This Spitfire Just Took The Grand Canyon

03 September 2019
IWC, The Longest Flight, Silver Spitfire
Image: IWC
An update from IWC’s Longest Flight adventure

Almost one month ago, pilots Steve Brooks and Matt Jones set out from Goodwood Aerodrome on a round-the-world journey. Nothing amiss there, until you discover that they’re doing it in a rather beautiful silver Spitfire.

With over 100 stops to make and 43.5km to cover, the ‘Longest Flight’ was made a reality thanks to watchmaker IWC and Boultbee Flying Academy, who took two and a half years of planning, building, and practicing to get the bird in the sky in the first place.

While they aim to be in the Middle East around November 6, the gleaming kite is currently navigating the US, and fresh from New York has stops in Texas, Las Vegas and finally Santa Monica. But don’t just take our words for it, check in on the pilot dispatch below…

“What a week! After bidding farewell to the Manhattan skyline and giving the Statue of Liberty a wave goodbye, we set to work making up some more kilometres. Luckily, the weather was firmly on our side and we had a productive few days making it out to Beaver County before continuing onwards.

“However, just as we were getting into the groove, a temperature gauge failed in the cockpit at 8,500 feet, and we were forced to break our flow. Despite the technical difficulties, the guys at Comanche Ranch in Texas were perfect hosts, and whilst the problem was fixed, we had a wonderful day or so of respite, enjoying some amazing food.

“On our departure, we had the greatest send-off you can imagine. Two members of Houston’s brilliant Horsemen Flight Team flew up alongside us as we left Texas. It was such an honour to share the skies with two other stunning warbirds, as we continued our journey in our own beautiful aircraft.

“Pressing on, we soon arrived in Nevada, and flying over the Grand Canyon at 3000 feet was absolutely sensational. We also had a bird’s-eye view of the Las Vegas Strip, which was just as impressive. We couldn’t stop for long, and we eventually arrived in Santa Monica on August 28. We will be here for a few days, before heading up to Vancouver.

“As we enjoy this brief hiatus, we’d really like to say how overwhelmed we’ve been by the warmth and generosity of the support we have experienced so far. The reception we – and, of course, G-IRTY – have received along the way has been quite simply fantastic, and we really want to thank all of our supporters for coming out to wish us well.”