Chocks away! Ambitious plans for flying memorial to The Few
Spitfire flying against
the White Cliffs
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Spitfire county could have its own Flying Memorial to the Few
and a new tourism magnet if a businessman's dream comes true.
Steve Burt, an industrial designer who runs Action Stations!, a
company that offers passengers helicopter fly-by thrills with a
Spitfire and Hurricane, is launching a campaign to acquire these
legendary Battle of Britain aircraft for Kent. It could cost more
At present, Mr Burt, who lives in Littlebourne, near Canterbury,
hires aircraft owned by the Rye-based Historic Aircraft Collection
and hangared at Duxford to fly alongside the helicopter.
He is convinced the project would prove a big draw for visitors
as well as engaging residents.
Tourism chiefs and Kent County Council are interested in an idea
that would complement the county's existing commemoration of The
Few - those courageous young pilots who saved Britain from Nazi
invasion in 1940.
A Spitfire flypast at
Capel le Ferne
"It would be a massive tourism opportunity for Kent," said Mr
Burt. He also envisages a replica fighter station with static
displays and re-enactments.
"People from all works of life were trained in a short period of
time to jump into these amazing aeroplanes, take them up in the air
and do extraordinary things. I don’t believe we recognise that
He added: "It's important for future generations to realise we
are all here today with our wealth of freedom because of what they
did. Kent is in a prime position to do this and put this message
across to the rest of the world."
Mark Dance, KCC cabinet member for regeneration and economic
development, backs the idea. The council would not contribute
funding but give "moral support and get behind any campaign".
Mr Burt believes the flying memorial should also recognise the
sacrifice of German airmen.
See Kent Business, inside most KM Group paid-for titles this
week, for more details.
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