Iconic Spitfire being restored at Collection

Richard Paver
Richard Paver

An iconic Second World War Spitfire that flew in the films Pearl Harbour and Battle of Britain is being restored at Shuttleworth.

The £300,000 restoration project is taking place at the Shuttleworth Collection and is expected to be completed next year.

Work on the aeroplane started seven years ago and was initially expected to take only 18 months.

After 20,000 hours of work engineers are now confident that they can unveil the restored Spitfire in 2015.

During the Second World War the Spitfire was flown by a distinguished Czechoslovakian pilot who finished the war with more than 10 confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed.

In 1968, the plane was cast in the Battle of Britain, as at the time it was one of only a handful of Spitfires that was airworthy.

It later featured in the 2001 American film, Pearl Harbour.

Up until 2005 when the decision was made to carry out the essential work required to preserve the aircraft for future generations, visitors to the Shuttleworth Collection were able to see the Spitfire take to the air during its 
summer air shows.

Jean-Michel Munn, chief engineer at the Shuttleworth Collection, said: “This project has seen significant challenges but we’re hoping to fly the Spitfire next year.

“Ninety five per cent of this aeroplane is the original which attacked German planes during the war, and our engineers have worked tirelessly to ensure as far as possible that the historical integrity of the aircraft was not compromised during its restoration.”

Visitors to the Shuttleworth Collection can view the progress of the Spitfire restoration project in Hangar 1 at Old Warden Aerodrome.

For more information on the project see www.shuttleworth.org