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Date posted: 24-07-2018
London – 24 July 2018: London Biggin Hill Airport has called in Hollywood pyrotechnic experts to help bring to life its planned tribute to the Battle of Britain pilots, a re-enactment of the 18th August 1940, known as the Hardest Day.
Thanks to the team of explosive engineers at Event Horizon, visitors to this year’s Festival of Flight at London Biggin Hill will experience first-hand ground-shaking simulated explosions and special effect pyrotechnics. This highly choreographed demonstration promises a display true to the nation’s history.
Event Horizon has worked on blockbuster films such as Captain America: The First Avenger, Body of Lies and Quantum of Solace.
Nick Skinner, explosive engineer at Event Horizon, says of the festival: “Expect thrilling live effects with pinpoint timing, including simulated strafing runs, bomb drops and walls of fire. Our experience within the film industry and performing at the Festival of Flight for many years has led us to create captivating lifelike effects, ensuring the end result is dramatic and memorable.”
Strafing is the military practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons. Nick and his team will recreate what bullets look like kicking up dirt, with spaces apart of just one tenth of a second.
Colin Hitchins, Festival of Flight director at London Biggin Hill Airport, adds: “When you see and hear the explosions and rapid gunfire, pause and spare a thought for the brave Second World War ground staff here at the airport back in 1940, who repaired the landing ground as the home-based squadrons returned to refuel and rearm.
“Sergeant Elizabeth Mortimer courageously placed flags by the exploded bombs, so they could be avoided by the returning pilots. One exploded close to her and she was blown into the air, but doggedly carried on, for which she was awarded the Military Medal.”
Early bird tickets are still available at a discounted price until 5th August and must be purchased online in advance. Free entry for children under 16 when accompanied by an adult. Visit www.lbhacommunity.co.uk for more information.
High-resolution images and interviews are available.
For more information, please contact 8020 Communications.
Kate Beveridge/Heather Mullon/Julia Craggs
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 447380
About the Festival of Flight 2018
London Biggin Hill Airport’s Festival of Flight 2018 celebrates 100 years of the Royal Air Force with a line up of war birds and historic aircraft ready to takes to the skies over the weekend of 18th-19th August.
The airport began life as a station from which to test ground to air radio systems but went on to play a crucial part in the defence of London and the Home Counties during the Battle of Britain, earning its nickname as Churchill’s ‘Strongest Link’.
For regular updates on the flying displays visit www.lbhacommunity.co.uk
About the Hardest Day
On 18th August 1940, the Luftwaffe made an all-out effort to destroy Fighter Command and launched a major attack on Biggin Hill, dropping hundreds of bombs onto the airfield. The air battles that took place on this day were amongst the largest aerial engagements in history and it later became known as ‘The Hardest Day’.
The attack force consisted of 60 He-111 bombers escorted by 40 Bf-109 fighters. The two Biggin Hill based squadrons – No 32 Sqn (Hurricanes) and No 610 Sqn (Spitfires) – had scrambled with orders to climb above the airfield and defend it from attack.
The Festival of Flight 2018 will recreate this battle by filling the skies with Spitfires and Hurricanes, exactly 78 years later.