Spitfire restoration preserves spirit of iconic Second World War fighter

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  one month ago  •  6 comments

By:   John Vennavally-Rao CTV National News Toronto Correspondent and Tom Yun CTVNews

Spitfire restoration preserves spirit of iconic Second World War fighter

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Spitfire restoration preserves spirit of iconic Second World War fighter

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At an airfield on the outskirts of London, England, a precious Spitfire fighter that once flew with the Royal Canadian Air Force is taking to the skies once again.

At an airfield on the outskirts of London, England, a precious Spitfire fighter that once flew with the Royal Canadian Air Force is taking to the skies once again.

It's one of the world's most iconic aircraft and it's being kept airborne thanks to the efforts of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar, the largest Spitfire restoration facility on the planet. This particular model even made an appearance in the 1969 film, "Battle of Britain."

Greg Davis, author of the book, "The Two Seat Spitfires," says the sound of the Spitfire's Merlin engine has been described as "the sound of freedom."

"There's a lump in the throat and a warm feeling that you brought back something that's so important to our history," he told The Associated Press. "And the first time these engines fire-up and the Merlin roars again and you see it taxi off to the end of the runway… It's magic."

The crew at Biggin Hill have so far fully restored six of the planes. Mechanics painstakingly piece together the original sections with handmade new components. But it's all worth the effort for pilots like Anna Walker, who says she feels a connection to history when she has the controls of the Spitfire in her hands.

"I was a great fan of the air transport auxiliary and the women pilots who used to ferry them during the war. I try to do them proud," she told The Associated Press.

The Spitfire played a key role in fight against the Nazis during the Second World War. Around 20,000 of the planes were built in Britain and used by the Royal Air Force, the RCAF and other allied air forces.

But today, only around 70 Spitfires can fly, and the value of the planes continues to soar. Back in January, one Spitfire was listed at an action for a sky-high £4.5 million, or C$7.5 million. That plane also appeared in the "Battle of Britain" film.

"It's got this wonderful history -- this great wartime history and then all the film history after that," Richard Grace, director of The Aircraft Sales Company told The Associated Press in January.

With files from The Associated Press.


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago

When I was in Kindergarten during Autumn of 1941 and Spring of 1942 my classmates and I used to run around the school playground during recess with our arms spread out while making buzzing sounds imitating Spitfires. 

Like this...

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My mother saw and heard me doing that and nicknamed me "Buzzy", maybe thinking about the famed Canadian Spitfire pilot George "Buzz" Beurling...

OIP-C.dH3ALQNYiajguhnWZEhP0gHaFw?pid=ImgDet&rs=1

...or maybe Franklin Delano Roosevelt's grandson "Buzzie".,.,.

.
Oct 22, 2008  · Curtis "Buzzie" Roosevelt was the oldest grandson of  FDR  and was only three when his grandfather was elected as president. Following his...

The nickname caught on with whole extended family and friends even though I didn't like it so at school I used only my real name until high school, when the name "Buzz" became popular, so from that point on I used and was known by my nickname "Buzz" even to this very day. 

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
1.1  shona1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    one month ago

Wondered where Buzz came from..now we know...✈️✈️

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
2  Ed-NavDoc    one month ago

Back in 1989, I was in Christchurch, New Zealand as part of the the US Antarctic Program's "Operation Deep Freeze" One day I was visiting the RNZAF Museum at Wigram Air Force Base outside of Christchurch. My friend and I were outside the museum and heard the throaty roar of a high powered reciprocating aircraft engine. We looked up and there was a Supermarine Spitfire doing low level aerobatics right over the runways. We stood transfixed for about 15 minutes until it landed and taxied right past us. I have heard a lot of aircraft engines over the years, but none can compare with the unmistakable sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin. I will never forget that experience.

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
2.1  shona1  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2    one month ago

Anoon Ed... Antarctica..deep freeze is right..you probably would have run into some Aussies down there as well.

The Kiwis and us have had to send down rescue missions at odd times to evacuate people. We still operate a base down there and can go for 12 month stints...to dark and cold for my liking..

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
3  shona1    one month ago

Anoon..my mum said she can remember Spitfires flying over her school in Melbourne during WW2..they were so low the pilots use to wave to them..

Certainly could have done with them when the Japanese bombed the daylights out of Darwin and Broome... both places I think were hit around 100 times... hundreds were killed and even to this day we still don't know the exact number of lost souls.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
5  Greg Jones    one month ago

Beautiful aircraft, and the sounds of those engines...here's some Spitfire overload.

 
 

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