On 5 March 2020 a Supermarine Spitfire will take off from Southampton Airport in a re-enactment of the first flight of the prototype Spitfire on the same day in 1936. Uniquely, this aircraft will carry on board the only surviving relic of the original prototype Spitfire, recreating the first flight on the same runway from which it flew 84 years ago.
To celebrate Southampton’s contribution to victory in the Battle of Britain, which has its 80th anniversary in 2020, a local resident will also fly aboard the Spitfire. This lucky individual is Melvin Hills who is the winner of a prize draw held by Solent Sky museum.
The flight will take place at 3:00pm on 5 March 2020, subject to weather and technical conditions.
The flight is sponsored by Peter Monk of the Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill, and in partnership with Southampton Airport.
ABOUT the SPITFIRE: The Spitfire was designed and produced in Southampton. During Southampton’s Blitz 80 years ago when thousands of bombs were dropped on the city, it was local residents and businesses who continued manufacturing the Spitfire after the Supermarine factory was destroyed in 1940 Using bus stations, launderettes, shops, and garages, the people of Southampton valiantly kept Spitfire production going throughout Britain’s darkest hour, keeping Europe free from tyranny.
22,749 Spitfires were produced in total in 24 different marks. The Spitfire was the only Allied aircraft to remain in continuous development, production and active service throughout the war, and was in front-line service with Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, the Commonwealth Air Forces, the USAAF, and 19 other air forces.
ABOUT SOLENT SKY MUSEUM: Hampshire and the Solent region were the centre of the world for aviation research and development between 1910 and 1960. More than 26 aircraft manufacturers made this area their home and built everything from biplanes to spacecraft, and of course the legendary Spitfire. For 45 years Solent Sky has told the incredible story of aviation in Hampshire and the Solent region, with more than 20 aircraft on display from the golden age of aviation.