigger with even more exciting air display teams and entertainment.”
Figures show the Wales Airshow attracted 250,000 people last year and was estimated to be worth £9.7m to the local economy.
David Bailey, customer service manager of rail company GWR, the Wales Airshow’s official rail travel partner, said:
“Great Western Railway will help bring more people than ever to Swansea this year with our new Intercity Express Trains providing almost a quarter more seats on every service than the trains they have replaced.
“GWR is proud to sponsor the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at this year’s Wales Airshow.
“Over the years we have been honoured to name some of our trains after those who served including Battle of Britain pilot Squadron Leader Harold Starr and veteran of the Dambuster raid, Johnny Johnson – forever linking our railway to the regions we serve.”
This summer marks the fifth consecutive year for the Wales Airshow in Swansea.