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TICKETS ON SALE FOR BATTLE OF BRITAIN COMMEMORATION AT BIGGIN HILL

Tickets will be offered for sale on Monday 15th June from 9am when the system goes ‘live’ for the Battle of Britain Commemoration on Tuesday 18th August at Biggin Hill.   Tickets can only be purchased on-line from website www.biggin75.co.uk.  Access to the Battle of Britain enclosure on the day is limited to 3,000.

In the 75th year since the Battle of Britain was fought in the skies above southern England, the special commemoration of the role of ‘Churchill’s Few’ will be staged at the historic former RAF airfield, nowadays a busy international airport serving international business aviation as a gateway to Greater London and the City and proud home to the unique collection of Spitfires and a Hurricane of the Heritage Hangar.

Eighteen Spitfires and six Hurricanes will gather at Biggin Hill on Tuesday 18th August 2015, 75 years on to the day from the ‘hardest day’ of the 1940 air battle to honour the courageous pilots, engineers, armourers, operations staff and ground crews who faced constant attack from the Nazi Luftwaffe on that day and during that period.

18th August 1940 was a Sunday.  Biggin Hill was a key sector station where 32 Squadron were flying Hurricanes and 610 (County of Chester) Squadron operated Spitfires.  At lunchtime, Luftlotte 2 with nine Dorniers of low-flying specialists Staffel 9/KG 76 launched a heavy attack on Biggin Hill and Kenley that continued in waves throughout the day.  Apart from landing to refuel and re-arm, the Hurricanes and Spitfires were airborne continuously long into the evening and despite intense damage to the airfield, at no time was it non-operational.  As dusk approached, 32 Squadron had lost seven Hurricanes but not one pilot, 610 Squadron had lost two Spitfires but no loss of life.  Overall, on that day, the RAF lost 136 aircraft – but for the Luftwaffe, it had been a disastrous day, numerically and for morale.  No other day during the Battle would either side suffer such losses.

On 18th August 2015, the Spitfires and Hurricanes will fly a commemoration sortie with three formations, starting with a stream take-off at 1pm.

  • First formation will head south to overfly the Solent, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
  • Second formation will head east to overfly Dover, the former RAF Hawkinge and the Battle of Britain Memorial on the white cliffs at Capel-Le-Ferne
  • Third formation will route over former Battle of Britain airfields at West Malling, Detling and Gravesend.

The three formations return to Biggin Hill for a stream landing to park in a line on the subsidiary runway. At 3pm, there will be a flight line walk for guests to see the aircraft and meet the pilots during the afternoon. Military and civilian veterans of the era are being invited to witness and share the occasion. Robin Brooks of the Heritage Hangar is Point of Contact for veterans – applicants are invited to contact him direct at: robin@bigginhillheritagehangar.co.uk

Tickets are £40 pp for access to the Battle of Britain enclosure on the airfield, including the flight line. Children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, maximum of two per adult. Refreshment facilities will be in place. Net proceeds will be donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The Battle of Britain Commemoration on 18th August is a joint venture between Biggin Hill Airport www.bigginhillairport.com and the Heritage Hangar www.bigginhillheritagehangar.co.uk