What’s the best birthday present a pilot can get? Most of us would agree that time in the air is pretty high up on the list. For British inventor and aviator Dr. John C. Taylor—who has been flying for 65 years—David Fabry, CEO of Daher’s TBM U.K. distributor, Flying Smart, arranged something particularly special along those lines. Taylor’s 81st birthday was celebrated with a formation flight. Taylor, an instrument pilot with more than 5,000 hours flight time, got to take his TBM 910 up with a World War II Spitfire Mark 1a on his wing (and a photo ship gallantly attempting pursuit to catalog the event).
For Dr. Taylor, the choice of a World War II warbird has special meaning, given his father’s involvement as a glider instructor and aviation inventor during the war. The Spitfire used for the birthday celebration is owned the Imperial War Museum and flies out of Duxford Airfield. The 910 is Taylor’s fifth TBM.