Battle of Britain flypast: 18 Hurricanes and six Spitfires will fly over south east England from Biggin Hill to mark the "Hardest Day"

 
Catherine Neilan
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Spitfires and Hurricanes will fly across south-east England today (Source: Getty)
A flypast of World War II military aircraft will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the “Hardest Day” in the Battle of Britain.
Aircraft including 18 Hurricanes and six Spitfires will fly over south east England to mark the date when Bromley's Biggin Hill came under attack from the Luftwaffe as it attempted to gain the upper hand in the Second World War through air superiority.
Throughout 18 August 1940, the German Luftwaffe flew 850 sorties, involving 2,200 aircrew, while the RAF responded with 927 sorties, involving 600 aircrew.
On that day, both sides recorded their greatest loss of life in a single day: the RAF lost 136 aircraft alone.
Today's celebrations, staged from Biggin Hill, will take place in three flight formations from 1pm.
The “Grice flight” involves eight aircraft heading south and west, over Surrey and West Sussex to the Solent, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and returning via Dunsfold.
The “Mortimer flight” involves eight aircraft flying over Eynsford, Chelsfield, Detling, Farninham, Downe and RAF Kenley.
The “Hamlyn flight” involves eight aircraft passing over Sevenoaks, Yalding, Ashford, the former RAF Hawkinge with a special salute over the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-Le-Ferne on the white cliffs of Dover.

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