Two British pilots attempt a world tour in a WWII Spitfire Mk.IX

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Silver Spitfire © J Dibbs

Symbol of the Battle of Britain in 1940, a demilitarised and glittering Spitfire took off on Monday for a long journey in some 30 countries. Pilots Steve Brooks and Matt Jones want to pay tribute to those who designed, built and piloted the Spitfire.

Two British airmen took off from the south of England on Monday to attempt the first round-the-world journey aboard a legendary hunter and symbol of the Battle of Britain in 1940, the Spitfire.

For the purpose of the adventure, the Silver Spitfire, which served during the Second World War, was demilitarised, stripped of its cannons and paint, revealing the silvery and shiny metal that covers it.

We hope to make people aware of the beauty and aesthetics of the Spitfire. It is the most majestic aircraft that exists, “said Steve Brooks, one of the pilots.

The 76-year-old plane took off from Goodwood Airfield, near the southern coast of England, for a four-month, 43,500-km journey in some 30 countries. It will be piloted in turn by Steve Brooks, 58, and Matt Jones, 45, flying school bosses.

For its first leg, the plane headed for Scotland and then it will cross the Atlantic Ocean through the Faroe Islands, Reykjavik, Greenland and remote areas of northern Canada.

A crucial role against Nazi Germany

Agile interceptors, the Spitfires played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain, while the United Kingdom fought the threat of an invasion of Nazi Germany. For Steve Brooks, “the Spitfire represents the freedom of humanity“.

With this world tour, Steve Brooks and Matt Jones intend to pay tribute to those who have designed, built and piloted the Spitfire, and invite those who see her to cherish freedom. Of the approximately 20,000 aircraft built, less than 250 remain, of which only 50 are flying, mostly based in the United Kingdom.

“The Silver Spitfire over the Golden Gate”

The expedition, funded largely by a Swiss watch manufacturer, will comprise a total of approximately 90 stages across North America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The plane will fly over some of the most iconic sites in the world: the Grand Canyon (USA), Mount Fuji (Japan), and some of the seven wonders of the world in Egypt and Greece. It could also fly over the Great Wall of China and land in the “pink city” of Jaipur, India.

We will see so many people and so many countries. I hope it will be a success, “said Matt Jones before the start. “Seeing the Silver Spitfire over the Golden Gate, the Statue of Liberty or the Pyramids of Giza is going to be fantastic,” said Steve Brooks.

The Spitfire has “a real soul”

All the more, according to the pilot, flying on a Spitfire is an experience like no other. “It’s the most incredible sensation. Once you’re inside, you’re part of it, he said. It’s like driving a vintage car. He has a real soul.

The aircraft is powered by a powerful 27-litre V12 Rolls-Royce Merlin engine with its “spectacular” sound: “You have this whirring engine that resonates throughout your body,” said Steve Brooks, the first pilot to fly from one pole to another by helicopter.

But taking control of a Spitfire also involves a challenge: “It’s good old technology” that requires driving “feeling“, he explained. The team should return to Goodwood on December 8th.

The Spitfire (Mk.IX), a single-seater registered MJ271, was built in 1943 by British manufacturer Vickers Supermarine in Castle Bromwich (central England). It participated in 51 combat missions, escorted bombers, and dived targets on the French coast.

Itinerary

SECTOR
  ICAO
   TO
 Region
 ARRIVAL   DATE
 NIGHT   STOP
0 EGHR Chichester/Goodwood Airport UK
1 EGQS Lossiemouth UK 05/08/2019 1
2 EKVG Vagar Airport FAROE ISLES 06/08/2019
3 BIRK Reykjavik Airport ICELAND 06/08/2019 1
4 BGKK Kulusuk Airport GREENLAND 07/08/2019 1
5 BGSF Kangerlussuaq GREENLAND 08/08/2019 1
6 CYVM Broughton Island CANADA 09/08/2019 1
7 CYFB Iqaluit Airport CANADA 10/08/2019 1
8 CYVP Kuujjuaq Airport CANADA 11/08/2019
9 CYWK Wabush CANADA 11/08/2019 1
10 CYYY Mont Joli CANADA 12/08/2019
11 CYOW Ottawa Gatineau CANADA 12/08/2019 4
12 KTEB Teterboro USA 16/08/2019 2
13 KBVI Beaver County USA 18/08/2019
14 KHHG Huntington USA 18/08/2019 1
15 KOOA Oskaloosa USA 19/08/2019 1
16 KCZD Cozad USA 20/08/2019
17 KEIK ERIE Municipal – Denver USA 20/08/2019 3
18 KCOS Colorado Springs USA 23/08/2019
19 KCEZ Cortez Municipal USA 23/08/2019
20 KLSV Nellis AFB USA 23/08/2019 1
21 KNFL Fallon NAS (Van Voorhis Field) USA 24/08/2019 1
22 KMHV Mojave Air and Space Port USA 25/08/2019 1
23 KSMO Santa Monica Municipal USA 26/08/2019 4
24 KHWD Hayward Executive USA 30/08/2019
25 KRDM Roberts Field USA 30/08/2019 1
26 KPAE Snohomish County (Paine Field) USA 31/08/2019 4
27 CYWL Williams lake CANADA 04/09/2019
28 CYXJ Fort St John CANADA 04/09/2019 1
29 CYQH Watson lake CANADA 05/09/2019
30 CYXY Erik Nielsen Intl CANADA 05/09/2019 1
31 PAOR Northway USA 06/09/2019 1
32 PANN Nenana USA 07/09/2019
33 PAGA Edward G Pitka Sr USA 07/09/2019 1
34 PAOM Nome USA 08/09/2019 3
35 UHMD Provideniya Bay Airport RUSSIA 11/09/2019 1
36 UHMA Anadyr Airport – Ugolny) RUSSIA 12/09/2019 1
37 UHMO Markovo RUSSIA 13/09/2019
38 UHMW Severo – Evensk RUSSIA 13/09/2019 1
39 UHMM Magadan Sokol Airport RUSSIA 14/09/2019 1
40 UHOO Okhotsk Airport RUSSIA 15/09/2019
41 UHHY Chumikan RUSSIA 15/09/2019 1
42 UHHH Khabarovsk Novy RUSSIA 16/09/2019 1
43 UHSS Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport RUSSIA 17/09/2019 1
44 RJCO Sapporo Okadama JAPAN 18/09/2019 1
45 RJSS Sendai JAPAN 19/09/2019 1
46 RJA3 Ryugasaki JAPAN 20/09/2019 5
47 RJNA Nagoya JAPAN 25/09/2019
48 RJFK Kagoshima JAPAN 25/09/2019 1
49 ROAH Okinawa JAPAN 26/09/2019 1
50 RCSS Taipei TAIWAN 27/09/2019 1
51 RCKH Kaohsiung TAIWAN 28/09/2019 1
52 VHHH Hong Kong HONGKONG 29/09/2019 14
53 VVDN Danang VIETNAM 13/10/2019 1
54 VTUU Ubon Ratchathani THAILAND 14/10/2019 2
55 VTBD Bangkok / Don Mueang THAILAND 16/10/2019 4
56 VTCC Chiang Mai THAILAND 20/10/2019 1
57 VYMD Mandalay MYANMAR (BURMA) 21/10/2019 3
58 VGEG Chittagong Shah Amanat Airport BANGLADESH 24/10/2019 1
59 VECC Kolkata Airport INDIA 25/10/2019 1
60 VEKA (VIKA) Kanpur Airport INDIA 26/10/2019
61 VIDX IAF Hindon – Delhi INDIA 26/10/2019 3
62 VIJO Jodhpur Airport INDIA 29/10/2019 3
63 VAAH Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport INDIA 01/11/2019 1
64 OPKC Karachi Jinnah International. Airport PAKISTAN 02/11/2019 1
65 OPGD Gwadar Airport PAKISTAN 03/11/2019 1
66 OMAD Abu Dhabi – AL Bateen Exec Airport UAE 04/11/2019 2
67 OBBI Bahrain International Airport BAHRAIN 06/11/2019 5
68 OKBK Kuwait Airport KUWAIT 11/11/2019 1
69 OESK Al Jouf Airport SAUDI ARABIA 12/11/2019
70 OJAQ Aqaba/King Hussein Int Airport JORDAN 12/11/2019 3
71 HEGN Hurghada Airport EGYPT 15/11/2019 2
72 HEOC 6th October EGYPT 17/11/2019
73 HECA Cairo International Airport EGYPT 17/11/2019 1
74 LCPH Paphos CYPRUS 18/11/2019 1
75 LGRP Rhodes GREECE 19/11/2019 1
76 LGAV Eleftherios Venizelos Airport GREECE 20/11/2019 1
77 LGKR Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport GREECE 21/11/2019 1
78 LIBG Taranto-Grottaglie Airport ITALY 22/11/2019
79 LIBP Pescara Airport ITALY 22/11/2019 1
80 LIMJ Genoa ITALY 23/11/2019
81 LFMN Nice FRANCE 23/11/2019 2
82 LIMB Milan Bresso ITALY 25/11/2019 3
83 LSZR St Gallen / Altenrhein SWITZERLAND 28/11/2019 1
84 EDAZ Berlin – Schonhagen GERMANY 29/11/2019 3
85 EHAM Schiphol / Amsterdam HOLLAND 02/12/2019 3
86 LFPB Paris Le Bourget FRANCE 05/12/2019 3
87 EGHR Chichester/Goodwood Airport UK 08/12/2019

 

You can follow the adventure of this website: https://www.silverspitfire.com/

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