On 15th September 2015, the 75th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Britain, 34 Spitfires and Hurricanes from across the UK, USA and Europe took part in an historic Flypast over the South of England, organised by the Boultbee Flight Academy at Goodwood Aerodrome, West Sussex.
Prince Harry was in attendance on the day, joined by Battle of Britain veterans and wounded servicemen, supported by his Endeavour Fund. A crowd of 32,000 gathered at Goodwood to witness the spectacle which brought more Battle of Britain aircraft together in one place than at any time since World War Two.
The Boultbee LDN sponsored Spitfire led the formations, with Boultbee Fight Academy co-founder, pilot Matt Jones at the helm, and very special passenger, Battle of Britain Hurricane and Spitfire pilot, Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE – now 95 years old. Tom was joined by wounded service personnel, Nathan Forster and Alan Robinson who have been training to fly the Spitfire as part of the Spitfire Scholarship set up by the Boultbee Flight Academy in partnership with the Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund, the charity founded by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Once the clouds had cleared at approximately 2pm, 34 aircraft took off as wings in groups of between four and ten. They circled over Goodwood Aerodrome before setting course to Selsey Bill. From Selsey Bill, the different wings followed predetermined routes spreading out to cover the South of the England and ending up at Battle of Britain airfields such as Biggin Hill, Duxford, Northweald and Northolt with some returning to Goodwood.
The Boultbee Flight Academy was created and founded by renowned property entrepreneur, Steve Boultbee-Brooks, together with pilot, Matt Jones, with the aim of keeping part of Britain’s proud heritage alive. Steve comments: “The Battle of Britain Day Flypast was a historic and fitting tribute not only to those brave pilots who defended Britain’s shores in 1940 inspiring Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s iconic speech ‘The Few’, but to everyone who contributed to the war effort. It was incredibly emotional and humbling to see veterans and comrades take to the skies again and we are exceptionally grateful to them for taking part on this momentous day. We are also thankful to Prince Harry, who’s Endeavour Fund has helped to give Nathan Forster and Alan Robinson the opportunity to train as Spitfire pilots.”
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