Silver Spitfire embarks on a round-the-world flight
The 'Silver Spitfire' will take-off from Goodwood Aerodrome on Monday 5th August 2019 to embark on a four month round-the-world flight.
The Spitfire Mk.IX will be flown by British pilots Matt Jones and Steve Brooks as they fly westwards around the world via the Arctic, North America, Alaska, Russia southwards to Asia, the Middle East and back to Europe, in this iconic aircraft which is finished in a polished aluminium scheme.
This will be the first time that anyone has attempted to circumnavigate the earth in a Spitfire and Matt Jones said:
"The decision to fly the Silver Spitfire around the world was an instinctive one to honour the plane's history, the people who built, maintained and flew it through more than 50 missions, and we want to commemorate those who lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom. Itβs going to be exciting to bring the Spitfire back to many of the places it has served and to fly it for audiences who will see this beautiful and historic machine for the very first time".
Silver Spitfire history
The Silver Spitfire is a Mk.IX (MJ271, G-IRTY, Boultbee Flight Academy/IWC, Goodwood Aerodrome, UK) which was originally built at Castle Bromwich. It moved to 33 MU at RAF Lyneham on the 24th October 1943 and to 118 Sqn in February 1944 where it saw 16 operational sorties from RAF Detling near Maidstone in Kent which included bomber escort, withdrawal cover, fighter sweeps & attacking V1 launch sites.
It was moved to 132 Sqn at RAF Ford in Sussex in April/May 1944 where MJ271 saw action in 28 operational sorties including bomber escort and dive bombing targets on the French coast, however it suffered a wheels-up landing at RAF Ford on night of May 9th 1944.
It then went to 401 RCAF Sqn at Volkel, Netherlands where she performed ten dive-bombing missions before becoming 'over-stressed' on 24 December and sent to RCAF 410 (Repair & Salvage Unit). She then went to 29 MU at High Ercall in June 1945 before being delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF) in November 1945 with the designation H-8, later becoming 3W-8. She then served out its flying days with the RNAF until May 1954.
This Spitfire was then sent to Delfzijl War Museum for the next twenty years where it became increasingly derelict as an outdoor exhibit. Restored at the Fokker Technical School in the mid-1970s and also restored in the following decade at Luchtvaartmuseum Aviadome at Schiphol to bring it up to static display condition where it had the markings of MH424.
In 2006, Historic Flying Ltd brought MH424 to Duxford where it was stored for the next decade. It was then rebuilt by the Aircraft Restoration Company and test flights began in late Spring 2019. MJ271 'Silver Spitfire' is now finished in a stunning bare metal, polished aluminium scheme with the guns removed. It was decided that pilots Matt Jones and Steve Brooks would fly this Spitfire around the world, departing from Goodwood Aerodrome, UK on the 5th of August 2019.