Spitfire Fuselage Arrives at Hunter Fighter Collection

An HFC volunteer Technical Team member cleaning the Spitfire fuselage upon its arrival from Toowoomba, Queensland. (photo via Hunter Fighter Collection)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019


As we reported last August, the nascent Hunter Fighter Collection in Scone, New South Wales, Australia is embarking upon an ambitious project to restore a rare Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia (X4009) to flying condition. This effort recently received a significant boost with the loan of a partially complete, replica Spitfire Mk.V fuselage which the organization plans to transform into a mobile fundraising exhibit. Details about this development are provided in the (lightly edited) press release below…

Unloading the Spitfire fuselage from the transport vehicle after its arrival in Scone. (photo via Hunter Fighter Collection)

A Spitfire fuselage structure has arrived at the Hunter Fighter Collection (HFC) to help our Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia project. The fuselage structure, still mounted in its rotary jig frame, recently moved from it’s longtime home in Toowoomba, Queensland to Scone. Work will soon commence to transform this artifact into a mobile Spitfire display to assist with fundraising efforts for the restoration and rebuild of Spitfire Mk.Ia X4009, The Pat Hughes Spitfire.

HFC volunteer Technical Team members cleaning the Spitfire’s fuselage after its arrival in Scone, where the largely replica structure will undergo a transformation into a mobile fundraising exhibit. (photo via Hunter Fighter Collection)

This fuselage was constructed nearly two decades ago in Oakey, Queensland with the intent of recreating an RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V, A58-27. The team behind that project got as far as completing the fuselage frame, but halted their effort before skinning could conclude. The fuselage then ended up in storage with Bill Martin in Toowoomba. More recently, HFC had a word with Bill, who was able to contact the other people involved with the fuselage’s construction to secure a loan arrangement which will see this fascinating exhibit transformed into a fundraising tool to help advance the restoration of X4009.
HFC will work now fit out the fuselage, while only applying skin to one side to provide an interesting traveling display. As far as practical, HFC will fit out the fuselage with the appropriate equipment and fittings which a Spitfire Mk.Ia would have used. They will then paint the fuselage to create an accurate representation of X4009. Once the work is complete, HFC will mount the aircraft on a trailer so the Spitfire exhibit can make appearances at airshows, ceremonies, and other events to both publicize and help raise funds for the restoration of Spitfire X4009 at Scone. When not on the road, the fuselage will serve as a ‘touch and feel’ educational exhibit at Hunter Warbirds in Scone.

Another image of the Spitfire fuselage undergoing a thorough cleaning upon its arrival in Scone. (photo via Hunter Fighter Collection)

Hunter Fighter Collection is a registered not-for-profit charity with ATO approved deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. Donations of $2 or more to Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated are tax deductible in Australia and all donations will go directly to the Pat Hughes Spitfire project.
Anyone wishing to contribute to this significant project can do so securely via PayPal HERE or via the Pat Hughes Spitfire Facebook fundraiser HERE. Your donation will provide a valuable contribution to the restoration and rebuild of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia X4009 and establish a legacy in Australia to the memory of Paterson Clarence Hughes DFC, Australia’s highest scoring Battle of Britain Ace.

Following a thorough cleaning, the HFC Technical Team volunteers wheel the Spitfire’s fuselage inside the museum’s storage facility where it will await its future transformation into a mobile exhibit for fundraising purposes. (photo via Hunter Fighter Collection)

Once the fundraising work for X4009 is complete, the replica Spitfire fuselage will regain its originally intended identity as A58-27, serving as a testament to the volunteers at Oakey who spent many hours on this excellent reconstruction. A58-27 will then re-join the HFC Collection on display at Hunter Warbirds to illustrate the construction of a typical WWII fighter and pay respect to the brave Allied pilots who flew this type in combat.
The Hunter Fighter Collection board extends their thanks to Bill Martin and the other benefactors who agreed to loan their Spitfire fuselage to HFC in support of the The Pat Hughes Spitfire X4009 project. We also wish to thank Pays Air Service for providing their vehicle to enable the fuselage’s journey from Toowoomba and Paul Bennet for transporting it to Scone.

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