NHS Spitfire will set off today (Saturday, August 1) for a special flight to commemorate the hard work of the NHS and key workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The Aircraft Restoration Company, a firm which restores vintage aircraft, will fly the plane on Saturday with the message ‘THANK U NHS’ emblazoned across the underside of its wings.
The blue Spitfire PL983 ‘L’ had been flown every Thursday during lockdown to thank key workers.
It is now being flown over hospitals across the country – and is being emblazoned with the names of 80,000 NHS heroes, family members, neighbours and friends nominated by members of the public.
A spokesman for The Aircraft Restoration Company said: “Saying and receiving a thank you is one of the simplest pleasures enjoyed by humankind, it takes the smallest of efforts but can carry vast meaning.
“So, how could we give people an opportunity to join us in saying thank you to the NHS whilst also giving them the opportunity to thank someone closer to home… well, this is what we’ve come up with.
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In total the plane will flypast 27 hospitals in the south of England.
According to BBC Weather, visibility in the area at that time is expected to be very good, with sunny intervals and a gentle breeze predicted, so there shouldn’t be any thick, low cloud to obscure it.
However if the plane isn’t flying over your area don’t worry, there are more flights planned in the coming weeks.
An Aircraft Restoration Company spokesperson said: “We hope to see as many of you as possible throughout the duration of this project and will be flying a number of routes across different parts of the nation throughout the summer.
“If we are not coming to skies near you on this occasion then please don’t be disheartened as we will hopefully be getting a little closer on a later route.”
Here is the the NHS Spitfire Route for Sat 1st August 2020
1. 11.00am – Duxford Airfield (Take-off)
2. 11.15am – Southend University Hospital NHS
3. 11.20am – Medway Maritime Hospital NHS
4. 11.27am – Kent and Canterbury Hospital NHS
5. 11.32am – Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital NHS – Margate
6. 11.37am – Buckland Hospital NHS – Dover
7. 11.42am – Royal Victoria Hospital NHS – Folkestone
8. 11.46am – William Harvey Ashford Hospital NHS
9. 11.55am – Conquest Hospital NHS – Hastings
10. 12.00pm – Bexhill Hospital NHS
11. 12.05pm – Eastbourne District General Hospital NHS
12. 12.10pm – Brighton General & Royal Sussex County Hospital NHS
13. 12.18pm – Worthing Hospital NHS
14. 12.25pm – Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital NHS
15. 12.29pm – St Richard’s Hospital NHS – Chichester
16. 12.30pm – Goodwood Aerodrome (Land)
1. 3.00pm – Goodwood Aerodrome (Take-off)
2. 3.05pm – Queen Alexandra Hospital NHS – Portsmouth
3. 3.10pm – St Mary’s Hospital NHS – Newport, Isle of Wight
4. 3.20pm – Poole Hospital NHS
5. 3.25pm – Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS
6. 3.32pm – University Hospital Southampton NHS
7. 3.47pm – Salisbury District Hospital NHS
8. 3.55pm – Royal Hampshire County Hospital NHS – Winchester
9. 4.00pm – Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital NHS
10. 4.05pm – Frimley Park Hospital NHS
11. 4.10pm – Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS – Reading
12. 4.18pm – Amersham Hospital NHS
13. 4.26pm – Oxford University Hospitals NHS
14. 4.30pm – Watford General Hospital NHS
15. 4.40pm – Duxford Airfield (Land)