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,