The Spitfire marked MJ271 was built in 1943 in Castle Bromwich. At present, the aircraft is being stripped down to its component parts and painstakingly restored. Every single part is being lovingly polished by hand to a brilliant sheen to give the plane its dazzling silver appearance. In spring 2019, the public will have their first chance to see the aircraft, rechristened the “Silver Spitfire”.
The round-the-world flight will depart next summer in England. The first part of the tour will see it fly via Canada and into the USA. This route allows 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 also 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 be accompanying 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 1942 Piper L4. He is widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent illustrators of classic aviation.