BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL FLIGHT (BBMF)
CELEBRATES 60 YEARS IN 2017
The RAF BBMF commemorates all those who have lost their lives serving in the Royal Air Force (RAF), or its predecessor the Royal Flying Corps, in all conflicts from 1914 to the present day. In most cases those who made the ultimate sacrifice were volunteers who willingly signed up to the risks. Perhaps all that they would ask in return is an understanding of what they did, of the hardships and trials they faced, and to be remembered.
The RAF BBMF fleet of World War Two aircraft is preserved in flying condition as a living tribute to them all.
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the BBMF and the iconic sights and sounds of the Lancaster, the Hurricane and the Spitfire, flying in display formation, will open the Guernsey Air Display at 11:00 on Thursday 14th September 2017.
KEY FACTS AND FIGURES
It was on 11 July 1957, at RAF Biggin Hill in Kent, that the BBMF story began under the name of ‘RAF Historic Aircraft Flight.’
The Flight was soon renamed the ‘Battle of Britain Flight’ and then in 1969, to reflect its wider commemorative role, it became the ‘Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.’
Often described as a ‘museum without walls’, the BBMF is a regular RAF unit, is manned by Service personnel and is funded by the Ministry of Defence, UK Government.
It maintains 12 historic and irreplaceable aircraft in airworthy condition: an Avro Lancaster, a C-47 Dakota, 6 Spitfires, 2 Hurricanes and 2 de Havilland Chipmunk training aircraft.
The BBMF’s home is RAF Coningsby and the BBMF is typically tasked to fly over 100 displays and around 300-400 flypasts each display season that runs from May to September each year.
There are only two full-time pilots on the strength of the RAF BBMF: the Officer Commanding (Squadron Leader) and the Operations Officer (a Flight Lieutenant).
All other BBMF aircrew are volunteers with primary duties in the wider RAF, who fly the BBMF aircraft predominantly in their own time – a considerable commitment.
The BBMF Spitfires and Hurricanes are flown by RAF fighter pilots. There are normally 5 fighter pilots on the team. One of these is the present Officer Commanding (OC) and one the next OC who serves as a volunteer for 4 years to gain the required experience before taking command.
FIND OUT MORE
Click here to view the official BBMF Facebook page and click here to view the video of the Air Officer Commander No.1 Group Air Vice-Marshall G Mayhew assessing the BBMF and the RAF Typhoon Display Team for their Public Display Authorisation (PDA) for the 2017 display season.
Watch the BBMF in its 60th anniversary year on Thursday 14 September 2017. Be part of the Guernsey Air Display: click here to become a Friend of the Guernsey Air Display.