In 1983, the renowned Spitfire test pilot, Jeffrey Quill, decided that the contribution to military aviation by the designer R J Mitchell had never truly been recognised. Accordingly, a group comprising Quill, Dr Gordon Mitchell (RJ’s son) and members of the original design team joined forces with the Spitfire Society and decided to sponsor a full size replica of Spitfire prototype K5054 (the original having been destroyed in the late 1930s). Fund-raising began and a partnership was forged with Aerofab Restorations of Andover who would construct the aircraft. The result of these endeavours was unveiled at the RAF Museum in May 1993 when Quill was able to report that the replica is “99% the original prototype”.
Previously on long term loan, K5054 was presented as a gift to the Museum in April 2013 by the Spitfire Society.