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Portsmouth-based BAE systems pay tribute to Spitfire

BAE Systems shared this photo online of the many faces of the iconic aircraft Credit: BAE Systems
  • The first flight of Spitfire was 5 March 1936 at Eastleigh Airport Southampton, still in use as Southampton Airport.
  • The pilot for the first flight was John ‘Mutt’ Summers, Chief Test Pilot for Vickers (Aviation) Ltd.
  • The first flight lasted for 15 minutes. On landing Mutt supposedly said to the ground crew, “Don’t touch a thing”.
  • Jeffrey Kindersley Quill was the second man to fly the Spitfire after Summers. As Vickers' Chief Test Pilot, Quill test-flew every mark of Spitfire.
  • The Spitfire Fund' was set up during the Second World War as a way of towns contributing to purchasing Spitfires

Spitfire takes off from Southampton!

The Spitfire plane has taken off from the runway at Southampton Airport.

Many of you have been sharing your view of the aircraft retracing its flightpath from 1936 on social media.

Spitfire takes to skies in long-awaited flight

Spitfire to fly at 1145am after weather uncertainty

Organisers behind the Spitfire flight have announced the plane will take the skies above the Solent in a few minutes' time despite worries over weather.

While the Spitfire takes off, a Guard of Honour will be performed by the Hedge End 2428 Air Cadets.

The Spitfire pilot, Matt Jones, the Air Cadets is being joined by Veteran Nathan Forster today at Southampton Airport.

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Celebrations mark 80th anniversary of Spitfire

They're an icon of British design, and thanks to them the Battle of Britain was won above the skies of Kent and Sussex.

Tomorrow the Spitfire turns 80. Its first test flight was on the South coast in 1936 and after that tens of thousands were put into production.

In a moment we'll look at how that first flight is being celebrated - first here's Derek Johnson with the Spitfire is making its way back to Kent.

Celebrating 80 years of the Spitfire at Biggin Hill

They're an icon of British design - and thanks to them the Battle of Britain was won above the skies of Kent and Sussex.

On Saturday - March 5 - the Spitfire turns 80. Its first test flight was on the South coast in 1936 and after that tens of thousands were put into production.

And on Saturday a Spitfire can be seen at Ramsgate as part of an event called Spitfire Day.

Meanwhile Spitfires are being restored and flown at the Biggin Hill Heritage hanger - which has no moved to a new and bigger hanger.

We speak to: Wartime Spitfire pilot Rodney Scrase DFC; aviation author Robin Brooks and Peter Monk and Franco Tambascia from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hanger.

Thousands watch iconic Spitfire fly over Southampton

Thousands of people looked to the skies this morning as a Spitfire soared over the south coast.

It marked the start of a weekend of celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of the iconic plane's first flight from Southampton in 1936.

Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse, was there for the take-off - and sent this from Southampton Airport.

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