PLANESPOTTERS were treated to a rare and exciting sight recently as two iconic planes touched down in Glasgow. 

A Supermarine Spitfire PR-XIX (PS853), thought to be one of the last remaining PR models still in flying condition, roared across the skies on Friday before cruising into Glasgow Airport. 

The aircraft, piloted by Graham Pemberton (former Royal Air Force), was flying from Glasgow to Ayr over the weekend alongside a Harvard (IIB KF183) for the International Ayr Show.

Glasgow Times:

But first, it made a pit stop at Glasgow Airport to celebrate a Scottish airline receiving its golden status in the Armed Forces Covenant.

Loganair has become the first airline in the country to receive the prestigious accolade.

It was awarded golden status in July in recognition of the role it has played in supporting employment opportunities for the Armed Forces community.

The Gold Award is the highest badge of honour from the UK Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme – the Armed Forces Covenant.

 Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair's chief executive, said it felt like “time stood still” as the iconic planes landed in Glasgow last week.

Mr Hinkles said: “The pace of running an airline is such that you rarely get the chance to stop and reflect on the rich history of our industry, but it really felt like time stood still for a brief moment as we watched these aircrafts approach and land at Glasgow in stunning sunshine.

“It was also a great opportunity to reflect on the continuing service of Rolls-Royce over the decades – who built the Spitfire engines and who support the engines on Loganair’s Embraer 145 jet fleet today.

“You could not have asked for better conditions, and I want to thank the RRHT for once again giving us the opportunity to look after these aircraft during their time with us.

“The initial approach came at the same time we received the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award this summer, so it feels like the stars aligned.

"It was an incredible honour to achieve gold status and it was also a privilege to invite 2175 Air Cadets over to the hangar for Friday’s event.”

The Spitfire is synonymous with the Second World War (WWII) and was powered by Rolls-Royce’s Merlin and Griffon engines which created its distinctive growl.

This particular PR model was built in Southampton in 1944 and flew active service during WWII.

It was later bought by the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust in 1996.

The Harvard served 72 years as a training aircraft and clocked up more than 15,000 hours of flying.

Graham Carson, chairman of the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust (Scotland), added: “I would like to congratulate Loganair on receiving the Gold Award and the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

“It gives me great pleasure that, in Loganair agreeing to help house our historic aircraft for the day, we could join the celebrations, which also allowed the 2175 (Rolls-Royce Hillington) Air Cadets and members of the Heritage Trust to come along and see the Rolls-Royce Spitfire and the Harvard.

“It’s even more special that this was at Glasgow airport, only a few minutes from the site of the Rolls-Royce factory at Hillington where 23,647 Merlin Engines were produced during the war years.”