Goodwood set for Battle of Britain anniversary flypast

Spitfire  Picture: Richard Cooke PPP-150914-110718001
Spitfire Picture: Richard Cooke PPP-150914-110718001

The greatest showing of Spitfires and Hurricanes seen since 1945 will take off from Goodwood for a special Battle of Britain display.

Close to 50 of the famous planes will take flight from Goodwood Aerodrome today (September 15) and thrill thousands of watchers all over the south to mark the 75th anniversary of a key victory in the battle on September 15, 1940.

For details on where you can see the flypast, click here

The vintage planes will take to the skies and gather over Selsey bill before ‘breaking wing’ and soaring over towns hit by the German bombers during the Second World War.

For live updates on the flypast see the Boultbee Twitter page

There are only around 70 Spitfires and Hurricanes still airworthy remaining in the world and most will be taking part in Tuesday’s display in what is expected to be the largest flypast since the end of the war.

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The Battle of Britain Day flypast is being run in conjunction with The Boultbee Flight Academy, the world’s only Spitfire flying school, permanently based at the Goodwood Aerodrome.

The Academy has been training two wounded servicemen to take part in the flypast as part of a scholarship run in conjunction with the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund.

Wing Commander Tom Neil, a 95-year-old Spitfire veteran who flew 141 combat missions during the battle, will fly as a passenger in a two-seater fighter.

From around mid-day, the aircraft will take off and fly over Goodwood and then disperse around the south of England, giving huge swathes of the country the chance to see a Spitfire or Hurricane fly overhead.

The planes will fly over many sites bombed during the Second World War, including factories in Southampton and Salisbury, as well as airfields as far away as Exeter and Hornchurch.

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

Goodwood has a rich aviation heritage, with the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit being formed from the perimeter roads of RAF Westhampnett – a key Battle of Britain airfield.

Several World War Two aircraft are still based there.

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Tangmere Military Aviation Museum is presenting a week-long programme of events.

The museum has teamed up with Chichester Cinema at New Park to put on five days of talks, films and an exciting live satellite event.

Today (September 15), an illustrated talk on Tangmere’s Battle of Britain pilots is being given by the museum’s curator, David Coxon.

It will be held in the Neville Duke Hall at the museum at 10am and 2pm, with 40 spaces available.

The talk will be followed by a guided tour of the museum to see the important artefacts connected to the conflict.

An exciting double bill takes place the following day, Wednesday, September 16, at 5.30pm at the New Park Cinema with a showing of the classic 1969 film Battle of Britain, starring Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer.

It is followed by a talk on the day Tangmere RAF station was bombed.

To book, telephone 01243 786650

New Park Cinema

The classic film Angels One Five will be shown at the New Park Cinema in Chichester at 4.30pm on Thursday, September 17.

Some of the actors in the film were in fact pilots-turned-actors who had taken part in the Battle of Britain.

It will be followed by a Q&A session with Selsey veteran Joe Roddis, who was a Hurricane squadron engine fitter during the battle, hosted by the Tangmere Aviation Museum’s director Dudley Hooley.

Tickets will be £6 and, as with all the events, will only be on sale at New Park Cinema.

The final event at New Park Cinema on Friday, September 18 is the Battle of Britain at 75, a live satellite event live from Biggin Hill.

The showing is being held in the main auditorium at 7.30pm, where the epic story of the greatest aerial conflict of the second world war is brought by BBC Radio 2 in a live cinema experience. Tickets from the cinema.

Selsey’s view of the Spitfire flypast

Selsey Town Council has promised a great view of Tuesday’s Spitfire flypast at an event it is holding in the town.

The Selsey Centre, in Manor Road, will be open from 11.30am, with the first planes expected around midday.

There will be a drumhead service at 1pm.

Entry is free and there will also be music, entertainment, tea, cakes and a tea dance.

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