Silver Spitfire sets off on ‘The Longest Flight’

IWC Schaffhausen and the Boultbee Flight Academy, in collaboration with Aviation Adventures Ltd, hav

IWC Schaffhausen and the Boultbee Flight Academy, in collaboration with Aviation Adventures Ltd, have celebrated the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood. (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

On 5 August Boultbee Flight Academy’s highly polished, Mk IX Spitfire G-IRTY departed Goodwood Aerodrome in the hands of Matt Jones at the start of its ‘Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight’ expedition around the world

British actor Finn Cole attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The

British actor Finn Cole attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

The flight follows two years of preparation during which more than a dozen specialists have worked on the restoration and preparation of the aircraft, which was originally built at Castle Bromwich in 1943.

IWC black tie cocktail reception followed by a private dinner with the pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks

IWC black tie cocktail reception followed by a private dinner with the pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones at Goodwood House to celebrate the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood. (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

"The last few months have been intense, and full of activity… We're thrilled that we can finally begin our great adventure and share the glory of the Silver Spitfire with the rest of the world.

IWC black tie cocktail reception followed by a private dinner with the pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks

IWC black tie cocktail reception followed by a private dinner with the pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones at Goodwood House to celebrate the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood. (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

"It's a massive undertaking and a huge privilege to be involved in such a project. Now it's time to make history," said academy founder Steve Boultbee Brooks, who will be sharing the piloting duties with Matt Jones.

Pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones attending the celebration of the official start of the S

Pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood. (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

"I am excited to witness the start of the expedition. Never in the history of aviation has a Spitfire embarked on such a long and arduous journey.

Christoph Grainger-Herr attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The

Christoph Grainger-Herr attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

"I wish Steve Boultbee Brooks, Matt Jones and the entire ground crew every success," added Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of the project's principal sponsor, Swiss watch company IWC Schaffhausen.

Goodwood on August 4, 2019 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC)

Goodwood on August 4, 2019 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC) - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

On the flight around the world, the two British pilots will cover more than 23,000nm and visit thirty countries.

IWC Schaffhausen and the Boultbee Flight Academy, in collaboration with Aviation Adventures Ltd, hav

IWC Schaffhausen and the Boultbee Flight Academy, in collaboration with Aviation Adventures Ltd, have celebrated the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

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The route will initially take them to Iceland, and from there to Canada and the USA.

IWC brand ambassador David Coulthard attending the celebration of the official start of the “Silver

IWC brand ambassador David Coulthard attending the celebration of the official start of the “Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

The plan is to complete the flight in 100 or so individual segments, suggesting that while the total distance covered may set a new record, the one for the longest distance non-stop Spitfire flight of 1,620nm (from Dakar, Senegal across the Atlantic to Natal in Brazil) set by Capt James Story, flying a PR XI on 3 May 1947, will remain unbroken.

IWC brand ambassador Rosamund Pike attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spi

IWC brand ambassador Rosamund Pike attending the celebration of the official start of the Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight expedition in Goodwood (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for IWC). - Credit: Getty Images for IWC

Restored Silver Spitfire seen off on global tour by host of celebrities

Restored Silver Spitfire seen off on global tour by host of celebrities - Credit: Archant

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