It’s one thing to build a model airplane as a kid, but to recreate an entire World War II fighter jet (that flies!) piece by piece? That’s some real DIY magic. When Martin Phillips, an English tool shop owner, received a single rivet from a WWII Spitfire as a 40th birthday gift, it changed his life.
image/text credit: Great Big Story
His challenge: to rebuild the iconic plane from the one piece. Amazingly, he did it. It took him 14 years and a million pounds, but Phillips scoured the world for spare Spitfire parts, machined ones that no longer existed and even found an old wing rusting behind a pub.
The Spitfire is the ultimate symbol of Britain’s war effort, and Martin has been keeping the legend alive since his plane’s maiden voyage in 2013.Mr Phillips gathered more genuine Spitfire parts from around the world – including four of the Merlin engines which gave the Spitfires their unmistakable sound.
He said: ‘It’s funny to think the last aeroplane to be put together here at Filton has turned out to be a Spitfire.’To see her take to the skies today has been extraordinary, for it to happen.