BEHIND THE SCENES AT DUXFORD AIRFIELD DURING PRODUCTION OF THE FILM "THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN" [Allocated Title]
Prince William of Gloucester visits Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire during the production of feature film "Battle of Britain". The Prince is presumed to be the cameraman for some of the footage.
00:00 – 04:03 – Man [possibly Prince William of Gloucester] emerges from bungalow and climbs into a red Porsche. Views of gardens and surroundings. Scenes on board Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche 5N-APW in flight. Views of Zlin Z-526 Trener Master landing and taxiing. 5N-APW on ground at unidentified airfield. Views on board 5N-APW as the aircraft taxis and then takes off. Aerial views of the flight.
04:04 – Spitfires parked on airfield at Duxford – Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe TB382 with EQ-A squadron code in foreground. Man in bowler hat [not Hamish Mahaddie] walks past camera. Camera zooms in towards mock dispersal hut constructed for filming, with chairs and ‘scramble’ bell ready for action. As camera zooms in a number of HA-112 Buchons (Me.109s built under licence) flown from Spain to Duxford for filming are visible parked in the background.
04:17 – View of a Bedford MWD service truck [registration number JPA 879] and a wartime airfield rescue truck [registration number BYW 122] parked on grass near perimeter track, partly obscured by mock pile of sandbags. Brief shot of man in contemporary clothing talking to a man in a red car [possibly a Triumph Vitesse, registration number 5077 PF]
04:25 – Various vehicles passing by the camera including a maroon and cream Volkswagen camper van and a dark green Mini [registration number FON 197D] Panning shot of men standing talking, including Benjamin S Fisz one of the film’s producers. Some of the others are in uniform and are possibly part of the film’s security crew. One of the rear passenger windows in the Mini has a Battle of Britain film sticker. The Mini drives carefully past the same Spitfire seen at 04:04.
04:40 – Views of the rear of the mock French chateau built at the western end of the airfield, complete with small poster warning would be trespassers that guard dogs are in use. A man [possibly the film’s director Guy Hamilton] stands talking to a member of the security crew while other men join them. In the background the tents representing the RAF’s camp on the French airfield are visible. The camera pans upwards to reveal the mock chateau’s construction using wood and scaffolding.
04:52 – Bedford QL truck in green camouflage markings parked on grass at western end of airfield. Truck is then seen with the “front” of the French chateau in the background, and next to a small personnel lorry in RAF markings. Views of the mock camp site including close up shot of ‘Le Mess’ sign, tents in camouflage fabric, cooking equipment and wooden board walkway. A contemporary white caravan can be seen in the background.
05:18 – Further views of mock camp site including communications equipment, a green Citroën Traction Avant with a Hawker Hurricane parked on the grass in the background. View towards the mock chateau with bicycle in RAF blue, Bedford QL truck covered with a camouflage net and tents in the foreground. Small Tricolour flag flies in front of one of the tents. View of two Hurricanes (possibly replicas built for the film) with the spire of St John’s Church in Duxford village just visible on the horizon. Camera pans over to more parked Hurricanes. Contemporary cars parked at the western end of the airfield near the mock French buildings.
05:57 – Cameras ship B-25 Mitchell N65780 parked on the hardstanding near one of the former gun butts. The aircraft is painted in a variety of distinctive colours to enable the pilots being filmed by the camera crew on board the B-25 to see the aircraft clearly at all times [The B-25 was affectionately known as the Psychedelic Monster due to its colourful paint scheme] The aircraft’s gun ports have all been replaced with large plexiglass windows to facilitate filming and the tail gunner’s position has no windows at all for maximum visibility. The camera zooms in on the Battle of Britain film artwork on the side of the aircraft’s cockpit.
06:17 – Row of Spitfires parked on airfield. Spitfire closest to the camera is wearing squadron code AI-A, worn by several different Spitfires during filming but this aircraft appears to be a later mark of Spitfire possibly either SL574 or SM411. Camera pans along the row of Spitfires.
06:41 – Close up view of covered up Merlin engine on one of the CASA 2.111 [a Heinkel 1.11 built under licence in Spain] aircraft on the hardstanding. Interior view of cockpit with hangars and vehicles visible in the background. View from open cockpit window looking along the aircraft fuselage towards another CASA 2.111 with covers over the cockpit and engines. A number of Buchons are visible in the background.
07:03 – View from open cockpit window over airfield. Prototype and King’s Cup race winner Chipmunk G-AKDN is parked on the grass and a model of the rear half of a Spitfire mounted on a tripod is also visible. View through aircraft window of Spitfires parked on the airfield.
07:18 – Buchon wearing ‘Red 2’ markings parked on hardstanding. Spitfire XIV RM689 wearing BO-B squadron codes taxis past the camera. View of unidentified two seater Spitfire on airfield as RM689 takes off in the background past the CASA 2.111 bombers.
07:49 - Spitfire makes several low level passes over the bombers, followed by several passes over the airfield watched by men standing on top of a vehicle.
08:54 – A successful ‘hit’ on an enemy aircraft is simulated by raising the gun in the mid upper turret in one of the CASA 2.111 bombers and setting off a small controlled explosion on the top of the aircraft.
09:04 – Prince William of Gloucester is seen sat in one of the Spitfires, then climbs out and walks around the aircraft.