British World War II plane makes pit stop in Bowling Green
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – It’s not every day you see a plane from World War II soaring through the sky in South Central Kentucky.
On Thursday, a British aircraft from the war era, the Supermarine Silver Spitfire, made a brief visit to the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport.
A team of eight men are flying this historic plane to 30 different countries around the world, making stops along the way for gas and to display this aged relic of aviation.
“This is probably the most original spitfire still flying,” said Lachlan Monro, project director of the intercontinental expedition. “What we wanted to do with it was, because it’s such a special airplane, we wanted to reunite it and take it to countries that haven’t seen it since it played such an important part in the second World War.”
The Spitfire they brought to Bowling Green saw plenty of action during the war, flying in 51 combat missions.
As you might imagine, a plane this old and war-torn needed a lot of work done on it to restore it – two and a half years worth, to be precise.
“It was 41,000 pieces spread all the way across an aircraft hangar,” Monro said. “Since then it’s been put back together piece by piece to get what we have today, which is this incredible machine.”
While they’ve restored much of the aircraft, the plane still bears the battle scars it endured while in combat.
“It’s 93% original including all of the bumps and dents and scratches that it took,” Monro added.
During the war, the Spitfire became a United Kingdom treasure, serving as an emblem that represents freedom around the world.
“It’s just so iconic in that it was something that stood up to tyranny and against a bully and an aggressor,” said Monro.
So far the plane has logged more than 5,700 miles, but still has plenty more to go.
It’s a unique endeavor, to say the least, but it’s one that Monro said he and the rest of the crew feel so honored to be a part of.
“To be able to be integral to bringing it to reunite to people and countries that haven’t seen it, and also to inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts is just incredible,” he said.