On Saturday 27 April, members of the Spitfire Society and K5054 build project attended the Museum to gift the replica Spitfire prototype K5054 to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum. This replica had hitherto been on long term loan.
At a short ceremony, Bill Williams, the K5054 project manager described how he began cutting frames for the fuselage with his wife Terry in his garage at home and emphasised that the project could not have been completed without the superb skill of the project’s main engineer Peter Pykett (also present) and the others involved.
In her handover speech, Sarah Quill, daughter of Supermarine test pilot Jeffrey Quill, told those present of her father’s vision to have a replica of the prototype Spitfire built and how, on the unveiling of the completed aircraft in 1993, he pronounced it “99% accurate of the original”. She also pointed out how Tangmere is such a very appropriate location for the replica given that her father landed K5054 at the airfield late one evening in December 1936 when short of fuel – the first RAF station to see the new all metal Spitfire.
Group Captain David Baron, Chairman of the Museum’s Trust, gratefully accepted the replica into the Museum’s collection and the gift from Sarah of two photographs of her father in K5054 and a copy of the page in his log book showing the diversion to RAF Tangmere.
Main photo: Sarah Quill presenting a framed facsimile of a page from her father’s log book, showing his unscheduled visit to Tangmere in K5054 in December 1936, to the Museum’s Chairman, Group Captain David Baron. On the right is K5054 project manager, Bill Williams of the Spitfire Society.
Bottom left: Tangmere’s Curator, David Coxon, showing Sarah Quill the touchscreen pages describing her father’s visit to Tangmere in 1936.
Bottom right: The K5054 replica project’s main engineer, Peter Pykett.