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A spitfire plane will take to the skies over southern England on Saturday to celebrate the work of NHS staff and other key workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The event is being organised by the Aircraft Restoration Company, a family-owned firm that restores vintage aircraft, and will see the historic single-seat fighter soar over an array of hospitals.

The plane will fly through Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire, among other places, during the course of two flypasts and a message reading “THANK U NHS” will be emblazoned across the underside of the aircraft.

The gesture marks the latest effort by the Aircraft Restoration Company to thank Britain’s key workers for their efforts during the Covid-19 crisis, with the firm, which is based on Duxford Airfield, near Cambridge, having flown its blue Spitfire PL983 ‘L’ every Thursday during lockdown to support the clap for our carers campaign.

The Spitfire is the most famous Second World War-era plane (Getty Images)

As part of its efforts, the company is also offering Brits the chance to nominate the name of a loved one to be hand-written onto ‘L’ this summer.

“The names we would like to add are those of your local heroes,” it said in a statement.

“A kind neighbour, family member on the front line, volunteer PPE producer, or anyone who has helped/inspired you through the Covid-19 Pandemic. You can now say thank you to them by nominating their name for inclusion in the 80,000 names to go onto the NHS Spitfire.”

Those wishing to nominate someone are required to donate a minimum of £10 to a JustGiving page set up by the Aircraft Restoration Company. All proceeds raised will be donated to NHS Charities Together.

As for tomorrow’s flypasts, here’s where, and when, you can catch a glimpse of the historic spitfire aircraft on its first route:

The second flypast will later proceed as follows:

The NHS celebrated its 72nd anniversary in early July after facing the most challenging year in its history amid the Covid-19 crisis.

More than 100,000 hospital inpatients have been treated for coronavirus in the UK, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with many more who suffered with the illness at home.