Guy Martin sets out to discover if he could have been a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain. If he makes the grade, he’ll face his toughest test yet: flying a Hawker Hurricane in a dogfight against a Messerschmitt 109. The Battle of Britain of 1940 saw RAF pilots apparently outnumbered and outgunned by the Luftwaffe. Yet the young men of the Fighter Command, with an average age of just 20, inflicted Hitler’s first defeat of World War Two. Guy follows in their footsteps, using the same training, the same planes, and the same locations; bringing to life the stresses and strains of wartime flying in the most authentic first-hand experience possible. In this first episode, Guy learns how to fly in a Tiger Moth bi-plane, the same type of aircraft every RAF recruit first flew. Despite a near disaster on take-off, it becomes clear that Guy’s mechanical skill makes him a natural pilot and training quickly progresses to the much faster Harvard aircraft and combat manoeuvres. Away from the airfield, Guy tries his hand at clay pigeon shooting, a sport which trained rookie pilots how to shoot down enemy planes. He also looks at the lesser-known aspects of the Battle of Britain, learning about a secret weapon ‘the like of which,’ said Winston Churchill, ‘the world had never seen before’.
Guy Martin Battle Of Britain – Sunday 9pm on Channel 4