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Completion of Spitfire memorial project put back to Spring

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:15 21 August 2019

How the Spitfire will look at Langham Dome. Pictures: Planning Documents

How the Spitfire will look at Langham Dome. Pictures: Planning Documents

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A Spitfire memorial project in north Norfolk won't now be completed until next spring.

How the Spitfire will be mounted at Langham Dome. Pictures: Planning DocumentsHow the Spitfire will be mounted at Langham Dome. Pictures: Planning Documents

A full-sized silver replica of a Supermarine Spitfire will sit alongside Langham dome and visitor centre at the now disused airfield at RAF Langham, near Wells.

It will be mounted on a plinth next to the building once used to train anti-aircraft gunners, off Cockthorpe Road.

Community group, The Friends of Langham Dome, said earlier this year that they hoped it would be completed by the end of the summer season.

But the group has had to revise its plans for the design, and new proposals have now been lodged with North Norfolk District Council.

The original plans for the scheme have been approved.

Friends' chairman Patrick Allen said: "The original design for the plinth was too complicated and would have proved too expensive.

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"It is proposed to stand the Spitfire approximately 4m above ground level, measured to the underside of the fuselage, inclined and tilted such that the wingtip will be approximately 3m above ground. So the steel plinth will be 4m high.

"We will not now be able to complete the project until next spring."

The Spitfire was given to the Friends by the RAF Museum at Hendon.

In the museum the Spitfire was mounted internally, but the only option for the dome museum was to strengthen it structurally and securely mount it on a plinth outside - where it will be subject to the vagaries of the weather. It will be 9.56m long and boast a wingspan of 11.23m.

The stand will contain a rotating bearing to allow the Spitfire to rotate freely to follow the prevailing wind.

The £35,000 needed for the memorial appeal was raised through various grants and functions and a crowdfunding page

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service was presented to the Friends last month.

The dome museum tells the story of RAF Langham in the Second World War and the Cold War, and also of the secret war-winning invention of the dome's anti-aircraft gunnery trainer. It will be open until the end of the October half-term.

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