In early August 2019, a carefully restored Spitfire, boasting a unique silver-chrome finish, took off from London to embark on a round-the-world flight.
IWC Schaffhausen has lent its support to the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight”, as the main partner of the expedition. This summer, a carefully restored Spitfire, boasting a unique silver-chrome finish, took off from Goodwood to embark on a round-the-world flight. The aircraft, built in 1943, will cover more than 43,000 kilometres over several months, visiting some 30 countries on its way. The circumnavigation honours the quintessential design and unparalleled engineering of the iconic British plane. The expedition is the brainchild of Steve Boultbee-Brooks and Matt Jones, founders of the Boultbee Flight Academy, based on the Goodwood Estate in the south of England.
IWC boasts a history of more than 80 years manufacturing Pilot’s Watches and has previously commemorated the Spitfire, with several special-edition watches. Our dedication to this particular project once again underscores our passion for aviation. The visionary engineering and timeless design of the Spitfire are characteristics also embodied by our expertly engineered watches.
“More than any other aircraft, the Spitfire symbolises man’s dream of flying. She is a masterpiece of engineering, who was born ahead of her time and who continues to dazzle with her iconic design. We were instantly captivated by the ambitious idea of flying this aircraft around the world and we are excited to be able to help this adventure along its way,” explained Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
As well as supporting the expedition, IWC have also announced a long-term partnership with the Boultbee Flight Academy. The institution, founded by pilots Boultbee-Brooks and Jones, is the first officially recognised Spitfire flying academy in the world. “IWC Schaffhausen shares our passion for aviation and our admiration for the Spitfire. We know we have found the perfect partner to make our vision of a round-the-world flight a reality,” explained Jones.
The Spitfire, marked MJ271, was originally built in 1943 in Castle Bromwich. For the expedition, the aircraft has been stripped down and painstakingly restored. Every single component part has been lovingly polished by hand to a brilliant sheen to give the plane its dazzling silver appearance. It will be rechristened the “Silver Spitfire”.
The round-the-world flight departed in August 2019 from England. The first part of the tour will see the Silver Spitfire fly via Canada into the USA, allowing the expedition team to benefit from the comparatively mild weather conditions of the Arctic. From there, the route continues via South East Asia to India, before turning towards the Middle East and flying on back to Europe. On its way, the “Silver Spitfire” will touch down in several countries that have never before seen an aeroplane of this sort on their runways.
French artist Romain Hugault, famed for his aviation-themed illustrations, will accompany the Spitfire to create an artistic record of the journey. Hugault holds a pilot’s licence and can often be seen behind the controls of his own 1942 Piper L4. He is widely regarded as one of the most pre-eminent illustrators of classic aviation.
More than any other aircraft, the Spitfire symbolises man’s dream of flying. She is a masterpiece of engineering, who was born ahead of her time and who continues to dazzle with her iconic design.
Boultbee Flight Academy offers Spitfire experience flights and a ground-breaking Spitfire flight simulator to non-pilots, alongside Spitfire training for certified pilots
Boultbee Flight Academy is the world’s first Spitfire training school and flight provider and is owned by British pilots Matt Jones and Steve Boultbee-Brooks. Boultbee Flight Academy offers Spitfire experience flights and a ground-breaking Spitfire flight simulator to non-pilots, alongside Spitfire training to certified pilots. Boultbee Flight Academy offers flights and experiences around the UK in an ever-expanding number of locations. The academy’s headquarters are based at Goodwood Aerodrome, West Sussex; and its proximity to the white cliffs of Beachy Head and the Needles means that Spitfire flying experiences can be conducted around one of the most iconic landscapes on the United Kingdom’s south coast. Jones and Boultbee-Brooks have also partnered with IWC Schaffhausen to bring to fruition their dream of flying an original Spitfire around the world in Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight.