100 vintage aircraft will surround the Isle of Wight and 3 Spitfires will fly overhead to celebrate the life of former World War II pilot Mary Ellis this May – with hopes of a Battle of Britain flypast and possibly the Red Arrows too.
Mary Ellis Day will take place at Sandown Airport on 16th May 2020 with the aim of remembering, inspiring and educating.
Dan Subhani, the owner of Sandown Airport, has plans for the vintage aircraft to take off at 30-second intervals following a static display. The planes will then surround the Island before 3 Spitfires – including one that Mary delivered during the war – fly overhead. Talks are also taking place to bring the Battle of Britain memorial flight to the event and maybe even the RAF display team, the Red Arrows.
As well as the activity in the sky, there will be plenty happening on the ground at the airport itself. A charity village will be established and live music will play out, alongside talks and reenactments.
30 vintage buses are also expected to be running to and from the airport on the day, adding to what is set to be a fantastic day for locals and visitors alike.
Mary Ellis worked for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during the war delivering fighter planes and bombers from the factories to the frontline. After the war, Mary moved to the Isle of Wight and ran Sandown Airport. She died aged 101 back in 2018.
Mary Ellis Day on 16th May 2020 will be free to all visitors.