Before his band Iron Maiden performed at England’s Sonisphere festival this year, vocalist Bruce Dickinson took to the air in a World War I–era fighter plane to put on a 12-minute dogfight over metal fans’ heads. He put on the show with the Great War Display Team, of which he is a member, as a way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, according to Sonisphere’s website. Iron Maiden has now shared high-quality footage from the fight, including views of Dickinson in his cockpit, via their YouTube page.
The show featured nine planes of five different models that were replicas of those used in combat by both the English and the Germans in the early 20th Century. In the show, Dickinson flew his own Fokker Dr.I Triplane, the same plane used by the Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen.
“What some of these fighter pilots achieved back then was nothing short of miraculous given the conditions they were working under and the seriousness of what was at stake,” Dickinson said in a statement before the event. “We hope to stage a memorable display, which is equally entertaining and poignant, celebrating not only the bravery and heroics of all the pilots involved but remembering the sacrifices made on both sides.” Regarding his aircraft, he said, “Built by the late John Day, I intend to display the aircraft with the team in commemoration not just of the Great War, but also as a tribute to one of the U.K.’s premier engineer/builders.”
Outside of the Great War reenactment, Dickinson flies his band around the world on tour, as captured in their Flight 666 film. He also invested nearly half a million dollars into the “world’s longest aircraft,” a blimp-like airship called the HAV Airlander, this past March. “It’s a game-changer, in terms of things we can have in the air and things we can do,” Dickinson told the BBC at the time. “The airship has always been with us; it’s just been waiting for the technology to catch up.”