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Saturday, 9 September, 2000, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Spitfires regain the skies
Spitfire pilots
Surviving veterans of the Battle of Britain stand proud
Spitfire fighter planes have taken to the skies in the biggest single formation seen since the end of World War II.

The 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked with the fly-by of 22 of the fighter planes, which helped defeat the German Luftwaffe in 1940.

The display was the focus of the Battle of Britain anniversary celebration at an air show at Duxford, near Cambridge, once a wartime fighter base.

Wartime Spitfire pilots
Wartime hero Douglas Bader (second right) and squadron members
Twenty-six Spitfires in all were at the show, as well as other wartime planes - Hurricanes, Mustangs, World War I biplanes and modern jets used in the Gulf War.

The Spitfire became a symbol of British determination after playing an important role in denting Hitler's plans to invade Britain in 1940.

Visitors to Saturday's show also had the chance to see the planes up close and talk to Spitfire pilots and ground crew.

The Battle of Britain, between the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Luftwaffe, was fought in the skies over Britain for four months in 1940.

The victor was guaranteed domination of the skies and many believe that had the Luftwaffe won, Adolf Hitler would have felt confident enough to have launched a "blitzkrieg" assault on Britain.

Just a few hundred of the 3,000 RAF and Allied airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain are alive today.

More than half were killed during the battle.

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25 May 00 | UK
WWII bomber to fly again
02 May 98 | UK
Spitfires roar again
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