Pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones have made aviation history after completing the first ever round-the-world flight in a Spitfire.
The pilots landed at Goodwood, England, on December 5, exactly four months after they set off on their expedition.
Official timekeeper IWC Schaffhausen marked the end of the expedition with a homecoming party at the airfield, attended by brand ambassador David Coulthard.
“It’s so wonderful to be back on home soil,” said Mr Boultbee Brooks. “It’s been an incredible adventure and such a privilege to share our stunning Silver Spitfire with the rest of the world. Of course, there have been challenges along the way, but at every stop, we have received such incredible support from people on the ground. Everyone has greeted us and our aircraft with open arms.”
On its route around the world, the record-breaking flight covered a total of almost 27,000 miles and visited over 20 countries.
After leaving Goodwood back in August, the 76 year-old restored aircraft journeyed across the icy expanse of Greenland, glided over the majesty of New York, before crossing the United States
to reach Las Vegas and the California sun. From there, the Spitfire flew north to Canada and Alaska, before heading westward into Russia. In Japan, the team had to dodge a typhoon before slowly making their way across Asia, from the humidity of Myanmar to the vibrant colours of India. After a brief rest in Abu Dhabi, the pilots made their way home to Europe, visiting Italy and the Netherlands, before finally landing back in the UK.
“Right from the very start of this adventure – when it was just an idea scribbled on some paper – IWC wanted to be involved. Following the expedition’s highs and lows has been remarkable and it has been fascinating to watch their journey progress. We are thrilled the crew has been able to accomplish exactly what they set out do and it has been such an honour, as a company, to play a part in making aviation history,” says Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.