Advice on Duxford

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by Crimea_River, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    I'm considering a trip to Duxford in the summer for the 70th anniversary of the BoB. I've never been there before but it's on my bucket list.

    I know there are at least a couple of shows every summer but is there anything special planned in 2010? When? What's the best time of year to go weather-wise if there's a choice? Places to stay? Etc..

    Thanks!
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    There are normally around four main airshows at Duxford in a year, with some other events also. For the 70th anniversary of the BoB, I beleive the September show is going to be 'The' one. A check on the web-site will confirm the dates of all shows. Look under Imperial War Museum - Duxford.
    Weather-wise is always a lottery! During the months of (late) May to mid August, it can be very nice - sunny and hot, but we haven't had much in the way of summer here in the UK over the past three years, very hit and miss!
    As for accommodation, there are a number of hotels and 'Travel lodge' type places within half an hours drive, although in the immediate vicinity, it's a bit more sparse. Someone like Gary (GeeDee) might be able to advbise you on this, but be aware that on airshow weekends, it's very busy, both on the field, and regarding accommodation.
    If you wish to see the museuems themselves, then it's best to go on a non-airshow day, preferably mid-week, and better still to allow two days to see it all. The whole site can be viewed in around four to five hours - if you move non-stop and look briefly at some exhibits and not at all at others!
    In addition to the museums, there is often something happening 'live', as Duxforsd is an active airfield, and home to more than one organisation operating warbirds - there's normally a chance to see something flying, engine testing etc, and up close too. And, of course, there is the place itself, with all of its history, and original buildings - with the exception of the open space, where the base of the hangar remains which was blown up during filming of the BoB movie!
    Hope this helps a bit.
     
  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Terry, I appreciate the info. Thank-you. September would fit best for me anyway but the thought of shelling out significant coin on a show that relies on good weather is a bit daunting. There is the museum, of course, but it's a long way to go for a static display, of which I've seen many.

    I'll continue looking into this though. Thanks again.
     
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    I'm curious about this too. Not sure whether 2010 will be the year for me to trek over but I intend on doing it soon!
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're welcome mate. I agree, it's a long way to come, and expensive, just for a museum and an airshow. But, if combined with a holiday anyway, it wouldn't be so bad. I don't think there is anywhere in the World quite like Duxford, being, as it is, an active, former WW2 airfield of the ETO, little changed since the war (apart from a couple of new, large buildings), and with a heck of a lot of history behind it. Bear in mind that many of the exhibits aren't static - they fly - and in the restoration hangar there's always something to see, either being built from a pile of scrap, or being 'refurbished' both for static display and flying. The true 'statics' are, in the main, fairly open to close access, and there are a number of aircraft, mainly 'airliner' types, which can be walked through.
    Even on a day (or more correctly, a weekend) when the weather isn't at its best, the major airshows are well worth seeing, with many fantastic displays, singleton and mass formation, including some very rare types. Although it can't be guaranteed of course, the weather is normally reasonable to good on the airshow weekends - years of experience have shown the best periods in the weather pattern!
    And to see and hear a 'dog fight' with around twelve WW2 fighters, and an even bigger 'Balbo' of Spits, Hurricanes, P51's etc etc is just unforgetable !!
    EDIT: Forgot to add, next year, for the 70th anniversary of the BoB, the Luftwaffe are coming..........
     
  6. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I heard that. It's one of the reasons I'm thinking of going.
     
  7. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    I think I will be paying a visit - i have already been to Duxford - but not when a display was taking place. The museum is very good with lots to see in the different hangars.
    I would recommend a visit to Bovington if anyone is into Armoured Fighting Vehicles as well?
    The RAF museum is at Hendon - which is quite close to Duxford - so there may be a few more opportunities for days out on a holiday!
     
  8. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Hendon is in London. Which isn't close to Duxford. Unless you have a helicopter and a parking permit.
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I think you have a different feeling for distance in the UK Duxford looks like a stones throw from London
     
  10. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Looks it on a map. In reality once you get within the environs of London it might as well be Murmansk.

    ....all the rare stuff is at RAF Cosford anyway..
     
  11. triumph

    triumph New Member

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    As well as enjoying the day at Duxford museum itself. Highlight of my visit was flying in this
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Terry has summed it up pretty well in his replies.

    Remember that there is more than just one museum on the Airfield. If you can make it to Duxford, it does pay in the long run, to attend the arrivals day as this gives you more than enough time to meander / run when there's something interesting in the circuit /amble through and take it all in while leaving the main days for the event.

    Certainly at this years Flying Legends, myself and Tony (AKA Rocketeer) are planning on going up in the morning of the Friday (Arrivals Day) when there arent quite so many people in the way of that 'one off' shot and that then leaves us the full weekend to bimble about and get the best photo opporttunity areas before everyone else.

    Be advised that during a show like Legends, to walk from one end of the crowdline to another is quite a daunting prospect due to the sheer volume of punters that seem to take great delight in getting in your way !!!. Aslo remember, that as its an active airfield, that walk is quite some distance !!!.

    You do really need to get into some digs (accommodation) not far from the place so you can relax end enjoy each day without having the hassle of the queues / traffic jams when it comes time to leave the event. Just do a search on the internet for accommodation in Duxford area and you can choose from Hotels through to Pubs....highly recommended !...and expect to pay from around £35.00 per night

    We normally base ourselves around 15 miles away which is around twenty minutes in a car...no big deal...and far enough away so that we dont incur 'Airshow' prices for accommodation. This does however tend to ramp up the costs for the weekend ...accommodation, transport, access to the Airfield each day, spending cash. It helps if you are a 'Friend of Duxford' as this entitles you to a discount on Airshow dates and free entry throughout the rest of the year, but yes...you guessed it, thats another £45.00 (great if you go more than once during the year but could be an advantage if you conside the saving on entry fees for the days and free access to free drinks and a 'Friends' Marquee slap bang in the middle of the crowdline.

    I joined the 'friends last year for Flying Legends and it was bl**dy marevelous to be able to save 20% on entry fees, have a facility with private toilets that are cleaned (You've all been to Airshows and used the horrible plastic 'Loos' replete with their own squadrons of flies and a particular 'smell ) with the ability to sit down with no pillock standing in front of you !....and have a free cuppa or two !. You also get 20% on anything brought in the shop...and its a bl**dy big shop !!!

    Hopefully this wont put you off....Legends or even the planned BoB Anniversary are really a 'Must do' event....no jets, just big pistons being given full reighn to make as much noise as possible....15 + Spitfires in the air at once....8 P-51's in the air at once...3 B-25's in the air at once...2 or 3 17's...and then the absolute grand spectacle of 30 + Warbirds in formation at the ned of each day.

    Tell ya mate...it sheer bl**dy magic !

    Have a look at the various Legends threads to get a better idea of what to expect to see in the air....
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/geedee-rocketeers-flying-legends-19636.html

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/amercian-air-museum-19688.html

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/fighter-collection-hangar-19668.html

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/warbirds-hangar-21772.html

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircraft-pictures/duxford-2009-a-20654.html
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great info Gary, thanks!
     
  14. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Booked it.

    Flying out on Sept 2 and arriving Friday for the BoB 70th anniversary weekend. Staying at a B&B about 4 miles north of Duxford.

    If anyone else is planning on going, let me know. We can get together over a pint!
     
  15. tonyb

    tonyb Member

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    If you get a chance,I highly recommend a day trip to my old home town of Cambridge and a visit to the Eagle pub famous for it's 'RAF' bar -


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyM1LVvR6M4

    Cambridge is only about 25 minutes drive from Duxford.

    I am very jealous mate,I soooo want to go!:cry:
    Cheers,
    Tony.
     
  16. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    i am gutted as i'm away on holiday untill the 5th september, how did i let the missus book those dates.
    would of loved to get down there and meet up Andy, are you over here for just the anniversary weekend or longer ?
     
  17. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    Have fun Andy!
     
  18. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Just the weekend actually. Fly back on the 7th.
     
  19. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding !

    Haven't booked our accommodation for the BoB weekend yet but will be very soon as for some strange reason, everywhere gets fully booked !....dunno why ?!:D
     
  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    D*mn! I'm probably away too Andy. But, if I'm back by then, I might be flying into Stansted, just down the road, so I could stay over. I doubt my legs would allow me to visit during the show - I'm still knackered after Cockpit Fest - but I could meet up for a pint or six at night. I'll let you know once I have my travel dates sorted.
    I'm guessing Gary and Tony will be there though, so you're probably certain to end up horizontal........
     
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