This year’s Freddie March Spirit of Aviation exhibition at the Goodwood Revival will mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a line-up of British aircraft that flew in the Second World War.
More than 30 iconic British wartime aircraft, comprising Supermarine Spitfires, Hawker Hurricanes and the world’s only airworthy Bristol Blenheim, are set to make up the exhibition, which will run for the duration of the event and honour the courageous air crews that flew them in battle.
A truly international line-up includes fighter aircraft flying in from all over Europe and even North America to take part both in the Revival, which is the world’s largest annual historic motor racing and vintage culture event.
Goodwood’s links to the Royal Air Force stretch back to 1940 when Freddie March – the Ninth Duke of Richmond and a successful aircraft designer himself – donated the site now housing the Motor Circuit and Aerodrome to the military to aid the war effort.
Known as RAF Westhampnett during hostilities, Goodwood was home to 43, 129, 145, 602 and 610 squadrons, operating Spitfires, Hurricanes and North American P-51 Mustangs as a relief base for nearby RAF Tangmere.
The first operational sorties by fighter groups of the US Eighth Air Force were flown from Goodwood while Douglas Bader began his final wartime flight from the base as well – a full-sized bronze statue now standing at Goodwood Aerodrome in tribute to him.
The Freddie March Spirit of Aviation – now in its ninth year at the Revival – has become known as a concours d’elegance for aircraft, celebrating the very finest in aviation design. In 2015 it will have a new location adjacent to the all-new Goodwood Aero Club building.