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Silver Spitfire (Hardback)

The Longest Flight

Aviation Aviation in WWII Spitfires & Hurricanes Royal Air Force

By Steve Brooks, Matt Jones, Lachlan Munro, Ben Uttley
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 200 colour illustrations, 30 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399068871
Published: 30th October 2022

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RRP £25.00

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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 organisations. 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 kilometres 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 unrivalled world tour is displayed in this beautiful tribute to this great icon of British engineering and pioneering spirit.

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About Steve Brooks

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.


About Matt Jones

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.


About Lachlan Munro

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.


About Ben Uttley

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.

Perfect Partner

The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot's Kitbag Uniforms & Equipment from the Summer of 1940 and the Human Stories Behind Them (Paperback)

The scenes are familiar ones; the young ‘Brylcream Boys’ sat at dispersal waiting for the haunting call of ‘Scramble’, lounging in their shirt sleeves and fur-lined boots, their leather flying helmets lying limp by their side. But what did the RAF fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain really wear, and what vital items would their kitbags have held? The casual air of the dashing pilots of Fighter Command in the Spitfire Summer of 1940 conceals a necessarily professional approach to their task of holding Hitler’s Luftwaffe at bay. Therefore, each item of clothing and equipment they wore…

By Mark Hillier

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