09 May 2017
This year marks the centenary of Imperial War Museums (IWM) and 100 years since work began to create RAF Duxford. To commemorate this, there will be a programme of events throughout the year.
IWM Duxford plays a role in sharing the personal stories of the men and women who lived and worked at the airfield, the history of war from the air and tales of ingenuity in aviation.
IWM’s centenary is being commemorated with the creation of DX17, Duxford’s first ever contemporary art installation, inspired by Duxford’s remarkable history. A spectacular and imaginative storytelling device, it engages visitors in a tactile quest to uncover up to 100 memories – narrative fragments, voices, sound, signals, moments, stories or anecdotes – from Duxford’s remarkable past and present.
Inspired by themes of flight and innovation, DX17 is a dramatic large-scale sculpture, similar in size to a Spitfire, futuristic and aerodynamic in form. This innovative sound sculpture has been created by BAFTA award-winning composer and multi-disciplinary artist Nick Ryan. Nick’s previous projects have included Tate Sensorium, an immersive multi-sensory exhibition at Tate Britain and A Living River, the world’s largest sound installation, displayed at Gatwick Airport.
DX17 will be unveiled to the public for the first time on 16 June and will be on display until September this year.
The Centenary programme at IWM Duxford will also include two air shows - the Duxford Air Festival (Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May) and the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September) - celebrating and showcasing Duxford as a living and operational airfield, a role it has played sinceWWI and most notably during the Battle of Britain. Thousands of visitors attend the air shows to view the spectacular flying displays and to experience history where it happened.
Entry to all of IWM Duxford, including AirSpace and the American Air Museum, is included in the air show ticket price and revenue generated helps to support Duxford and ensure that the museum is able to share its special history with future generations.
IWM Duxford will continue to commemorate its centenary throughout 2017 and will participate in the centenary of the creation of the Royal Air Force in 2018. Duxford’s programme of centenary activities includes:
DX17, 16 June to September 2017
BAFTA award-winning artist and audio specialist Nick Ryan has been commissioned to create a new interactive artwork to mark the centenary of IWM Duxford. Inspired by the themes of flight and innovation, DX17 is a dramatic large-scale sculpture, similar in size to a Spitfire, futuristic and aerodynamic in form, which will form a centrepiece at the heart of Duxford’s historic site from 16 June to September 2017.
Duxford Air Festival, 27 and 28 May
The Duxford Air Festival offers an awe-inspiring feast of flying for all the family on May Bank holiday weekend. In addition to aerobatic displays, feats of aerial ingenuity, roaring jets and amazing bygone aircraft filling the skies, entrance to the whole museum – including AirSpace, the newly redeveloped American Air Museum and the Battle of Britain exhibitions, are included in the price of the air show ticket. Flying displays confirmed to date include:
- BAE Systems Eurofighter Typhoon, one of the world’s most advanced aircraft
- The RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team (Saturday only)
- The Breitling Wingwalkers
- The Blades, a world-class aerobatic display team of RAF fast jets and former Red Arrows pilots
- The only flying de Havilland Sea Vixen in the world
- The spectacle of the Great War Display Team accompanied by flak, bombing and strafing effects.
Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show, 23 and 24 September
The Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show evokes Duxford’s finest hour defending Great Britain from aerial attack in 1940. Duxford’s principle role as a vital WWII fighter station is demonstrated by exceptional historic aircraft and a poignant massed Spitfire flight. Across the museum, engaging activities bring Duxford’s Battle of Britain history vividly to life.
Duxford airfield is located south of Cambridge, just off the M11. More details at www.iwm.org.uk