TWO British pilots have landed back in the UK after becoming the first people to fly around the world in a Spitfire.
Steve Brooks, 58, from Burford, Oxfordshire, and Matt Jones, 45, from Exeter, Devon, took four months to circumnavigate the globe in the newly-restored World War II fighter.
The project — called Silver Spitfire: The Longest Flight — started and finished at Goodwood Aerodrome, base of Boultbee Flight Academy, the first-ever school for Spitfire pilots, in West Sussex.
A star-studded event held for the departure in August included guests such as Gone Girl actor Rosamund Pike, Rocketman star Taron Egerton and former Formula One driver David Coulthard.
As the pilots prepared to land — escorted by two RAF Red Arrows — Coulthard said: ‘Seeing you off was very emotional and it’s fantastic to know it’s been a great, successful trip.’ The duo achieved their feat in a single-seater Mk IX Spitfire originally built in 1943.
They were accompanied by a ‘chase plane’ for safety and followed a route to Scotland, then west across the US, Canada, Japan, Russia, India, Europe and back to Britain.
They had to stop off at 100 locations in 30 countries.