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Aircraft to take to the skies for Celebration of the Centuries

25 July 2014

Highlights of Historic Scotland’s award-winning event Celebration of the Centuries will include spectacular aerial displays from vintage and replica aircraft, it was revealed today.

A restored Douglas C-47 Dakota aircraft, which took part in the D-Day landings, will take to the skies over Inverness as part of the event next month, with a parachute team leaping from the aircraft over Fort George to perform a jaw-dropping aerial display for visitors.

D-Day will be one focus of this year’s event, and it was from hundreds of Dakotas that thousands of paratroopers landed on the beaches at Normandy, 70 years ago.

With this year’s programme also placing particular emphasis on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, a replica SE5A biplane will take part in the event as well. The plane – which was one of the fastest of its time and played a key role in the conflict – will fly over Fort George on both days of the event.

A Year of Homecoming 2014 event, Celebration of the Centuries will take place at Fort George in Ardersier, Inverness-shire from 11am-5pm on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th August.

It will span over 2,000 years of history, with over 250 historical re-enactors from across the UK appearing over the course of the weekend. Centuries of history - from Pictish times through the Medieval and Renaissance periods and right up to the Second World War – will be depicted.

Lorna Ewan, Head of Visitor Experience, Content and Learning at Historic Scotland said: “Both the SE5A and the Dakota played key roles in the First and Second World Wars, respectively. It is fitting, therefore, that both aircraft will participate in Celebration of the Centuries, which is this year commemorating key anniversaries in both conflicts.

“One of our biggest and most spectacular events, this year Celebration of the Centuries will place specific emphasis on both the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day.”

Tickets cost £12 for adults, £9.60 for concessions and £7.20 for children. They are available with a 10% discount online at or alternatively can be purchased on the day. Entry is free for Historic Scotland members.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

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For further information

Alice Wyllie, Media & PR Officer
Historic Scotland Media Office
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768 096