Sir David Jason ‘very emotional’ flying beside Battle Of Britain planes for show

Sir David Jason has admitted he became “very emotional” when flying beside Battle Of Britain warplanes for a new telly show.

The Del Boy actor, who is a qualified helicopter pilot, said he could only imagine and admire the courage of the men flying into the “teeth of hell”.

He said: “It would be quite frightening if you can think about a young man flying in the battle with things blowing up all round him and kicking the aircraft from side to side.

“You can’t help but admire the courage of a young man, sitting there and flying this machine full of bombs into the teeth of hell. I feel very honoured that I was able to see these wonderful, iconic aircraft from such a privileged perspective.”

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle Of Britain – a four-month fight in the skies against the Nazis during World War Two.

Sir David, who was five months old when the battle began, visited RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire for the documentary to meet the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight team who fly and maintain the dozen planes that survived the war.

The Only Fools And Horses star flies in a helicopter alongside a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane.

He also learns how the RAF organised fly-pasts in honour of Captain Sir Tom Moore for his 100th birthday in April during
lockdown, and Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn’s funeral in July.

Sir David added: “It’s very, very emotive – you can smell the fumes from the exhaust and that’s evocative.

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“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. I have flown a two-seater Spitfire, but to fly alongside a Spitfire and a Hurricane, two Battle of Britain legends, is really special.

“On a personal level, it was a memorable moment and one I feel very fortunate to have taken part in.”

Flying For Britain With David Jason is on ITV on Tuesday at 8pm.

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