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Kent / Northants

Spitfire Live Tour 2022


8-10 July 2022

'Spitfire Live' Tour 8-10th July 2022

'Spitfire Live' is a 2-night tour package to celebrate the greatest British fighter aircraft ever created, the iconic Supermarine Spitfire.

The Supermarine Spitfire – A Brief History
The Supermarine Spitfire is the most instantly recognisable fighter aircraft ever produced. It was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II, but most famously during the Battle of Britain.

The iconic elliptical wing of the Spitfire, shown in all it's glory on this Mk IX

Designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine, the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing had the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than most contemporary fighters.

On 5th March 1936, the prototype (K5054), took off on its maiden flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome. At the controls was "Mutt" Summers, chief test pilot for Vickers, who was so impressed with the flying characteristics that, on landing, he told the ground crew "Don't touch anything!".

During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the Hurricane was more numerous in the fight against the Luftwaffe. Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than the Hurricanes because of the Spitfire's higher performance. During the battle, Spitfires were tasked with engaging Luftwaffe fighters, mainly the Messerschmitt Bf 109E, which were a close performance match for them.

After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific, and South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber and trainer until the 1950's.

There were 24 marks of Spitfire and although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030hp, it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlins and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing over 2,000hp. As a result, the Spitfire's performance and capabilities improved over the course of its service life.

'Spitfire Live' - The Tour
Twynhams Tours are giving you the opportunity, as part of our exclusive group, to immerse yourself in our 2-day ‘Spitfire Spectacular’. You will hear the spine-tingling roar of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine running up, have a cockpit photo opportunity in an original Spitfire, visit Winston Churchill’s family home, and enjoy a private dinner at the historic RAF Club. The tour climaxes with our exclusive VIP hospitality experience at the world-famous Flying Legends airshow.

See and hear the glorious Rolls Royce Merlin engine of the Spitfire Mk.1 in action at the Flying Legends Airshow

Also included with your tour booking is a complimentary copy of 'Spitfire - The Feature Documentary' in either DVD/Blu-Ray or HD Digital Download format.

This is the story of the Spitfire – told in the words of the last-surviving combat veterans. With stunning aerial footage from the world’s top aviation photographer, the film also contains rare, digitally re-mastered, archive footage from the tumultuous days of the 1940s when her power in the skies was unrivalled. SPITFIRE also explores how this extraordinary plane thrives today and how it has become an international icon.

Watch the trailer and then enjoy your own digital copy as part of your inclusive tour package.

Friday. After checking-in at the hotel early on Friday morning, we’ll make our way to the ex-Battle of Britain airfield at Biggin Hill. Best known for its role during the Battle of Britain, RAF Biggin Hill served as one of the principal fighter airfields protecting London and South East England from attack by German Luftwaffe bombers. The airfield was originally opened by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Throughout the Second World War it was one of the frontline stations in the Battle of Britain, with both Spitfires and Hurricanes from a variety of squadrons being based there.

This morning we visit the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar for a guided tour and chance to see their two-seat Spitfires in action. Founded in 2011 to house the activities of The Spitfire Company, with the purpose of restoring a single Spitfire, it has grown to the point where it now maintains and restores a whole squadron’s worth, including many airworthy examples. At any one time, the hangar is a hive of activity with several ongoing restorations. You can take a tour round the facility and see at first-hand what goes into putting a Spitfire back in the air, how they are maintained and what is involved in their day to day running.

Spend the morning in the company of a squadron of Supermarine Spitfires at Historic Biggin Hill airfield

Following our visit to Biggin Hill, the next stop on our tour is to Winston Churchill's family home, Chartwell. A country estate near the town of Westerham in Kent, it was Churchill's home for 40 years. Now owned by the National Trust it is decorated in original 1930's designs and is displayed as if the family are still in residence. Throughout the house there are fascinating insights into the great man whose wartime speeches included the immortal words, when talking about the Battle of Britain pilots -

"The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

The magnificent country estate and 'Chartwell', Churchill's family home