Inspired by Boeing’s 787 outline stunt in August last year Andy McKee decided to attempt to recreate a Spitfire outline in his plane he built in his garage. Planning out the route was a challenge as the airspace around London is congested, plus Andy would be flying the entire time by hand without the help of autopilot.
The reason for this flight is, as 2018 is the year of the 100th anniversary of the RAF, so to remember ‘The Few’ (the pilots) and also the many (ground crew, fabricators) and particularly the forgotten people from outside the UK that were involved in the Battle of Britain.
Roughly 1 in 5 pilots who took part were from countries other than the United Kingdom. New Zealand fielded the second most number of pilots with 135 taking part. (Andy McKee was born in New Zealand but has lived in the UK for the last 18 years.)
Of the New Zealander Sir Keith Park (the commander of number 11 Group during the Battle of Britain). Lord Tedder, Chief of the Air Staff said.
“If any one man won the Battle of Britain, he did. I do not believe it is realised how much that one man, with his leadership, his calm judgement and his skill, did to save, not only this country but the world.”
Andy McKee is 46 years old and lives in Bedfordshire. He has been a pilot since 2004. His aircraft used for this flight was the homebuilt ‘Silence Twister’. Andy constructed it from a kit over 5.5 years putting in over 3,000 workshop hours in the process.
Last year Andy embarked on an ‘epic’ trip in his Twister, flying over to the USA and back again via the North Atlantic, Iceland, Greenland and Canada.