UK Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson will take part in a 12 minute air display in the skies above Sonisphere festival to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The show will feature nine aircraft of five different types, all replicas of the planes used in WW1 combat.
Dickinson will be flying his very own Fokker Dr1 Triplane, the same model used by German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron.
The other members of the air display team are Alex Truman, Dan Griffith, Dave Linney, Ernie Hoblyn, Gordon Brander, Matthew Boddington, Peter Bond, Richard Piper, Vic Lockwood and Will Greenwood. The Great War Display Team performs re-enactments throughout the UK and Europe and is proudly sponsored by Iron Maiden’s very own Trooper beer.
Dickinson says: “The air show over Sonisphere is something I’m really excited about and we’re determined to put on an unforgettable display for everyone.
“We’re planning an extravaganza of derring-do, especially when you consider the manoeuvres we’ll be performing are all based on true-life battles from a hundred years ago! What some of these fighter pilots achieved back then was nothing short of miraculous given the conditions they were working under and the seriousness of what was at stake.
“We hope to stage a memorable display which is equally entertaining and poignant, celebrating not only the bravery and heroics of all the pilots involved but remembering the sacrifices made on both sides.
“Having been brought up on Biggles to the horror of my English teachers, the chance to fly a Fokker triplane Dr1 was second only to owning a Sopwith Camel. A share in a Bucker Jungmann and a conversation with Great War team manager Gordon Brander led to a chance to buy a superbly constructed full size replica of the iconic German fighter.”
Sonisphere organiser Stuart Galbraith adds: ““We all got very excited when Iron Maiden approached us with this idea. It’s going to be a truly unique experience and tribute for everyone at Knebworth. We’ve made sure we were able to squeeze a gap into the outdoor stage programme on July 5th so that it has the impact it deserves.”
After the air show, Bruce will return to solid ground to get ready for Maiden’s headline performance that night, on the final date of their Maiden England world tour.