Dear Editor, What wonderful news in Justine Halifax’s Cover Story in Post Life, (August 15) about the return of the long concealed but brand new Spitfire Mark XIVs from Burma.
Even today there is little that promotes feelings of pride in British engineering or makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end than the sight and sound of a Spitfire being flown as it should be at an air display.
From being one of the very first of the modern fighter aircraft that appeared in the 1930s to still being highly competitive at the dawn of the jet age in the late forties, it honoured its inspired designer Reginald Mitchell, who tragically died so early and all of those who followed him in continually developing, making and operating the Spitfire.
Not least the people of Birmingham who worked in dedicated fashion to build over 12,000 of the 22,000 plus Spitfires and its naval version, the Seafire, which were produced in total.
Many are still in awe at the amazing contribution of test pilot Alex Henshaw throughout.
Congratulations to David Cundall for making possible the return of these aircraft back to their birthplace.
Can we also remember the inspiration of Wilfred Freeman, who originated the shadow factory strategy which led to the creation of the Castle Bromwich factory, so ably pursued and delivered by Lord Beaverbrook. Built in 1940 and delivering aircraft from 1941 until closure for conversion to car manufacturing in 1946, its current task of making world-leading Jaguars is very fitting and worthy of it’s original intent.
Long may it continue.