Southampton Airport flypast to mark the 80th anniversary of the Spitfire’s first flight is taking place in Southampton was held just before 11.50 today. The Spitfire, with Matt Jones at the controls , took off from Southampton Airport watched by the media and members of the public gathered on the top of the airport car park.
The first prototype, K5054, designed by RJ Mitchell, took off from Eastleigh Aerodrome on 5 March 1936. The fly by was witnessed by many who played a major part in the development of the machines.
The fly pass over Southampton Water and the site of the Supermarine factory in Woolston, where thousands of the World War Two fighters were made.
The plane also passed over Mitchell’s grave at Stoneham, before overflying the site of the Woolston factory and onwards to Portsmouth Harbour before flying back on itself to Southampton Airport.
During World War Two, with the Spitfire proving critical, the Supermarine factory was targeted by the Luftwaffe to destroy production facilities.
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Members of the local Air Cadet Squadron preformed a guard of honour for the Spitfire as it is wheeled out of the hangar at Southampton Airport, on the same site as the old Eastleigh Aerodrome. There was also the cutting of a cake to remember the historic day