Spitfire dream comes true
P&J reader Walter gets hands on controls of iconic fighter plane
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.