The Goodwood-based Boultbee Flight Academy has announced its plans for the first ever circumnavigation of the globe by a Supermarine Spitfire. The flight is expected to take around four months, during which the machine will fly about 27,000 miles.
The project, which is being sponsored by the Swiss watch company IWC, is the brainchild of Steve Boultbee-Brooks and Matt Jones, the founders of the academy. The Spitfire is MJ271/G-IRTY, a MkIX which is undergoing a ground-up rebuild with Historic Flying at Duxford. The former 2nd Tactical Air Force machine will be finished in a highly polished silver scheme for the flight, and is due to depart westwards during the summer of 2019, the first part of the tour encompassing Canada and the USA. The route will then continue via south-east Asia to India, before turning towards the Middle East and flying back to Europe. The expedition will involve in excess of 150 stops in more than 30 countries. It will see MJ271 visiting locations never before visited by R. J. Mitchell’s masterpiece, and some territories, including parts of the Far East and North Africa, where it has been not been seen since the end of the war.
For more information, see the news pages of the November issue of Aeroplane.