The gears of a historic Silver Spitfire are warming for its next ambitious embarkation: a round-theglobe circumnavigation, mainly sponsored by IWC Schaffhausen, discovers Melainne Chiew
In a spectacular homage to its 80-year history in the manufacturing of pilot’s watches, IWC Schaffhausen will support an ambitious flight expedition around the world. Named Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight, the upcoming journey of several months will kick off in August 2019 from England, attempting to traverse more than 43,000km across some 30 countries in a historically important Silver Spitfire.
Marked MJ271 and originally named the Spitfire when it was built in 1943, the single-seat fighter aircraft is currently being refurbished and has been rechristened Silver Spitfire, after its brilliant new silver- chrome finish. From Europe, the iconic British plane will set off for Canada and into the US, before passing through East Asia to India, cruising over the Middle East and then heading back to Europe. It will stop over in several countries, with each occasion slated to be a rare visual treat and an exciting flashback to a bygone era.
French artist Romain Hugault, a pilot himself and renowned for his aviation comics and pin-up-style illustrations, will accompany it on its expedition, to document the journey in drawing.
“The Spitfire symbolises man’s dream of flying. She is a masterpiece of engineering born ahead of her time, continuing to dazzle even today with her iconic design. We were instantly captivated by the ambitious idea of flying this aircraft around the world and we are excited to be able to help with this adventure,” says Christoph Grainger-herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
The expedition is the brainchild of pilots Steve Boultbee-brooks and Matt Jones, co-founders of the Boultbee Flight Academy, which IWC Schaffhausen has officially partnered with. The academy, headquartered at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex, is the world’s first official Spitfire training school.
Shares Jones: “IWC Schaffhausen shares our passion for aviation and our admiration for the Spitfire. We know we have found the perfect partner to make our vision of a round-the-world flight reality.”
Pilots Steve BoultbeeBrooks and Matt Jones