The moment special ‘Thank You NHS’ Spitfire flies over Cambs on NHS birthday

High above Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of

High above Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Vincent Hopper - Credit: Archant

Residents in parts of Cambridgeshire were treated to special ‘Thank You NHS’ Spitfire flyover to mark the 72nd birthday of the National Health Service.

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of C

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Gary Holland - Credit: Archant

The restored aircraft took to the skies on Sunday, July 5 and delivered its message to hospitals across the region and in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Family-owned firm Aircraft Restoration Company, based at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, flew the plane over hospitals including Hinchingbrooke and Royal Papworth.

Aman Coonar, a Royal Papworth surgeon who watched the flypast, said: “This NHS birthday means so much.

“It means we have come through this difficult time, we have not been beaten.”

Above Huntingdon. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Pi

Above Huntingdon. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Chris Street - Credit: Archant


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The aircraft flew over Witchford near Ely to thank the community for sewing scrubs for the NHS during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It flew over Royal Papworth Hospital at 17:02, just moments after the one-off ‘clap for carers’ event arranged for 5pm to mark the founding of the NHS in 1948.

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It left Duxford Airfield at 4.20pm before heading to Welwyn Garden City, through Bedfordshire and past fundraising legend Captain Tom Moore’s house.

The plane flew over Hinchingbrooke Hospital at around 4.45pm before heading to Witchford for around 4.50pm - completing the flyover at Addenbrooke’s for the clap.

The pilot returned to Duxford Airfield at around 5.10pm after completing rounds across three counties – all onlookers were asked to observe social distancing.

Full ‘Thank U NHS’ Spitfire route:

- 16:20 - Duxford Airfield

- 16:28 – The New QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust)

High above Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of

High above Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Vincent Hopper - Credit: Archant

- 16:33 - Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Luton (Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

- 16:36 – Lister Hospital, Stevenage (East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust)

- 16:41 – Bedford Hospital, Bedford (Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

- 16:47 – Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon (North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust)

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of C

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Gary Holland - Credit: Archant

- 16:53 – Witchford, village near Ely

- 16:58 – Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)

- 17:00 – Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

- 17:02 – Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge (Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

Above Huntingdon. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Pi

Above Huntingdon. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Chris Street - Credit: Archant

- 17:10 – Duxford Airfield

High above Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of

High above Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The special Thank You NHS Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Vincent Hopper - Credit: Archant

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of C

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Gary Holland - Credit: Archant

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of C

Heading over Witchford near Ely. The special ‘Thank You NHS’ Duxford Spitfire flying over parts of Cambridgeshire. Picture: Gary Holland - Credit: Archant

NHS staff turn out for the Spitfire celebration to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the NHS at Hi

NHS staff turn out for the Spitfire celebration to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the NHS at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Picture; MARK BUNTING PHOTOGRAPHY/ HINCHINGBROOKE HOSPITAL - Credit: Archant

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