SPITFIRES.COM – THE SPITFIRE ACADEMY
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.
More than any other aircraft, the Spitfire symbolises man’s dream of flying. A masterpiece of engineering, she was born ahead of her time and continues to dazzle with her iconic design over eighty years later.
To celebrate the visionary engineering and beautiful shape of this aircraft, IWC has partnered with the Boultbee Flight Academy, now known as Spitfires.com - The Spitfire Academy, since 2018. The world’s first Spitfire training school and flight provider is owned by British pilots Matt Jones and Steve Brooks. The academy offers Spitfire experience flights and a ground-breaking Spitfire flight simulator to non-pilots, alongside Spitfire training for certified pilots. The academy’s headquarters are based at Goodwood Aerodrome in West Sussex. With its proximity to Beachy Head and the Needles, pilots can fly over one of the UK’s most iconic landscapes.
The partnership is particularly fitting given IWC Schaffhausen’s passion for aviation and long-standing admiration of the Spitfire aircraft. IWC boasts a history of more than 80 years manufacturing Pilot’s Watches and has previously commemorated the Spitfire with several special-edition models. The innovative engineering and timeless design of the Spitfire are characteristics also embodied by our expertly engineered watches.
FLYING AN ICON AROUND THE WORLD
In 2019, Jones and Brooks partnered with IWC Schaffhausen on their long-held dream to fly an original Spitfire around the world. IWC supported the successful record-breaking expedition, titled “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight”, as the primary partner and official timekeeper.
Getting underway in August 2019 and lasting four months, the trip covered 43,000 kilometres and visited over 20 countries. The Spitfire flown by the two pilots was marked MJ271 and was originally built in 1943 in Castle Bromwich. For the expedition, it was stripped down and painstakingly restored. Every component was lovingly polished by hand to achieve a brilliant sheen, giving the plane its dazzling silver appearance.
After leaving Goodwood Aerodrome, the 76-year-old Silver Spitfire journeyed across the icy expanse of Greenland, glided over New York’s majesty, before then 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 dodged 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, they finally made their way home to Europe, visiting Italy and the Netherlands, before finally landing back in the UK.
As they journeyed through the different time zones, Brooks and Jones wore the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (Ref. IW395501). Featuring a bezel that can be set to feature the time in a different zone This special timepiece was the official watch of the expedition.
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
The Spitfire Series Podcast
It’s intimate and personal. IWC’s Spitfire Series podcasts brings the pilots and crew of the plane to you to tell their stories. Listen below.
The Longest Flight
Stay up to date on all IWC Schaffhausen news and events. Click here to learn more.
The Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX: 360-degree cockpit tour
Silver Spitfire pilot Matt Jones invites you inside a Spitfire for a 360-degree cockpit tour. Watch the video here.