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Chocks away! Full-sized model of iconic warplane built in Norfolk ahead of memorial

PUBLISHED: 06:30 07 August 2020

Stuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Stuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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A life-sized fibreglass rendition of arguably the country’s most recognisable aircraft has been made in Norfolk to celebrate those who built the planes during the war.

Stuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANStuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

GB Replicas in Catfield, which specialises in creating full size models of the British Second World War fighter aircraft, was tasked with making a special plane by Secret Spitfire Charity.

Father and son team Stuart and Stefan Bailey were tasked with making the plane back in February, as part of a planned memorial to the hundreds of young girls, boys, women, men and engineers who built Spitfires during the Second World War.

The building of the Spitfire itself took just over 18 weeks and although the builds went smoothly, the process was not without its challenges.

In the spring, Stefan Bailey noticed that a robin had decided the pair’s workshop would make a good place to raise a round.

Stuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANStuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

He said: “One morning, leaves were discovered underneath a Spitfire wing and, lo and behold, a nest with three eggs was discovered and left in peace to hatch and successfully fledge.

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“We also narrowly escaped the implications of a national shortage of perspex due to Covid-19, and her screen was fitted with the last of our supply.”

The replica plane was seen off by its creators and MPs Duncan Baker and Jerome Mayhew on August 7, before making the 230-mile round trip to Boscombe Down Aviation Collection in Salisbury.

Stuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANStuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Having been on track to unveil the memorial on July 10 at a public celebration to coincide with the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the coronavirus pandemic meant that these plans were put on hold.

Now, the charity is gearing up for another big fundraising push to ensure that the memorial will be maintained in July 2021.

Secret Spitfire Charity chairman Chris Whalley said: “We have been truly humbled by the outpouring of support for the project, which has captured the imagination of the public more than we could have hoped for – but rightly so.

“We can not thank our supporters enough and we hope to do them proud - not just now, but in the future.

Stuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANStuart and Stefan Bailey (father and son team) build full sized replicas of aeroplanes. They're just putting the finishing touches on a Spitfire that's being shipped off to Salisbury August. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

“We aren’t resting on our laurels, there is lots more we want to achieve, so we are asking for support.”


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