Spitfire Club – Team Building Squadron Of Iconic WW2 Aircraft


PAUL FOWLER: It is a beautiful looking airplane, there is no angle that you can look at it
where you can actually say, “Oh, it’s ugly.” It’s just a stunning piece of
design. PAUL FOWLER: It’s probably the most iconic aircraft ever designed. It’s gone beyond
the legend. It’s probably the closest thing to a mechanical deity you are ever gonna come
across. COMM: It’s 80 years since the Spitfire took its maiden flight. Very few remain airworthy
but one man is on a mission to make their distinctive shape a more regular sight in
our skies. Paul Fowler has embarked on an ambitious project to build a squadron of 12
modern versions of the iconic Second World War fighter plane. PAUL FOWLER: I think it’s important that we allow people to be involved with history.
Now whist this isn’t a legacy Spitfire, it is modern take on the Spitfire, it allows
people to be involved. The way which this project started off was the idea of getting
a group of people together who are shareholders. There are 12 in this particular aircraft,
and they come along and build it. Its appeal is global. We have people in Tokyo and South
America. They are interested in the project. COMM: Paul has also recruited a dedicated team of volunteers to help with the construction. PAUL FOWLER: I think one of the most incredible things, and I think it’s the biggest achievement
of the whole project, is to bring together a diverse group of people. They never knew
each other, never worked with each other, who were not engineers, and had never built
an airplane, and they produced something that is truly remarkable. ROY NOBLE: I think Paul’s dream of this gorgeous squadron plus all the supporting
elements that go with that, I think that is inspirational. PAUL HISSET: Oh, I don’t have a pilot’s license but I am looking forward very much
to sitting in the passenger’s seat. And there’s something special about making an
airplane that you are gonna fly in. COMM: Each plane has to be put through its paces, a job which is gladly being carried
out by test pilot, Jez Cooke. JEZ COOKE: Every pilot wants to fly a Spitfire. It was the same in the war and it is still
the same now, and I am very privileged to be flying this airplane. It is immensely satisfying,
immensely excited to fly this sort of airplane, and I can’t get enough of it really. COMM: The planes are assembled from kits of around 2,500 individual parts. One has been
completed, with a second due to be finished by the end of 2016. COMM: Each plane is 90% of the size of a real Spitfire, and each kit costs £210,000. Much
cheaper than an original Spitfire, which could set you back over £2 million. PAUL FOWLER: It flies and handles in the same way as a Spitfire does, just doesn’t have
the price tag in it. It just means that more people can get involved. This is a fun way
of bringing history alive. It’s not hideously expensive, it’s not cheap but normal people
can get involved in this. Youngsters can be involved, and this is where they learn the
skills of working with big teams, but they also get a sense of what the airplane represents. COMM: But Paul can’t wait until it being deemed fully airworthy. PAUL FOWLER: What I am really looking forward to is the day when I can fly on my own.
I am still enchanted by flying. The vision I have is sitting up on the deck on top of
my office and watching the squadron come back after an event. So 12 aircrafts coming back
to Enstone, one after the other landing, I think that’s tremendous really.

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