29 Jun Battle of Britain Hardest Day Re-enactment Pyrotechnic Spectacular
This year’s pyrotechnic spectacular promises to be the biggest and best yet as we bring to life our tribute to the Battle of Britain pilots who took to the skies to defend our shores on the 18th August 1940 which became known as the Hardest Day.
On this day in history
The attack force consisted of 60 He-111 bombers escorted by 40 Bf-109 fighters. The two Biggin Hill based squadrons – No 32 Sqn (Hurricanes) and No 610 Sqn (Spitfires) – had scrambled with orders to climb above the airfield and defend it from attack.
Adrenaline fuelled re-enactment
Thanks to the team of explosive engineers at Event Horizon, visitors to this year’s air show at Biggin Hill will experience first-hand the noise and ground-shaking simulated explosions and special effect pyrotechnics. This highly choreographed demonstration will bring you a bone-rattling re-enactment true to our nation’s history.
Brought to you by Hollywood explosive gurus
The team of explosive engineers have worked on blockbuster films such as Captain America: The First Avenger, Body of Lies and Quantum of Solace to name but a few.
We caught up with Nick Skinner, explosive engineer at Event Horizon, to learn more about what he had planned for the Air Show:
“Visitors to the Festival of Flight can expect thrilling live effects with pinpoint timing to help make The Battle of Britain Hardest Day aerial display realistic. The stunning special effects will include simulated strafing runs, bomb drops and walls of fire.
“Our experience within the film industry and performing at the Biggin Hill Air Shows for many years, has led us to create captivating lifelike effects to ensure the end result is dramatic and memorable.”
Strafing is the military practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons. Nick and his team will recreate what bullets look like kicking up dirt, with spaces apart of just one tenth of a second.
“We’ve worked with the British Army Apache helicopters and they couldn’t quite believe how true to life the special effect strafing was.”
Courageous ground staff
When you see and hear the explosions and rapid gunfire, pause and spare a thought for the brave Second World War ground staff here at the Airport repairing the landing ground as the home-based squadrons returned to refuel and rearm. Sergeant Elizabeth Mortimer courageously placed flags by the exploded bombs, so they could be avoided by the returning pilots. One exploded close to her and she was blown in to the air, but doggedly carried on, for which she was awarded the Military Medal.