The Silver Spitfire Flight, a Close Run Thing!
The world record-breaking Silver Spitfire is an exceptional aircraft for a number of reasons. Not only is it a masterpiece of British Engineering and a thing of beauty but MJ271 is a highly original airframe. The aircraft Is also now well known for her 2019 round-the-world trip. Lastly, she is also a combat veteran and took part in 53 operational Spitfire flights during World War II. She was flying with 132 Squadron out of RAF Ford on the South Coast during 1944 and carried the serial number MJ271. It was on one of these sorties that she so nearly did not make it back!
‘I was on the left-hand side of our group. He turned into me at the same time I turned toward him, and we both “opened” up on each other, it all was over in a split second. My right wing was hit, and the leading edge opened up, this probably saved my life as it tore my aircraft around to the right out of the way of his cannon fire and he passed to my left. I tried to turn around to line up on him again but that’s when I noticed a great big haze of fuel vapour from my aux 90-gallon fuel tank.’