Parachutists fly from Duxford Air Show to D-Day commemorations in Normandy

Parachutists boarded planes synonymous with D-Day at the Duxford Air Show, before flying to Normandy to join commemorations of the Second World War landings.

Ahead of the 80th anniversary of the operation, round canopy parachutists loaded on to Douglas C47s, known as the Dakota in the RAF and Commonwealth services, which were used widely by the Allies as transport aircraft.

The parachutists then flew across the Channel on Sunday to Cherbourg in France, to join the commemorations of the Normandy landings, which took place on June 6, 1944.

Hundreds of armed forces personnel will parachute on the eve of the anniversary into a historic D-Day drop zone in France to recreate the airborne liberation of Normandy 80 years ago.

D-Day 80th anniversary
Round canopy parachutists prepare to load on to Douglas C47 aircraft (Joe Giddens/PA)

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight aircraft are not expected to fly in the commemorations, amid an investigation into the death of a pilot in a Spitfire crash, the RAF has said.

The King, Queen and Prince of Wales will attend a number of events in Normandy on Thursday.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will join Charles and Camilla at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.

The RAF Red Arrows display team also performed on Sunday, during the show at Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

A Supermarine Spitfire N3200 and wingwalkers from Aerosuperbatics were among the other attractions in the air.

Duxford, an airfield in the First World War, was an RAF fighter station and then an American fighter base in the Second World War.

It was also the base of the first operational Spitfire squadron during the conflict.

Duxford is now home to the Imperial War Museum, with aviation, tanks, military vehicles and naval exhibits as well as the Fighter Collection, The Old Flying Machine Company and the B-17 Preservation Society.