The Aircraft Restoration Company has announced plans to paint up to 80,000 names on a Spitfire in honor of the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) and “the hospitals, communities and individuals who have been at the forefront” of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To further that cause, the company is taking donations for NHS Charities Together and offering each person who contributes £10 ($12.62) or more the opportunity to nominate a name to go on the aircraft. The fundraiser will be open through Sept. 20.
“During the 1940s, Spitfire funds were set up by local communities around the U.K. and commonwealth countries to encourage a sense of purpose within the community,” the Aircraft Restoration Company said. “Our Blue Spitfire PL983 nicknamed ‘L’ was specifically built and used for photo reconnaissance during the conflict, carrying cameras instead of weapons. It will now once again embody the sense of freedom and togetherness that the Spitfire and Spitfire funds did then.”
Names will be added by hand as they come in with project updates—along with flights over mainland U.K. communities and hospitals—promised by organizers. PL983 has already been making regular flights as part of the #clapforourcarers movement with the underside of the aircraft painted to read “THANK U NHS.” The Aircraft Restoration Company is an aircraft maintenance, restoration and operational services business located on Duxford Airfield in Duxford, England.