The Thank U NHS Spitfire is set to fly over hospitals in Stoke-on-Trent and South Cheshire this morning – Sunday August 30 – to pay tribute to NHS workers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
The iconic Second World War plane will be taking off from Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire at around 10am today.
It will then pass over Leicester Royal Infirmary and Royal Derby Hospital before passing over Stoke-on-Trent’s Royal Stoke University Hospital at around 10.37am.
Afterwards it will pass over Crewe’s Leighton Hospital at around 10.41am before flying past various hospitals in Cheshire and Merseyside before landing at Blackpool Airport.
The Spitfire – a fighter plane designed by North Staffordshire’s Reginald Mitchell – covered with the names of 80,000 NHS heroes, family members, neighbours and friends nominated by members of the public.
Further flights with the Spitfire are due to take place across the country until September 20 to thank health staff for their work during the Covid-19 outbreak.
A University Hospitals of North Midlands spokesman said: “The aircraft has been making a number of flypasts across the country in recent weeks to lift the spirits of those across the UK while also thanking the hospitals, communities and individuals who have been at the forefront of helping to get the country through the pandemic.
“But it has extra significance for the people of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire as the plane was designed by Butt Lane-born designer Reginald Mitchell.
“The Spitfire is being covered with the names of 80,000 NHS heroes, family members, neighbours and friends nominated by members of the public.
“People are being offered the chance to nominate the name of a loved one to be handwritten onto the plane in aid of NHS Charities together for as little as £10 with room for 80,000 names.”