Will Visit As Many Former Spitfire Fields As Possible
Aero-News has learned that at 0430hrs local time Thursday
morning, the Dawn to Dusk Spitfire Challenge will set off,
attempting to visit as many former Spitfire airfields in Britain as
possible over the course of one day.
Pilots Steve Bridgewater and Louise Walker (above, with sponsor
Roger Harrison of brewer Shepherd Neame, center) aim to fly their
Piper PA28 on a circuitous route from Oxford Airport, hoping to
visit all the following airfields before returning to Oxford at
around 2130hrs in the evening --
Oxford, Lyneham, Exeter, Southampton, Cardiff, Cosford,
Woodvale, Blackpool, Sherburn in Elmet, Church Fenton, Hucknall,
Coningsby, Wittering, Coltishall, Duxford, Fowlmere, Cambridge,
North Weald, Southend, Biggin Hill, Manston, Headcorn, Goodwood,
"The weather looks good and our months of preparation and
planning mean we’ll be setting off at first light tomorrow,"
said Bridgewater on Wednesday.
With the support of sponsor Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale
(possible the coolest name ever for a beer -- Ed.), the
challenge marks the 70th anniversary of the WWII-era Supermarine
Spitfire fighter... but perhaps most importantly, the flight is
aimed at supporting the charity Flying Scholarship for the
The charity -- inspired
by the spirit of wartime flying ace Douglas Bader -- helps disabled
people discover their true potential through the mental and
physical stimulation of learning to fly a light aircraft.
Scholarship students complete a six-week residential training
course in South Africa, which includes 40 hours of airborne tuition
and ground school. Scholarships also take place in the UK, where
students take a one-week course involving 10 hours of airborne
tuition and ground school.
More than 250 disabled people have participated so far. Several
are paraplegic, and others suffer from cerebral palsy, MS, ME,
spina bifida and poliomyelitis.
Supporters can monitor the flight's progress at the FMI link