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Date posted: 11-04-2014
The Kent Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane from the airport’s unique Heritage Hangar will be flying in the display for the Festival of Flight on Saturday 14th June.
The pair of historic WWII fighters will evoke the sight and sound of former days of RAF Biggin Hill in the early 1940’s when the airfield was in the front line for the defence of London. Home-based squadrons were equipped with both types during the period.
While the two fighters are owned by Heritage Hangar chief Peter Monk, he has nominated Test Pilot Dan Griffiths to fly the Mk IX Kent Spitfire, the Hurricane by Red Bull race exponent Paul Bonhomme. Both pilots have considerable experience in displaying high performance warbirds of the era.
The Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd is the engineering facility that restores and maintains these historic warbirds and will be providing a ground enclave at the Festival of Flight of three Spitfires, two MK IX’s and a Mk XVI supported by the engineers who work on these aircraft. Visitors will be welcomed at the site and can be photographed sitting in the cockpit of a Spitfire. The Spitfire trio will be joined by a wartime Harvard trainer and a Piper L4 Cub originally used by US forces for low level reconnaissance in support of artillery.
Joe Hirst, GM for Heritage Hangar and a member of the engineering team says that the Festival of Flight marks the 3rd anniversary for the company at Biggin Hill Airport.
“Restoration and maintenance of these historic warbirds is a specialised area of the aerospace industry. We have been encouraged by the way in which the business has developed here during the 3-year period. The Festival will give us a fine opportunity to meet local people and show them the evidence of our engineering capabilities” he said.
Special guests at the Festival of Flight will be the RAF Red Arrows team, marking their 50th display season at Biggin Hill where the original team performed their first UK display in 1965. The team fly in during the morning and will be based at the airport during the day, providing the ‘Grand Finale’ with a full display at the end of the afternoon.
For further information on Heritage Hangar – see www.bigginhillheritagehangar.co.uk
Festival of Flight Information line – dial & listen: 01959 578571
Website – includes Festival ticketing: www.BHFOF.com