Maiden launch set with Spitfire flypast
Aces High: The vintage fighter passes overhead
Iron Maiden launched tonight’s headline set at Download with a Spitfire flypast – view a video clip below.
The classic WWII fighter plane crossed the skies above Donington three times before the NWOBM giants launched into 1988 track Moonchild in a cloud of pyrotechnics.
The Supermarine Spitfire Mk16, registration TE311 / 4DV, is maintained by the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight.
Maiden’s show was previously billed as the only UK show on the current leg of their Maiden England tour, which focuses on the set they delivered while promoting classic album Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son.
But at the end of the performance they announced they’d be playing London’s O2 on August 3.
Frontman Bruce Dickinson explained: “We thought that, because this tour has been such an amazing experience for band and fans alike, it somehow seems right to finish up back home in England and have the final show celebration on home turf. The 02 is a great venue to play with a really fantastic vibe, so we’re really looking forward to this show being one almighty party.”
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that Dickinson had to pull out of his planned charity cycle ride in order to ensure he was fit enough for tonight’s show.
He’d aimed to join the Heavy Metal Truants for the last leg of their 161-mile trip from London to Download, organised by Maiden manager Rod Smallwood and Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas.
But after contracting a virus he was ordered to rest, and said he was feeling fine ahead of the performance. He added: “Donington is the only place you can still make a proper noise in the UK.”
Download 2013 ends tomorrow after appearances by Rammstein, 30 Seconds To Mars, A Day To Remember, Airbourne and more.