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Beginning - 1984/1985

The Spitfire Society created a sub-committee under the Chair of Society President Jeffrey Quill which included Alex Henshaw, Dr Gordon Mitchell, Gerry Gingell, Jack Davis, Wilf Bunting and David Green to oversee the construction of replica Spitfire Prototype K5054 as a memorial to R.J. Mitchell.

Problems of Finance - 1986

The Spitfire Society sub-committee realised that the cost of the replica would be £60,000, the equilavent of a substantial family house or a second hand Rolls-Royce.  This was a daunting prospect for a group of people within a newly formed organisation and without any willing sponsors, nothing much changes.

Jim Mitchell created a painting entitled 'First Flight' of which prints were made by Mirage Arts as a fundraising scheme.  There was also an appeal for stories to be compiled into an anthology book on the Spitfire.

Work Begins - 1987

The work on the replica began with sourcing the parts and instruments that would form part of the unique cockpit of the prototype, to save costs only the cockpit would be made.  Donations were being made but not on the scale that would enable substantial progress.

Cockpit Work Continues - 1988

The cockpit construction was contracted to Clive du Cros of Viking Wood Products in Swindon, he would produce his own flying prototype replica which can now been seen at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum.  The Society had Squadron Leader J.J. Richardson and Mike Pearcey providing technical advice and liasion with the Committee.

Bill Williams Becomes The Project Manager - 1990

Bill Williams is appointed the project manager for the construction of a complete replica and not just the cockpit. Work takes place at Aerofab at Thruxton and Bill's own garage. At this stage the fuselage skin has been produced, most of the fuselage frames have been made of marine ply timber, Gerry Sturgess assisted with the production of the spinal longeron and upper forward longerons at Silverstone, acquisition of a pair of early tyres, Guy Black provided a complete metal seat and an possibly an original part of K5054 (see image) and 85% of the instrument panel had been completed.  Rob Heard was also assisting Bill in the construction.

The beginning of talks with Southampton Airport with regard to the display of the replica, where the prototype made the first flight in 1936. 

Replica Progresses - 1991

Bill Williams rebuild the fuselage frames with alloy rather than marine ply, completing the bottom front longerons, acquisition of a pair of early oleo legs and Aerofab loaned the Society a tailplane assembly jig which led to the completion of the tailplane skins and ribs.

Welcome assistance with the project came from Cricklade College, Des Bowles, Andover Tools and Fasteners, Tony Spooner and Peter Allen.  The replica partially completed was displayed at the AGM of the Society, Biggin Hill International Air Fair and International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

Replica Nears Completion - 1992

Fred Pearson raised £2,974.70 through his sponsored London Marathon run and seen here sitting in the replica cockpit.  Dr Gordon Mitchell donated an original Spitfire sales brochure for auction which raised £550.

Progress on the replica was thanks to Bill Williams, Peter Pickett, Tony Spooner, Aerofab, Jack Davis, Mike Pearcey, Peter Allen and Peter Pykett.

At this stage the replica mainplane centre section, wing root fillets and standing on its undercarriage were complete.  As were the mainplane attachments outboard of the undercarriage to aid transportation, engine cowlings and the acquisition of a two bladed fixed pitch propeller.

Replica Unveiled - 1993/1994

The Spitfire Society formally unveiled the replica Spitfire prototype K5054 at the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon on 24 April 1993.  It was also displayed at Southampton Airport Eastleigh.

The Society seeked further funding from members as all reserves had been used to expedite the completion of the replica to avoid further costs and to ensure that those involved could see the successful outcome.

Finding A Home For The Replica - 1995

The replica had to be moved from Southampton Airport due to redevelopment work and was stored at Lee-on-Solent aerodrome.

In order for public access the replica was moved to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

60th Anniversary Of The Spitfire First Flight - 1996

The replica took part in the 60th Anniversary of the first Spitfire flight by being displayed at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel and then transported to Southampton Airport to commemorate the first flight alongside flying examples.

Future Of Replica - 1997

The Society had wanted to display the replica at Southampton Airport but the cost of a building and display amounted to £50,000 even with the promise of £10,000 from the Airport owners it would be difficult to raise this given the expenditure already made.

R.P. Reynolds donated his painting 'Mitchell's Legacy' and associated prints to funding the display of the replica, see accompanying image of the artwork.

Replica At Duxford For Anniversary - 1998

The replica was displayed at Duxford to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the introduction of Spitfires into Royal Air Force service.  It took pride of place amongst 23 Spitfires with 16 flying in formation to celebrate the occasion.

Southampton Airport Memorial Window - 1998

The Spitfire Society and the British Airports Authority unveiled a commemorative memorial window on the 17 December 1998 in the viewing gallery of Southampton Airport.  The window features a depiction of Spitfire K5054 designed by Gary Wells and produced by P.J. Drew Limited. It acts as a memorial to the Spitfire design staff and those killed in the bombing raid on the factory in September 1940, especially as the replica couldn't be displayed at the Airport.

The Spitfire Society donated £1,000 to enhance the display concerning the replica at Tangmere Aviation Museum.

Replica Displayed At Hursley Park & Tangmere - 2000

The replica was displayed at Hursley Park on 15 July 2000 as part of the IBM Millennium Open Day Fair.  The Shoreham Wing of The Spitfire Society held a visit to Tangmere Aviation Museum and pictured here in front of the replica.

Improving the Replica Display at Tangmere - 2002

Unveiling of an improved display of the replica at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum including items relating to R.J. Mitchell and Supermarine.  The dislay also included the Aksel Spitfire replica which is now owned by the Society.

Additional Replica Memorial - 2004

A 75% replica of the Spitfire prototype K5054 was installed at the entrance to Southampton Airport on 6 March 2004.  This was funded by Pentagon Mercedes, Premier Lodge Hotel and Eastleigh Town Council.

Advert for Tangmere Military Aviation Museum featuring the replica and a display as a tribute to R.J. Mitchell.

Founder Obituary - 2005

The replica was featured in the obituary of Group Captain David Green who founded The Spitfire Society amongst many of his accomplishments.  The picture shows the replica at Hursley Park in 2000.

70th Anniversary Of The First Flight - 2006

The 70th Anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire was celebrated at Southampton on Sunday 5 March 2006 with a formation flypast of five Spitfires and a reception held at Solent Sky Museum.  The events featured Chief Test Pilot Alex Henshaw and Dr Gordon Mitchell.

The Society offered greetings cards featuring an image of the replica at Hursley Park.

Scottish Society Donations - 2008

The Scottish Region of The Spitfire Society contributed over £1,000 towards the construction of the replica.

25th Anniversary Of The Society - 2009

Overview of the replica's history with images during its construction and the people who contributed through building it or raising funds to complete it.  Both Jeffrey Quill and Alex Henshaw had signed the cockpit door at the unveiling of the replica at the RAF Museum at Hendon in 1993.

The Society reviewed the replica in 2009 and pledged to maintain it at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

The obituary for Dr Gordon Mitchell as the son of R.J. Mitchell contributed greatly to the construction of the replica.  His cousin Jim Mitchell created a painting and associated prints that raised more than £11,000 towards the project.  The family also had a Spitfire model created at the time of the prototype with the same paint which was invaluable in getting the replica paint colour correct.  The family also loaned items to the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and paid for a Supermarine flag to be flown at the Museum.

Replica On Display At Events - 2011

The 75th Anniversary of the Spitfire first flight was celebrated with the replica being displayed at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne and at the Goodwood Revival.

Obituary for Lieutenant-Commander Peter Twiss who assisted with the replica construction by visiting Hurstbourne Tarrant, offering advice and liaising with Society Chairman David Green.

Polesden Lacey - 2012

The R.J. Mitchell Spitfire Society Medallion presented to Bill Williams for his endeavours in constructing the replica.

Marsh Models release a 1/32 kit of the prototype Spitfire K5054 based on the Society replica.

The replica formed part of a Society event at Polesdon Lacey as a Tribute to the Spitfire. See associated images.

Replica Exchange - 2013

The Spitfire Society made a decision to transfer ownership of the Spitfire K5054 replica to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and in return they transferred their Spitfire replica (full details of this can be found by clicking here) to the Society.  The agreement contains a proviso that if either organisation dissolves their respective replica must be offered back to them first before disposal.

Overview

The Spitfire Society created a sub-committee in 1984/1985 under the Chair of Society President Jeffrey Quill which included Alex Henshaw, Dr Gordon Mitchell, Gerry Gingell, Jack Davis, Wilf Bunting and David Green to oversee the construction of replica Spitfire Prototype K5054 as a memorial to R.J. Mitchell.

The Spitfire Society sub-committee realised that the cost of the replica would be £60,000, the equilavent of a substantial family house or a second hand Rolls-Royce.  This was a daunting prospect for a group of people within a newly formed organisation and without any willing sponsors, nothing much changes.  Jim Mitchell created a painting entitled 'First Flight' of which prints were made by Mirage Arts as a fundraising scheme.  There was also an appeal for stories to be compiled into an anthology book on the Spitfire.

The work on the replica began in 1987 with sourcing the parts and instruments that would form part of the unique cockpit of the prototype, to save costs only the cockpit would be made.  Donations were being made but not on the scale that would enable substantial progress.

The cockpit construction was contracted to Clive du Cros of Viking Wood Products in Swindon circa 1988, he would produce his own flying prototype replica which can now been seen at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum.  The Society had Squadron Leader J.J. Richardson and Mike Pearcey providing technical advice and liasion with the Committee.

Bill Williams is appointed the project manager circa 1990 for the construction of a complete replica and not just the cockpit. Work takes place at Aerofab at Thruxton and Bill's own garage. At this stage the fuselage skin has been produced, most of the fuselage frames have been made of marine ply timber, Gerry Sturgess assisted with the production of the spinal longeron and upper forward longerons at Silverstone, acquisition of a pair of early tyres, Guy Black provided a complete metal seat and an possibly an original part of K5054 and 85% of the instrument panel had been completed.  Rob Heard was also assisting Bill in the construction.  The beginning of talks with Southampton Airport with regard to the display of the replica, where the prototype made the first flight in 1936. 

Bill Williams rebuilds the fuselage frames in 1991 with alloy rather than marine ply, completing the bottom front longerons, acquisition of a pair of early oleo legs and Aerofab loaned the Society a tailplane assembly jig which led to the completion of the tailplane skins and ribs.  Welcome assistance with the project came from Cricklade College, Des Bowles, Andover Tools and Fasteners, Tony Spooner and Peter Allen.  The replica partially completed was displayed at the AGM of the Society, Biggin Hill International Air Fair and International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

Fred Pearson raised £2,974.70 through his sponsored 1991/1992 London Marathon runs.  Dr Gordon Mitchell donated an original Spitfire sales brochure for auction which raised £550.  Progress on the replica was thanks to Bill Williams, Peter Pickett, Tony Spooner, Aerofab, Jack Davis, Mike Pearcey, Peter Allen and Peter Pykett.  At this stage the replica mainplane centre section, wing root fillets and standing on its undercarriage were complete.  As were the mainplane attachments outboard of the undercarriage to aid transportation, engine cowlings and the acquisition of a two bladed fixed pitch propeller.

The Spitfire Society formally unveiled the replica Spitfire prototype K5054 at the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon on 24 April 1993.  It was also displayed at Southampton Airport Eastleigh.  The Society seeked further funding from members as all reserves had been used to expedite the completion of the replica to avoid further costs and to ensure that those involved could see the successful outcome.

The replica had to be moved from Southampton Airport circa 1995 due to redevelopment work and was stored at Lee-on-Solent aerodrome.  In order for public access the replica was moved to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.

The replica took part in the 60th Anniversary in 1996, of the first Spitfire flight by being displayed at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel and then transported to Southampton Airport to commemorate the first flight alongside flying examples.

The Society had wanted to display the replica at Southampton Airport but the cost of a building and display amounted to £50,000 even with the promise of £10,000 from the Airport owners it would be difficult to raise this given the expenditure already made.  R.P. Reynolds donated his painting 'Mitchell's Legacy' and associated prints to funding the display of the replica.

The replica was displayed at Duxford in 1998 to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the introduction of Spitfires into Royal Air Force service.  It took pride of place amongst 23 Spitfires with 16 flying in formation to celebrate the occasion.  The Spitfire Society and the British Airports Authority unveiled a commemorative memorial window on the 17 December 1998 in the viewing gallery of Southampton Airport.  The window features a depiction of Spitfire K5054 designed by Gary Wells and produced by P.J. Drew Limited. It acts as a memorial to the Spitfire design staff and those killed in the bombing raid on the factory in September 1940, especially as the replica couldn't be displayed at the Airport.  The Spitfire Society donated £1,000 to enhance the display concerning the replica at Tangmere Aviation Museum.

The replica was displayed at Hursley Park on 15 July 2000 as part of the IBM Millennium Open Day Fair.  The Shoreham Wing of The Spitfire Society held a visit to Tangmere Aviation Museum and pictured here in front of the replica.

Unveiling in 2002 of an improved display of the replica at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum including items relating to R.J. Mitchell and Supermarine.  The dislay also included the Aksel Spitfire replica which is now owned by the Society.

A 75% replica of the Spitfire prototype K5054 was installed at the entrance to Southampton Airport on 6 March 2004.  This was funded by Pentagon Mercedes, Premier Lodge Hotel and Eastleigh Town Council.


The replica was featured in the obituary of Group Captain David Green in 2005 who founded The Spitfire Society amongst many of his accomplishments. 

The 70th Anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire was celebrated at Southampton on Sunday 5 March 2006 with a formation flypast of five Spitfires and a reception held at Solent Sky Museum.  The events featured Chief Test Pilot Alex Henshaw and Dr Gordon Mitchell.

The Scottish Region of The Spitfire Society contributed over £1,000 towards the construction of the replica.

Both Jeffrey Quill and Alex Henshaw had signed the cockpit door at the unveiling of the replica at the RAF Museum at Hendon in 1993.  The Society reviewed the replica in 2009 and pledged to maintain it at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum.  The obituary for Dr Gordon Mitchell as the son of R.J. Mitchell contributed greatly to the construction of the replica.  His cousin Jim Mitchell created a painting and associated prints that raised more than £11,000 towards the project.  The family also had a Spitfire model created at the time of the prototype with the same paint which was invaluable in getting the replica paint colour correct.  The family also loaned items to the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and paid for a Supermarine flag to be flown at the Museum.

The 75th Anniversary of the Spitfire first flight was celebrated with the replica being displayed at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne and at the Goodwood Revival during 2011.  Obituary for Lieutenant-Commander Peter Twiss who assisted with the replica construction by visiting Hurstbourne Tarrant, offering advice and liaising with Society Chairman David Green.

The R.J. Mitchell Spitfire Society Medallion presented to Bill Williams for his endeavours in constructing the replica.  Marsh Models release a 1/32 kit of the prototype Spitfire K5054 based on the Society replica in 2012.

The Spitfire Society made a decision to transfer ownership of the Spitfire K5054 replica to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum and in return they transferred their Spitfire replica (full details of this can be found by clicking here) to the Society.  The agreement contains a proviso that if either organisation dissolves their respective replica must be offered back to them first before disposal.

Thanks

The Spitfire Society fully funded the construction of the Spitfire prototype K5054 and we acknowledge the following people and companies who assisted with this.  If anyone is missing please let us know and we'll update accordingly.

Sub-Committee, Advisers & Constructors

President Jeffrey Quill

Vice-President Alex Henshaw

Dr Gordon Mitchell

Gerry Gingell

Jack Davis

Wilf Bunting

Chairman & Founder David Green

Bill Williams

Gerry Sturgess

Bill Heard

Des Bowles

Tony Spooner

Peter Allen

Peter Pickett

Mike Pearcey

Peter Pykett

Peter Twiss

Associates, Fundraisers & Donors

The Spitfire Society members

Jim Mitchell

Mirage Arts

Clive du Cros of Viking Wood Products

Aerofab

Guy Black

Cricklade College

Andover Tools and Fasteners

Fred Pearson

R.P. Reynolds

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

The Spitfire Society Scottish Region

Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica

Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica
Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica
Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica
Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica
Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica
Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica
Spitfire Prototype K5054 replica