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Every year, the Chateau Impney Hill Climb is proud to welcome the RAF to the event, and 2018 will be no different. This year we will be lucky enough to have both the Spitfire and the Douglas C-47 ‘Dakota’ swooping through the skies over the weekend.
The Spitfire is perhaps the most instantly recognisable name of an aircraft from the Second World War, and for good reason- it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. Production of this aircraft was scattered around the UK to protect the precious aircraft from the bombs of the Luftwaffe, but the bulk of the production took place at a factory in Castle Bromwich, not too far from where we are at Chateau Impney. This factory produced 12,219 Spitfires by June 1945.
Following the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire became the backbone of the RAF Fighter Command, serving in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Pacific and South East Asia well into the 1950’s.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain, or ‘Dakota’, was a US aircraft and was an adaptation of a civilian plane. With additions such as a cargo door, a hoist attachment, and a strengthened floor, it become one of the most extensively used military transport aircrafts amongst the Allies and was so successful that it is still in active service today. The C-47 was used for dropping paratroopers, and this was particularly noticeable in the D-Day landings of June 1944. Approximately 50,000 paratroopers were dropped by C-47 during this crucial manoeuvre.
It is believed that the nickname ‘Dakota’ came from the British and Commonwealth troops who flew these planes on ‘lend-lease’. It came from the acronym Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft- DACoTA.
Both of these aircrafts now form part of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flights, which were launched after the Second World War to ensure that the surviving planes would be kept in the air. The Lancaster Bomber was the most successful heavy bomber of the war, and we were lucky enough to be treated to a flyover from one of these fantastic machines in 2017. Two of the most recognisable aircraft, the Hurricane and the Spitfire, visited the Chateau Impney in 2016, much to our delight and pride.
Over the years, we have enjoyed a variety of aerial entertainment in the shape of both the Red Devils and the Red Arrows. The Red Devils are the official display team of the Parachute Regiment, who jump from a height of 13,000 feet, and perform a number of impressive manoeuvres before opening their parachutes to land before the crowds. The Red Arrows equally delighted crowds, as they performed iconic flyover in their instantly recognisable red aircrafts.
At the inaugural Chateau Impney Hill Climb in 2015, we were proud to present Rich Goodwin and his Pitts Special S2S 'Muscle Biplane'. Rich, a former Royal Air Force pilot, had extensively modified his distinctive biplane to give it enchanced capabilities, allowing him to perform a unique and extraordinary brand of aerobatics. Spectators enjoyed incredible moves such as the double-hammerhead, complete torque rolls, high-alpha passes and the amazing Tower of Power.
Look out for announcements for who might be arriving in style at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb 2018!
To find out more about the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, visit the RAF website.
Make sure you don't miss out on seeing these magnificent aircrafts soar over the Chateau, and book your tickets now here.
Please note that all air displays are subject to good weather and optimum flight conditions.