On October 24th, 1943, the MJ271 Spitfire began her life and journey, and flew over 50 missions during World War II, with pilots originating from Australia, Canada, Norway, Trinidad and the United Kingdom.
On August 5th, 2019, almost eight decades later, a passionate team took her on the start of a new journey, a world-first; circumnavigating the globe in a Spitfire. Upon completion, she would have covered approximately 27,000 miles, and visited landmarks such as the Grand Canyon in the West, through to snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji in the East.
The Spitfire is a UK treasure, and embodies not only a pinnacle in world-class aerospace engineering and design, but also commemorates a generation of aviators prepared to stand up to oppression, and make the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of freedom.
Rich in history, the single seater Spitfire’s timeless design gleams in a stunning polished aluminium finish, and was originally designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor. The historic airframe was designed with speed in mind; its thin and distinctive elliptical wing gives it an advantage over others, including the Hawker Hurricane.
As the Spitfire has a single engine, safety and awareness of her location in the air is paramount. Whether the team are guiding her over arctic, tropical, or desert landscapes, or over large bodies of water, they know they will always stay connected. By utilising Spidertracks’ flight following capability, combined with the global coverage of Iridium®’s satellite network, the ground-based crew know where the team is in the sky (and the Spitfire of course!) at all times, and, it also gives those who want to follow the journey clear visibility of her live flight path (you can check out the live tracker here!).
We're proud to be supporting the team who are embarking on this world-first expedition, and wish them all the best for the remainder of their journey.
To keep up with their progress, you can check out the weekly video updates here.
(Images courtesy of John M Dibbs)