воскресенье, 8 декабря 2019 г.

Silver Spitfire completes round the world trip

Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight logo.

Dec. 7, 2019

A 76-year-old demilitarized aircraft made a 43'500-kilometer journey through some 30 countries before returning to the UK.

A Spitfire landed in the UK on Thursday after a successful world tour, a great first for this iconic symbolic aircraft of the Battle of Britain in 1940. The journey lasted exactly four months.

Silver Spitfire around the World. Image Credits: John Dibbs / Simon Smith

The silver plane landed at Goodwood Airfield near the southern coast of England. 76 years old and demilitarized, the machine made a journey of 27'000 miles (43'500 km) in thirty countries. He was flown in turn by Steve Brooks, 58, and Matt Jones, 45, two British airmen.

Matt Jones drove it for the final leg of the trip from Lelystad in the Netherlands to the UK. When he got off the plane, he hugged his girlfriend and their newborn son Arthur. During his trip, the pilot and former banker had to return to Russia urgently for the birth.

During his world tour, the Spitfire flew over the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Pyramids of Egypt. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean via the Faroe Islands and Reykjavik, crossing Greenland before flying over the remote wilderness of northern Canada.

The Silver Spitfire road. Image Credit: The Telegraph

In a Texas ranch

In the United States, he stopped for two days on a ranch in Texas after a temperature probe problem and made a stop in the Californian Mojave Desert for a visit to British billionaire Rochard Branson's Virgin Galactic space company. After flying over the North Pacific coast by Canada, Alaska and Russia, the Spitfire ended up in Japan during the typhoons.

He traveled his longest leg in the Saudi desert, a three-and-a-half-hour flight from Kuwait to Akaba in Jordan (1,300 kilometers). He then returned to Britain via Egypt, Greece, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

Tribute to the designers

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.