NHS Spitfire no longer flying over Yorkshire after being forced to return to base

Photo: George Lewis RomainPhoto: George Lewis Romain
Photo: George Lewis Romain
The 'Thank U NHS' Spitfire will no longer be flying over Yorkshire today due to the bad weather.

The Second World War aircraft, piloted by the family-owned Aircraft Restoration Company, took off from Duxford Airfield this morning.

It was due to make its journey up north but was forced to return to base due to the weather.

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A spokesman for the Aircraft Restoration Company issued an update at 10.45am which said: "The weather has unexpectedly turned for the worse and the Spitfire has been forced to return to Duxford today due to low cloud.

"Further updates will be posted as soon as we have more information available."

The plane was due to fly over several NHS hospitals including St Mary's Hospital in Leeds, with a special 'Thank U NHS' message painted on its wings.

It was scheduled to fly over Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, the Bradford Royal Infirmary, Harrogate District Hospital, York Hospital, Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and Darlington Memorial Hospital, before landing at Teeside Airport.

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The plane was first spotted up and down the country after it was first flown at 8pm on the last ClapForOurCarers Thursday.

After a positive response, Aircraft Restoration Company decided to organise several flights to thank NHS staff across the UK.

People were invited to have the name of a loved one hand-written on the aircraft by donating to a JustGiving fundraising page.

The organisers said there is the capacity for 80,000 names on the Spitfire and all proceeds raised will go to NHS Charities Together.

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Founder of Aircraft Restoration Company, John Romain, said: “The response to our initial flight over the last 8pm #clapforourcarers Thursday was incredibly humbling, with hundreds of people from the local community sharing how wonderful it was to not only see the Spitfire, but also to read the message emblazoned across its wings.

"After such positive response we decided to leave the message painted on the Spitfire for the rest of the flying season, this is where the idea to handwrite the names of the nation’s loved ones onto the aircraft to raise money for the NHS Charities Together began.”