RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Haynes H5516)


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The sight and sound of the RAF Battle of Britain Mormorial Flight’s (BBMF) famous three-ship formation of Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane as it roars overhead cannot help but stir the souls of onlookers.

Formed in 1957 by Wg Cdr Peter Thompson, the Flight serves as a permanent reminder of the 544 RAF aircrew killed during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Its motto says it all – ‘Lest we forget’.

In 2015 the Flight operates six Spitfires, two Hurricanes, a Lancaster, Dakota and two Chipmunks, most of which perform at flying displays across Britain each summer.

Author and photographer Keith Wilson has enjoyed unique official access to the Flight, enabling him to examine every aspect of the team at work – from pilots to ground crew and backroom staff, and in particular the engineers who maintain these iconic aircraft and keep them flying.

Watch the Flight’s engineers as they service a Merlin or a Griffon engine; observe the rebuild of a Spifire Vb; follow the fabric re-covering of a Hurricane lib and the respraying of a Spitfire LF IXe; then join the pilots as they conduct their pre-flight walk-arounds of a Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster and Dakota.

Read all about how the Flight is organised and managed, then follow the display routines flown by pilots of the Flight before taking a look at the many and varied flypasts and formations that the BBMF has been involved in over the years – including high profile Royal occasions and major anniversaries.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Operations Manual takes you behind the scenes to give a unique inside look at what it takes to keep the Flight’s unique and historically significant aircraft maintained and flying.


Keith Wilson has been involved in aviation publishing for more, than 30 years and is best known for his striking air-to-air images in Pilot magazine. He has more than 1,500 air-to-air sorties under his belt, ‘shooting’ almost 2,000 different aircraft in the process. Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Operations Manual is Keith’s third book for Haynes. His first two books, Red Arrows in Camera and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in Camera were published in 2012 and 2013 to critical acclaim.