Blast from the past in Mojave

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Courtesy photo

On Sept. 1, the Silver Spitfire — restored MK IX Spitfire manufactured in 1943 — arrived at the Mojave Air and Space Port as part of its round-the-world trip.

After landing, the aircraft started to overheat which made a planned taxi down to the Voyager Restaurant impossible. Instead, the aircraft taxied as close to the Virgin Galactic FAITH hangar as possible, then shut down to protect the engine.

A crew of volunteers pushed her to the ramp in front of the Virgin Galactic hangar.

“The Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” is an attempt by two pilots, Matt Jones and Steve Brooks, to fly the iconic aircraft around the world. To date, the plane has made several stops in the United States including New York, Texas, Las Vegas and Mojave. Following the stop in Mojave, the aircraft flew over Los Angeles on its way to San Francisco.

The aircraft was restored by Aviation Adventures Ltd., and made its first flight since the 1950s at Duxford in England, on July 11, 2019. The circumnavigation of the globe trip began on Aug. 5.
The Spitfire is an iconic aircraft in aviation history given its role in the Battle of Britain and the Allied victory in World War II.

According to the Silver Spitfire website, “The Silver Spitfire expedition will hopefully promote the ‘Best of British’ worldwide showcasing the nation’s heritage in engineering excellence, and an aircraft that changed the course of history.

“The Spitfire embodies not only a pinnacle in aerospace engineering and design but commemorates a generation of intrepid aviators prepared to stand up to oppression and make the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of freedom.”

The expedition will reunite the Spitfire with the many countries that owe their freedom, at least in part, to this iconic aircraft. The unmistakable sight and sound of this aircraft once again gracing the skies aims to inspire future generations more than 80 years after R.J. Mitchell’s timeless design first graced the skies.

For more information, and to track the Spitfire’s progress, visit https://www.silverspitfire.com/.