If you made the pilgrimage to SIHH in Geneva in January, you have most likely already seen the gleaming sleek lines of the Silver Spitfire on IWC Schaffhausen’s stand.
Those that did not make the trip will be pleased to know that the historic aircraft is coming our way as it attempts a complete round-the-world flight, the first time ever by a Spitfire.
This August, founders of Britain’s Boultbee Flight Academy, Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones, will set off from the South of England on a journey that hopes to cover more than 27,000 miles and 26 countries including the United States and Canada.
Around 15 specialised engineers from Duxford’s Aircraft Restoration Company spent two years on the plane’s the complex restoration program.
“The final result is simply breathtaking. Thanks to the shiny surface of polished aluminium, the beautiful silhouette of this iconic aircraft – with the unmistakable elliptical wings – is visible in its purest form. I am looking forward to the test flights and the start of this unique adventure,” says Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
There will be plenty of opportunities to see the aircraft in flight and on the ground because the short range of the 1943 World War II fighter means it will have to divide its global journey into at least 100 legs.
The flight route has not yet been finalized, but it will begin in Goodwood in the South of England and is expected to travel over Iceland to Canada and the USA.
From there, the pilots will likely fly over Alaska and Russia to Japan and South East Asia before heading toward India. Finally, they’ll return to Europe via the Middle East.
IWC, which is the official timekeeper of the record attempt, unveiled a Spitfire edition of its TimeZoner Pilot’s watch in January. The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” is limited to 250 pieces priced at $12,400.