- 23 Jul 2019
- GA Buyer Europe
Can a restored 1943 Mk IX Spitfire circumnavigate the world? We’re about to find out. Boultbee Flight Academy founders, Steve Brooks and Matt Jones took off from Goodwood, UK on August 5 in their ‘Silver Spitfire’. AvBuyer’s Rebecca Applegarth reports…Back to Articles
Can a restored 1943 Mk IX Spitfire circumnavigate the world? We’re about to find out. Boultbee Flight Academy founders, Steve Brooks and Matt Jones took off from Goodwood, UK on August 5 in their ‘Silver Spitfire’. AvBuyer’s Rebecca Applegarth reports…
27,000 miles, over 30 countries, with 15 major stops, over a four-month period? Surely not in an aircraft over 80 years old! G-IRTY, the full-bodied aluminum Mk IX Silver Spitfire will aim to fly around the world after its August 5 departure from Goodwood Aerodrome, UK. Along the way it’s scheduled to visit Greenland, USA, Russia, Japan, Cambodia, India, Jordan, Greece, France and a host of other countries in between en route back to the UK.
The launch of this iconic aircraft took place at 13:30, from Goodwood Aerodrome, on August 5th, 2019 accompanied by four dual-seater Spitfires in original military colours.
Boultbee Flight Academy, founded in 2011, rebuilt the 1943 Mk IX Spitfire to fly around the world on the “The Longest Flight”, with co-founders Steve Brooks and Matt Jones undertaking the expedition.
As the first person to fly a helicopter between the North and South poles, Steve Brooks is well experienced in advanced, technical adventures. He purchased his first Spitfire at an auction nearly 10 years ago, before he co-founded Boultbee Flight Academy with Jones. Brooks first went solo in the Spitfire from Solent Airport on June 11, 2019.
Matt Jones started his career in aviation with the Royal Air Force CCF section at Exeter school, where he flew Chipmunks. He then took up a role as manager and captain of a Bombardier Learjet 45 for Luton, UK-based Hamlin Jet. Jones is also an instructor and display pilot.
The Submarine Spitfire is a British, single-seater, RAF fighter aircraft manufactured by Vickers Submarine Ltd in Castle Bromwich, UK, in 1943. With an original registration number, MJ271, this historic aircraft flew 51 combat missions during its service time. The Silver Spitfire is 90% the original aircraft, with the key difference being its ‘de-militarisation’.
Boultbee Flight Academy, based at Goodwood Aerodrome, West Sussex, is the only organisation in the world that offers teaching, and trains Spitfire pilots. As well as providing vital training, it also offers flight experiences, and has flown over 2,000 people in the Spitfires since opening.
All photos curtsy of Boultbee Flight Academy's, Simon Oliver.
The expedition can be followed at https://www.silverspitfire.com/expedition/flight-tracker/