Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII and Mk XVI Replicas
No. 452 Squadron was the first RAAF Squadron to fly the Supermarine Spitfire. Formed in Britain in 1941 during the Second World War the Squadron flew Spitfires for the entire period, initially over the UK and Nazi occupied Europe. Over 1200 Spitfires were delivered to RAAF Squadrons between April 1941 and October 1945.
The Mk VIII replica on display is a fibreglass, timber and metal replica of a RAAF 452 Squadron Spitfire flown by WGCDR Lou Spence and operated in the defence of Darwin during WWII. The replica has been constructed using some authentic Spitfire components; on your next visit to Fighter World see if you can identify them!
The Mk XVI replica on display is a fibreglass, timber and metal replica of an RAF aircraft from 127 Squadron. The Mk XVI was unique in the fact that it was fitted with a Packard Mk266 engine instead of the Rolls Royce Merlin. This engine was slightly heavier but more powerful than the Merlin. The replica depicts production number TV900 – Squadron identification 9-NF and was delivered on 17th March, 1945 and was named ‘Winston Churchill’. Flying Officer Jeffrey (Robbie) Robinson (RAAF) from Newcastle, flew the aircraft in Europe on ground attack missions. The aircraft was transferred to the Belgian Air Force where it met an untimely end on 30th May, 1946 when it crashed and was destroyed on impact. 1054 Mk XVIs were produced and RAAF Squadrons 453 and 451 were issued with the Mk XVI.
The replicas were built for the Bi-Centennial Air Show at RAAF Richmond by Eddie Mathews (and his sons) a builder and aviation enthusiast from the Gold Coast and carefully restored by Fighter World volunteers.