Sil­ver Spit­fire

The Scotsman - - PERSPECTIV­E / LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

The Vick­ers Su­per­ma­rine Spi­fire was one of the most iconic air­craft ever built. Al­though it was the rugged Hawker Hur­ri­cane which was the main­stay of RAF Fighter Com­mand dur­ing the Battle of Bri­tain, both be­ing pow­ered by the en­gi­neer­ing mas­ter­piece that was the Rolls Royce Mer­lin V12, it was the Spi­fire which caught the imag­i­na­tion of pub­lic and pi­lots alike with i t s grace - ful pro­por­tions and el­lip­ti­cal wing – and struck fear into the Luft­waffe.

Now in 2019 the Spit­fire is to meet its big­gest chal­lenge – a round- the- world flight of over 27,000 miles show­ing Bri­tain’s en­gi­neer­ing her­itage in 30 coun­tries. This is the Sil­ver Spit­fire, a re­built Spit­fire Mark IX which flew 51 com­bat mis­sions dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. It has been de- armed and its alu­minium skin pol­ished to gleam­ing sil­ver, hence its name.

The air­craft G- IRTY will fly

around the UK this sum­mer and take part in air shows be­fore set­ting off on its world flight this Au­gust. I would hope that this mag­nif­i­cent air­craft will also fly over Scot­land, bear­ing in mind that Rolls- Royce’s shadow fac­tory at Hilling­ton Glas­gow pro­duced over 20,000 Mer­lin en­gines dur­ing the war.

WIL­LIAM LONESKIE Jus­tice Park, Ox­ton, Lauder,

Scot­tish Bor­ders

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