August 5th marked the start of an amazing adventure for an iconic aircraft that we all have a place for in our hearts.
Matt Jones and his team are taking the Silver Spitfire on the ‘Longest Flight’, across 27000 miles visiting more than 30 countries. The expedition, being described as the pilots Everest, will ‘reunite the spitfire with many countries that owe their freedom to this iconic aircraft’
The Mk.IX Silver Spitfire is going around the world and we are happy to share some images of the start, it’s onward journey and answer some FAQs.
What’s unique about the silver spitfire?
The Mk.IX has had its guns removed and is being used in its bare metal state.
How has the aircraft been prepared for its adventure?
The aircraft has been restored and its test flight on July 11th saw the 90% original aircraft take to skies for the first time since the 1950s
Where was the aircraft originally built?
In Castle Bromwich in 1943
How did the adventure begin?
After taking off from Goodwood she was met in the skies of Lincolnshire by today’s modern day Spitfire, the Eurofighter Typhoon flown by this years display pilot
, Flt Lt Jim Peterson of 29 Squadron
. Together they conducted a fly past near RAF Coningsby, home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Credit: Craig Sluman: Typhoon, Silver Spitfire and PC-12
Prior to the flight Flt Lt Jim Peterson engaged in a brief with Matt and Smithy
via telephone! A time to discuss routes and timings!
How many pilots are involved?
Matt Jones is being accompanied and supported by his business partner and experienced pilot, Steve Brooks as well as former Red Arrow
and Officer commanding BBMF pilot, Ian Smith MBE
. Smithy has years of experience flying both the Spitfire
and Hurricane and has taken a sabbatical from his current role with the Typhoon Training
Facility at RAF Coningsby. Read more about the team here
What were the considerations in planning the route?
The aircraft has limited fuel capacity and this is the primary factor in route planning. Therefore the Atlantic is avoided completely and the team will take a northern route instead. View the route map here
What will be the hardest part of the route?
Many factors will contribute to the ups and downs of the trip however it’s likely to be the unknowns that are the biggest challenges. There is potential for some very inhospitable countries and environments both politically and geographically! Follow their Pilot Diaries for more information as they travel.
Fun fact – did you know the Typhoon and Spitfire have the same wingspan!
Spitfire Travel Set
Spitfire Luggage tag
Celebrities and sponsors – who’s who!
The adventure is being supported by IWC Schaffhausen and the Boultbee Flight Academy and as such has attracted involvement from brand ambassadors including Taron Egerton, Rosamund Pike and David Coulthard.
Matt and Steve also received a letter of support from Prince Harry!
Source: The Telegraph
Introducing the Petwood Bear…
This very special bear is part of the expedition and he’ll be sharing his journey as he leaves his home of the Petwood Hotel behind…
Tales of a bear…
From the Petwood to Goodwood, he’s a rare bear indeed!
More bags for his travels? We think there’s no need…
Miles becoming higher as he flies his Spitfire, except when the weather’s a bit iffy, he goes drinking with Smithy….!
We wish all of the team every success in their endeavour and look forward to adding to the images below!
The team successfully completed their trip and returned home after a 22,000 Nautical Mile circumnavigation around the planet, the Silver Spitfire arrives home to Boultbee Flight Academy in front of an expectant crowd of friends, family and colleagues.
Love the Spitfire? Love ASALI. We are delighted to bring back the sell out Spitfire weekender and other Spitfire items to our growing range of luxury leather products.
Loved by Phillip Schofield and Carol Vorderman our BBMF range is worth a look! Many items can be personalised. Shop the BBMF range here
Other items in our aviation ranges include the Tornado, Typhoon Chinook and Red Arrows.