WWII dogfights and much more at Duxford

Year 9 boys saw the Spitfire and its Battle of Britain arch-rival, the Messerschmitt 109, during a visit to Imperial War Museum Duxford.

Duxford, near Cambridge, is one of the largest air museums in the country and boasts an impressive array of aircraft, including notably a large number of Spitfires.

Organised by the History department, the trip took place over two days, with boys from three Houses visiting one day, followed by those from the remaining three Houses on the following day.

""History teacher Helen MacGregor said: “The boys on one of the days were lucky enough not only to get up close to a Spitfire, but just as we were leaving, it took to the skies in an impressive display of dramatic turns and loop-the-loops.”

The QE boys saw aeroplanes through the entire history of aviation, from the early days in World War I to aircraft recently decommissioned from the RAF. They explored the Battle of Britain display and saw the 1940 Operations Room – a reconstruction of the facility from where RAF Duxford’s fighter aircraft were directed into combat during the battle against the fearsome Luftwaffe threat. The exhibits included the Messerschmitt, which was flown during the battle until forced down in Sussex by engine failure.

""They also saw how weaponry, particularly tanks, had developed. “This aided their understanding of the changing nature of warfare; their topic for the year,” said Miss MacGregor. “Despite the wind that whistled across the working airfield, both days were very enjoyable.”