Return to the Glory Days of the RAF

Return to the Glory Days of the RAF

Winston Churchill speech regarding the Royal Air Force’s efforts in The Battle of Britain. A pivotal win during WWII.


Restored Aircraft

Restored Aircraft’s are a representation of public history that physically flies through the air.  Restored airplane serve as a memorial for those who fought by bringing the spirit of flying back to life. Mechanics and aviation junkies to their planes are like docents to a museum. They typically volunteer with the passion to keep history alive through communication and display of historical artifacts. Each plane has its own story of different pilots who have lived through iconic moments in history. The restoration of The famous Spitfires and Hurricanes remains a symbolic piece of public history as they are displayed at aviation museums and Airshows.



A restored famous spitfire, originally made in 1938 and is restored and flown nearly 80 years later.

Airshows as a Representation of History

Airshows are used a a commemorative event that recognize historic moments in aviation and specifically military memories and accomplishments. The Duxford airshow has the two most popular airplanes during WWII hurricanes and spitfires preform to commemorate all those involved in the Battle of Britain. The Duxford airfield is a landmark in the history of the royal Air Force being the first station to receive the Supermarine Spitfire and was the home to 19 squadrons ( A sense of patriotism arises during such events that allows all people to share on a common ground with the remembrance of how their country fought for the freedom every individual has today. Airshows can be seen as a form of reenactment of history since spitfires and hurricanes no longer fly today.

The red  bull air races are a famous set of races that people follow around the world. The spitfire makes an appearance as one of the most beautiful sounding airplanes that was designed 80 years ago.


Graffiti is recognized as a representation of public history through its ability to display public art on a non-traditional background. As some representations art may been seen on a canvas, a mural, or sculpture. Graffiti displays a raw form of art that is done freehand and typically by people who do not identify as artists as a career.


Remembering the Pilots Stories

Oral histories are first hand accounts of fighter pilots who lived the stories we read in textbooks of the Battle of Britain. With pilots being trained around 20 hours before being thrown into combat, there was extreme casualty rates and many unexpected twists. Bill Green recounts his experience bailing out ”

“Suddenly there was a crash and a hole appeared in my so-called bulletproof windscreen, slightly larger than a tennis ball. Immediately, I started getting covered in glycol [an engine coolant]. I realized the engine was finished – the plane was finished – and I had to get out.”

John Ellacombe, a 20 year old RAF fighter pilot had a traumatic experience 2 weeks into his career seeing a formation of 12 German planes approaching him

“I went straight at them and when I was 2,000 yards away I started firing and I didn’t stop…At the last second, I dived underneath the leading German plane, still firing. One of them put a bullet into my engine. The fuel was pouring out.”

Many first hand accounts of memories in the War may be screwed due to audience and the amount of time that has past, oral histories may not be as reliable in a factual sense but include the personal experience which textbooks leave out.


Daniel Robinson was a fighter pilot for the British Air Force who later went on to fly the F-22 raptor, the most advance stealth aircraft, for the United States. The thought of British patriotism is still alive today as the British Air Force has the second strongest Air Force in the world next to the United States. Daniel discusses the intensity of becoming a fighter pilot today and the type of training necessary. He states in a podcast

“The idea with the airplane (F22 Raptor) is centri-fusion, the information coming to the cockpit is so advance and the systems fuse that together to give the pilot a more simplistic view because one of the skills to being a fighter pilot is dealing with so many senses and radios and so many things you are putting together in your mind to create what is called an air picture or situational awareness.”

In todays war society aviation has immensely changed and combat fighting is at a level that non-military figures cannot even grasp. After hearing about the challenges and requirements to become a fighter Pilot in today’s day an age it gives you a larger appreciation for the young men with 10-20 hours of experience hoping in the cockpit to defend their country during WWII. The need for control of the air remains present in today’s wars as they did during WWII in the United Kingdom

If you would like to hear more about this interview click on the link to the podcast below



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“Britsinthewood-SHOW 34: DAN ROBINSON – TOP GUN 007 STYL.” Interview. Britsinthewood(audio blog). Accessed October 22 , 2017.

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*Images and videos derived from websites listed above*