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THE BIG WING; Largest flypast of Battle of Britain planes since 1945.


THE number of airworthy Spitfires and Hurricanes has sadly dwindled from so many to so few...

But most of the remaining few are set to return to the skies next month during what is being hailed as the largest gathering of Battle of Britain planes since 1945.

It is hoped that around 48 of the 70 airworthy Spitfires and Hurricanes will take part in the spine-tingling lypast over southern England to mark the Battle of Britain's 75th anniversary.

Prince Harry and 95-yearold Wing Commander Tom Neil, who flew 141 combat missions during the battle, are among those who will take to the skies. Organiser Paul Beaver said: "We reckon we will have about 40 Spitfires and eight Hurricanes.

"There are 56 flying Spitfires and 14 flying Hurricanes in the world and those who can't make it because they're in Australia and New Zealand are hoping to get airborne at the same time. The aim is to take the aircraft to the people. The Battle of Britain was won by the people of Britain, not just Fighter Command.

"So we want to go over the factories of Southampton and Salisbury, and over the airfields as far as Exeter and Hornchurch."

Aircraft have come from as far afield as the US to take part.

The Battle of Britain Day flypast will mark the RAF's decisive victory in the face of a massive onslaught by Hitler's Luftwaffe on September 15, 1940, during the climax of the battle.

Churchill called his outnumbered pilots - some who used the Big Wing tactic to repel the Nazis - "the few".

The planes will take off from Goodwood airfield, West Sussex, and fly over towns hit by German bombs.

In the run-up to the September 15 event - hosted by Boultbee Flight Academy - organisers will decide the launch time and advise the public about vantage points.

Visit for updates on the event.

The aim of the event is to take the aircraft to the people PAUL BEAVER ON BATTLE OF BRITAIN DAY FLYPAST 48 Number of Spitfires and Hurricanes expected to take part in flypast


ICON Hurricane graces the air

ROUSING A restored Spitfire

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2015
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