Living History: Warbird Choreography

Easily among the biggest highlights of the UK’s warbird scene in 2019 was the introduction of the Ultimate Fighters. Darren Harbar spoke to the pilots about the how, why and where of their first year

Looking back at last year’s airshows, the UK was blessed with the debut season of the Ultimate Fighters, featuring formation aerobatics flown by four experienced aviators – each in a different World War Two-era fighter. While their display was quickly compared with the legendary Breitling Fighters led by Ray Hanna from 1999-2003, the Ultimate Fighters deserve credit in their own right. With rave reviews following the team throughout the season, this quartet of P-47 Thunderbolt, TF-51D Mustang, Spitfire and Buchón wowed the crowds with a stunning introduction on one of the biggest warbird stages of all: Flying Legends at Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

Close formation is what the Ultimate Fighters are all about. This, added to the pilots’ skill and chemistry - in the air and on the ground - make for a thrilling display.

Opportunity knocks

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