The brand new documentary Spitfire celebrates the story of the fighter plane from the accounts of the last serving veterans who flew them.
Spitfire will be released at a one-night-only event on Tuesday, July 17 in more than 150 cinemas across the UK and Ireland, with a general release in cinemas on July 20.
The film, released at the same time as the UK celebrates the 100th anniversary of the RAF, shares the experiences of men and women who flew the Spitfires and helped lead the allies to victory during World War II – telling their stories in their own voices, their own words.
And before the big release later this month, Express.co.uk can reveal exclusive footage from the documentary.
During the Spitfire premiere on July 9, veteran Allan Scott, who featured in Spitfire, walked down the carpet with aid of a walking stick and spoke clearly and eloquently of his time in the war.
When asked about being approached to speak in the documentary, Scott said he was excited.
“And honoured really because I never thought anything of it. It was a job to do,” he added.
“It wasn’t hard for me to tell my story, I love talking and explaining and telling them things they didn’t know about the Spitfire.
“The youngsters should know about it, you never know. All these youngsters may be called up.”
Like Scott, Joan Fanshawe didn’t think of herself as anyone particularly heroic, she simply had a job to do.
“I was a plotter. I was a WAF, aged 20 when I joined up in 1940 and of course, Battle of Britain was just about to be starting, so I joined up just at the time that it was really busy,” Fanshawe said.
“Without the downing system, which is what I belonged to, we would never have been able to know where the German aircraft were.
“There were a lot of male plotters when we first went there, and as we arrived so they went off to fight.
“As far as we were concerned, we were way in the background but we were essential just the same.”
She doesn’t see herself as a pioneer, though she clearly was, but as part of a team of women simply doing what they needed to do.
Her advice for younger generations? “Don’t ever go to war. Don’t go to war.”
As the RAF celebrates its 100th anniversary, it seems wise to take in the words of veterans like Wellum, Scott and Fanshawe, and also to remember the values the Spitfire stands for – teamwork, freedom, camaraderie across the world in the face of something monstrous.
Spitfire’s one-night screening on July 17 will feature premiere footage and be screened across 194 sites and RAF bases.
Spitfire is in cinemas July 20, 2018.