Spit­fire dream comes true

P&J reader Wal­ter gets hands on con­trols of iconic fighter plane

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - NEWS -

The film about their creation was called the First of the Few.

And op­por­tu­ni­ties to soar into the sky in a vin­tage Spit­fire have un­der­stand­ably be­come more rare in re­cent years.

But one Press and Jour­nal reader from the north­east has now swooped over the High­lands aboard the iconic craft in a once-in-al­ife­time ex­pe­ri­ence.

Wal­ter Dun­can, from Port­soy, read about the op­por­tu­nity to fly a Spit­fire in his Press and Jour­nal and jumped at the chance to climb into the cock­pit and see what life was like for the coun­try’s war he­roes.

The planes, which were de­signed by R J Mitchell, per­formed a piv­otal role in the Bat­tle of Bri­tain and were in­stru­men­tal in sav­ing Al­lied lives at Dunkirk.

They have sub­se­quently be­come sym­bols of de­fi­ance and re­main the cher­ished pos­ses­sions of those lucky enough to own one of their dwin­dling num­bers.

Mr Dun­can, 76, said last night it had al­ways been his dream to fly in a Spit­fire.

He added: “I read about them com­ing to Cum­ber­nauld Aero­drome and I phoned up the com­pany be­hind it im­me­di­ately.

“I booked a flight and two nights ac­com­mo­da­tion at a lo­cal pub and drove down.

“I had al­ways wanted to fly one, but it hasn’t al­ways been so easy, with the con­di­tion and preser­va­tion work that goes into keep­ing them.

“I was wor­ried on the way down be­cause of the weather, but when the day dawned, the sun was shin­ing, and I had achieved my life’s am­bi­tion to ac­tu­ally han­dle a Spit­fire.”

Mr Dun­can, who has pre­vi­ously flown smaller Chip­munk planes, now hopes to be able to fly other war­planes in the future.

But he de­scribed the jour­ney in the Spit­fire as one of the great­est ex­pe­ri­ences of his life.

He said: “It was a great oc­ca­sion for me. When the pi­lot handed the con­trols to me, I have never felt so happy in my life. I re­ally can’t ex­plain it, but it was a great mo­ment in my life and I haven’t stopped smil­ing.”

The Spit­fire had been brought to Cum­ber­nauld Aero­drome by the Boult­bee Flight Academy which had been granted ap­proval by the Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity to offer pas­sen­ger flights.

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