Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson is a well-known flying enthusiast, but he doesn't often have the opportunity to meld his love of metal with his fondness for flying the friendly skies. Maiden's July 5 appearance at the Sonisphere Festival will prove an exception to the rule.

Dickinson's pilot group, the Great War Display Team, is scheduled to give an airshow during that day's festivities, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Dickinson, who'll be flying a replica of the Red Baron's plane, will join 10 other pilots for a nine-aircraft display promising "a 21st-Century tribute to the daring -- and often downright dangerous -- exploits of both the English and German pilots who ruled Europe's skies between 1914 and 1918."

"We all got very excited when Iron Maiden approached us with this idea," enthused festival organizer Stuart Galbraith. "It's going to be a truly unique experience and tribute for everyone at Knebworth. We've made sure we were able to squeeze a gap into the outdoor stage program on July 5 so that it has the impact it deserves."

"We're planning an extravaganza of derring-do, especially when you consider the maneuvers we'll be performing are all based on true-life battles from a hundred years ago," added Dickinson. "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. 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."

In other Maiden news, the band has pledged part of the proceeds from its June 17 show in Belgrade, Serbia to rebuilding efforts in the wake of devastating recent floods in the area. Billy Idol, who will be playing the city on June 25, has also announced plans to donate a portion of the grosses from his show.

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