Friday, 12 July 2019

Battle of Britain Air Show - Dunkirk and Duxford


Dunkirk at Duxford
 'Put the audience into the cockpit of a Spitfire and have them dogfight the Messerschmitts'.  

The film Dunkirk held its world premiere in Leicester Square almost two years ago, on 13 July 2017.

Hailed by critics as one of director Christopher Nolan's best works, many argue Dunkirk belongs in the pantheon of the great war films.

In particular the incredible flying scenes captured cinema-goers imaginations across the globe.

In the run up to the release of the film, Christopher Nolan, producer Emma Thomas and actors including Tom Hardy and Harry Styles visited Duxford to record promotional videos.

Sat within one of our hangars, in front of Spitfire N3200, members of the cast and crew discussed their experiences working on the film. 
Battle of Britain
Book your tickets to Battle of Britain Air Show before midnight on 31 July and save £5 on every standard ticket you purchase. Kids aged 15 and under go free. 
[SPOILER ALERT] Did you know one of the most iconic scenes in the film, when Spitfire pilot Farrier, played by Tom Hardy, crash-lands on the beach and is captured by German soldiers – mirrors a true story? 

Squadron Leader Geoffrey Stephenson flew from RAF Duxford and as part of Operation Dynamo, Stephenson piloted his Spitfire Mk.I across the channel.

After a dogfight, Stephenson was shot down. He crash-landed on a beach at Sangatte, near Calais.

While this is where the story ends in the film, Stephenson's continues. He was immediately captured and became a prisoner of war until 1945. He spent a period of his imprisonment in Colditz Castle. Here he was part of a team who built their own glider in an attempt to escape.

Meanwhile, the Spitfire he had been flying sunk into the sand. It was only 46 years later that strong currents unveiled the wreckage. After restoration the sunken Spitfire returned to the air in 2014.

Donated to Imperial War Museums, it still regularly flies from our airfield at IWM Duxford to this day. Catch it flying at Battle of Britain Air Show on 21 and 22 September. 
It's no secret that IWM Duxford has played a part in many great films over the years. For 2019 we're bringing a taste of Hollywood to our airfield, with cinema-themed activities across our showground.