After a very busy weekend at the Goodwood Revival with Mario (full blog to follow shortly), we went back to Goodwood today for the Battle of Britain Flypast.
Today is the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Battle of Britain and to honour the ‘few’ around 40 Spitfires and Hurricanes took off from Goodwood for a special flight – the most Battle of Britain aircraft to fly together since WW2. From Goodwood the planes dispersed around the South of England so as many people as possible saw a Spitfire in the sky on the anniversary.
The atmosphere at the circuit was electric with a round of applause as each flight took off. One plane had to abort his take off but obviously managed to solve the problem and took off solo at the end to the biggest round of applause of the lot – just image owning a Spitfire and failing to take part in the biggest event ever since the war!
Also taking part was the only flying Blenheim bomber.
The Battle of Britain – the first decisive battle in history to take place entirely in the air – took place between May and September 1940 with Germany trying to destroy the UK’s air defences. The great sacrifices of the ‘few’ brave men of the RAF gave Britain an advantage and changed the course of the war. The climax of the Battle of Britain was on the 15th of September when 1500 aircraft took part in a battle that lasted until dusk. Watching Spitfire after Spitfire take off from what was RAF Westhampnett was an amazing experience and gave just a little feel of what it must have been like to see wave after wave of planes take off for the battle that changed the war.
A few of the Spitfires are two seaters and one of the original pilots was a passenger today, the other seat was intended for Prince Harry but he gave up his ride for an Afghanistan war veteran.