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quinta-feira, 7 de abril de 2016

Imperial War Museum Duxford

Located around six miles south of Cambridge, IWM Duxford is situated on a former first and second world war RAF base. Much of the original RAF station is preserved either side of the A505 which cuts through the base, and the historic heart is sandwiched between the incredible Lord Foster designed American Air Museum and the recently constructed Airspace hanger.

A visit to Duxford is simply a must for any aviation enthusiast, and the atmosphere is only enhanced by the activity on the working airfield. Classic Wings operate pleasure flights from the airfield, and that ensures the sound of piston engines from the Tiger Moths and Dragon Rapides is constantly heard overhead. On summer visits it is also possible to see other historic aircraft honing their displays for the regular airshows.


The aerodrome at Duxford was constructed during the First World War and in September 1918 it opened as a flying school for the newly formed RAF. In 1924 Duxford became a fighter station, a role it was to carry out with distinction for 37 years.

In February 1940 one of the heroes of the Second World War was posted to No.19 Squadron at Duxford. Flying Officer Douglas Bader had lost his legs in an air crash several years earlier and had been discharged from the RAF. He would not permit his artificial limbs to deter him and soon showed himself to be a fine RAF pilot and leader during WW2.

In April 1943 the airfield was handed over to the United States 8th Air Force and Duxford now became Base 357 and the headquarters of the 78th Fighter Group.

During their stay the Americans had laid a perforated steel plate runway over the grass strip and the first RAF aircraft to return to Duxford after the war were Spitfires, soon to be replaced by Gloster Meteors. By 1951 a new concrete runway had been laid and a type T2 hangar built alongside the four WWI hangars. No.64 Squadron took on the last type of fighter to serve with the RAF at Duxford - the Gloster Javelin FAW7.

In July 1961 the last operational RAF flight was made from Duxford and for some 15 years the future of the airfield remained in the balance.

However, the Imperial War Museum had been looking for a suitable site for the storage, restoration and eventual display of large exhibits and obtained permission to use the airfield. Today Duxford is established as the European centre of aviation history.

Fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti

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