Silver Spitfire

The Longest Flight

Matt Jones, Benjamin Uttley, Lachlan Munro

The recovery and renovation of a Second World War Spitfire to museum standards is always a special event. To then restore it to flying status is an even greater accomplishment. If that was the whole story of The Sliver Spitfire this would still be a worthy subject for a book - but this Spitfire, MJ271 - went on to fly round the world.
Date Published :
December 2022
Publisher :
Air World
Language:
English
Illustration :
200 color illustrations, 30 mono illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781399068871

Dimensions : 8.5 X 11.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-OrderPages : 224
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$49.95

Overview
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The recovery and renovation of a Second World War Spitfire to museum standards is always a special event. To then restore it to flying status is an even greater accomplishment. If that was the whole story of The Sliver Spitfire this would still be a worthy subject for a book – but this Spitfire, MJ271, or G-IRTY as she is also known, built more than 70 years ago as a short-range interceptor fighter – then went on to fly round the world.

MJ271 was sent to its first frontline unit, 118 Squadron, which was then based at RAF Detling in Kent as part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, on 18 February 1944. While at Detling, MJ271 took part in a total of sixteen operations. More sorties followed with other squadrons and with pilots from many Allied nationalities at the controls. Though undertaking many offensive sorties in a reconfigured dive-bomber role over occupied territory, and suffering Category ‘B’ damage, MJ271 survived the war.

She was handed over to the Royal Netherlands Air Force, eventually being sold to the War Museum at Delfzijl and then on to other organizations. It was during this period that MJ271 acquired her silver finish. Her last move was to Boutlbee Flight Academy, now Spitfires.com, in 2016. It was there that the idea grew of attempting something which had never been achieved before – to fly a Spitfire around the world!

On 5 August 2019, MJ271 set off from Goodwood aerodrome, the former Battle of Britain fighter station then known as RAF Westhampnett, on its record-breaking flight. This unique event saw the Silver Spitfire cover a staggering 43,000 kilometers in a total of 74-legs through twenty-four countries, flying across Greenland and the Atlantic to the United States via New York, Las Vegas and California. The Spitfire then flew north before heading westward into Russia and to Japan, before making its way across the rest of Asia. After a set of brief stopovers in the Middle East, it flew across Europe to return to the UK.

Told through a panoply of astounding photographs, each stage of the Silver Spitfire’s remarkable history and unrivaled world tour is displayed in this beautiful tribute to this great icon of British engineering and pioneering spirit.

About The Author
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The story of The Silver Spitfire’s remarkable round-the-world flight is told through the words and images of those who took part. One of the pilots, MATT JONES was the inspiration behind the project. In taking the controls of G-IRTY, Matt was supported by fellow pilot STEVE BROOKS. In charge of, and overseeing, the visual record of the flight was filmmaker and photographer BEN UTTLEY, while LACHLAN MUNRO was invaluable in the planning and organisation of the entire operation.

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