Located just a short 20-minute drive away from Tamburlaine (8 miles) is a fantastic piece of history in Duxford, the Imperial War Museum. If you haven’t visited already, we recommend you do.
The aerodrome at Duxford was built during the First World War and was actually one of the earliest Royal Air Force stations. In 1917 the Royal Flying Corps expanded and Duxford was one of many new stations established to train RFC aircrew. In September during 1918 RAF Duxford opened as a flying school. After the war ended, the airfield was used as a base for the disbandment of squadrons from the Continent. In 1924, RAF Duxford became a fighter station and by 1938 the first Spitfire was flown into RAF Duxford in August 1938. On 15 September 1940, ‘Battle of Britain Day’, RAF Duxford’s squadrons took to the air twice to repulse Luftwaffe attacks aimed at London. The Duxford’s squadrons had played an important part in the victory.
Following the end of the Second World War, In July 1961 the last operational flight was made from RAF Duxford, and for some 15 years the future of the airfield remained in the balance.
IWM had been looking for a suitable site for the storage, restoration and glorious display of exhibits too large for its headquarters in London. They managed to gain permission to use the airfield at Duxford for this purpose. Cambridgeshire County Council joined with IWM and the Duxford Aviation Society, and in 1977 bought the runway to give the abandoned aerodrome a new lease of life.
Today IWM Duxford is established as the European centre of aviation history. The historic site, unbelievable collections of exhibits and regular world-renowned Air Shows combine to create a unique museum where there is history of abundance.
There are air show festivals held at Duxford throughout the year and tickets are normally sold out leading up to the event. The next upcoming air shows are the Flying Legends Air Show from Sat 8 July 2017 – Sun 9 July 2017 and the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show from Sat 23 September 2017 – Sun 24 September 2017.
As well as its undeniably amazing history, Duxford also hold large scale events for private parties and open invitation group events. Such as the 1940s Hangar Dance being held on the 22nd of July 2017, a nostalgic night of swing, jive and jazz and car shows throughout the year.
You can book tickets to all of their events on their website http://www.iwm.org.uk/events/iwm-duxford or please ask our concierge at Tamburlaine who will happily provide you with further information.