The Spitfire is the world’s most iconic aeroplane: a national icon, a symbol of courage, hope and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. It represents innovation, cutting-edge technology and world-class design – all of which are as relevant for current and future generations as they were well over 70 years ago.
As a country, we’ve long, and rightly, celebrated the RAF pilots who flew it, immortalised by Churchill as The Few. Now, as we approach the 80th anniversary of the Spitfire’s first flight, we believe it’s also time to remember and thank The Many who made the legend possible. Our plan is to create the country’s first national monument to the Spitfire. With your support, we can get this once-in-a-generation project off the ground.
The land has been granted, a design concept chosen and planning permission obtained. We’ve also secured support from numerous businesses that are kindly providing their legal, accountancy, project management and PR experience free of charge. We now need your help to get the first stage of the National Spitfire Project under way.
Our initial fundraising target is £250,000. This will enable us to commission detailed design and engineering drawings, which we must have in order to move on to the construction phase.
Time is short. The Battle of Britain was fought 75 years ago: every year, the number of Supermarine and RAF veterans gets a little smaller. Their spirit is our inspiration. We believe it’s vital to complete the monument while their courage and contribution are part of living memory.
1.5 times the size of the original Spitfire, the stainless steel representation will soar 40m above ground to honour the men and women who designed, built, flew and supported this remarkable aircraft. The monument will be placed in Southampton where the Spitfire was designed by R J Mitchell, home to the Supermarine factory during the Second World War, and home to those who paid a high price for their part in the Spitfire story.
Over 100 workers were killed in air raids targeting the Supermarine factory in Southampton. Despite the dangers, the remaining workforce never gave up: by the end of the war, they had built more than 8000 Spitfires. Many were ordinary people, who never fired a shot; yet their courage and determination helped to win the war. There are of course countless more stories of personal sacrifice with a further 10,000 spitfires built at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham. The public played a huge part by buying sixpenny savings stamps, and donating their pots, pans, gates and railings to be melted down specifically to help build more Spitfires.
Looking forward, it is hoped that the monument will inspire future engineers and pilots. Not just a stunning monument, once built it could include interactive features to provide an educational and audio-visual experience. Just as the Spitfire designers used ingenuity and forward thinking, we want to make – and keep – the National Spitfire Monument continuously relevant to both current and future generations.
The Spitfire was an early example of crowdfunding in action – and it changed the course of history. Now’s your chance to do the same. Together, we can make it.