What else is there to do on the hottest day of the year besides take a trip up to Duxford? Having not made the pilgrimage for a month or so it certainly felt like perfect weather to hopefully catch some warbird action.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed as before I was even out the car I could hear the wonderful sound of a Merlin running. I was greeted by the stunning sight of the newly airworthy Spitfire IX MJ271, which only returned to flight earlier this week.
Known as the “Silver Spitfire” (for obvious reasons!), this machine is owned by the Boultbee Academy and is set to start an epic round the world adventure in August that will see the aircraft away from the UK until just before Christmas.
With plenty of ocean crossings and long-legs to cover the Spitfire has been converted to carry more fuel than the normal MkIX. As you can see from these shots this airframe does not have any guns or cannons fitted, giving a wonderful clean appearance.
It is also a delight to see a Spitfire in a civilian scheme, something rarely seen on warbirds these days. This scheme combined with the clean wing make this machine a strong contender for one of the best looking Spitfires around and would certainly look at home alongside some of the other polished Duxford residence.
John Romain took the Spitfire up for an extended air test before returning for a few circuits with a couple of lovely passes thrown in. A great treat to enjoy this new restoration during its flight testing. One thing did strike me as this shining machine flew past though, what a bad day to forget the sunglasses!
Other highlights of the afternoon included a practice display from Ultimate Warbird Flight’s Spitfire V EE602 and the departure and arrival from Hurricane R4118 (a pleasure to see this aeroplane so active, particularly in the hands of its owner).
Alongside this, there was also the usual busy pleasure flight activity from Classic Wings with Tiger Moths, Rapides and Spitfire PV202. Ironically, perhaps the rarest aeroplane to take to the sky today was the British Antarctic Survey’s Twin Otter. Certainly not an airframe I have seen airborne despite its regular stays at Duxford!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this bonus post based on today’s activity!