What time is the NHS birthday Spitfire flypast today and what is the route?

A REMARKABLE Spitfire flypast is taking place today to celebrate the 72nd birthday of the NHS.

The plane – which will have "Thank U NHS" written under its wings – is set to fly over several hospitals in a show of appreciation for our health services.

What time is the NHS birthday flypast?

The flypast will start at 4.20pm this afternoon.

It will be seen from different areas at different times, based on the plane's route.

The aircraft, restored by the family-owned Aircraft Restoration Company, will be in the sky for almost an hour.

The event is expected to finish at around 5.10pm.

What route will the flypast take?

The Spitfire will take off from RAF Duxford and will fly over several hospitals in Cambridgeshire and the East of England.

It will also fly past the village of Witchford near Ely to thank the community there for sewing NHS scrubs during the Covid-19 crisis.

The plane will then return back to Duxford.

It will follow this route:

• 4.20pm – Duxford Airfield
• 4.28pm – Welwyn Garden City Queen Elizabeth II Hospital NHS
• 4.33pm – Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS
• 4.36pm – Stevenage Lister Hospital NHS
• 4.41pm – Bedford Hospital NHS
• 4.47pm – Huntingdon Hinchingbrooke Hospital NHS
• 4.53pm – Witchford Village
• 4.58pm – Fulbourne Hospital NHS
• 5.00pm – Cambridge Addenbrooke's Hospital NHS
• 5.02pm – Royal Papworth Hospital NHS
• 5.10pm – Duxford Airfield

How to watch the flypast

People can watch the flypast in person from the ground by following its flight schedule.

Social-distancing rules must be obeyed if spectators choose to head outside and watch the flypast.

They can also follow the route online via Twitter, following the #NHSSpitfire hashtag.

Why is Spitfire flypast taking place?

The National Health Service – abbreviated to NHS – was launched by the  then Minister of Health in Attlee’s post-war government, Aneurin Bevan, on July 5, 1948

It was one of the major social reforms following the Second World War.

It was launched at the Park Hospital in Manchester. 

The NHS is today celebrating its 72nd birthday and several events, including the Spitfire flypast, will take place to celebrate the anniversary.

A Clap for Carers event has also been arranged for 5pm today, with public buildings set to be lit up in blue – the colour of the NHS.

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