Inside the world's most significant collection of British airliners

Duxford is home to the world’s most significant collection of British-built airliners. Martin Needham pays a visit to the Cambridgeshire airfield in the first of a special two-part report

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On board the 1952-built Airspeed Ambassador
KEY-MARTIN NEEDHAM
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Crowds at one of Duxford's annual airshows are framed against members of the British Airliner Collection
AIRTEAMIMAGES.COM/ DEREK PEDLEY

During the 1975 Duxford Airshow, a Monarch Airlines Bristol Britannia landed. The propliner had been donated by the Luton-based carrier to the fledgling Duxford Aviation Society (DAS), formed earlier the same year.

Few who saw the ‘Whispering Giant’ touch down at the historic Battle of Britain airfield would have considered that its arrival would form the basis of arguably the most extensive collection of British-built airliners in the world.

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