Pilots who flew restored Spitfire around the world return to the UK

A PAIR of British pilots who flew a restored Spitfire to 30 countries across the globe have touched down in the UK.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 9:01 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 4:24 pm
British pilots Matt Jones (left) and Steve Brooks, stand in front of the IWC MK IX Silver Spitfire following their return to Goodwood Aerodrome. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Steve Brooks, 58, from Burford, Oxfordshire, and Matt Jones, 45, from Exeter, Devon, took four months to circumnavigate the globe in the first trip of its kind in a Spitfire, which involved stopping off at 100 locations in 30 countries.

The project, called Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight, started and finished at Goodwood Aerodrome, the base of Boultbee Flight Academy, the first-ever school for Spitfire pilots, in West Sussex.

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Steve and Matt set off on their quest in August, with the goal of taking the aircraft to the same places where it’s 50+ missions took place.

MJ271, the original MK.IX LF plane was one of the original Spitfire aircraft made in Castle Bromwich in 1943 by British manufacturers Vickers Supermarine ltd.

It was in storage in a museum before its restoration began in early 2017.

Ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard, attended a star-studded event for the plane’s departure earlier this year.

Ahead of the Spitfire’s return, he said: ‘Seeing you off was very emotional and it's fantastic to know it's been a great, successful trip.’

The journey, followed by a chase plan, went from Scotland to the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, India, Europe and back to Britain.

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