Engineers in the Museum’s project team who recently completed the SE 5a replica cockpit have now turned their attention to building a Spitfire Mk IX cockpit. The team have started by manufacturing the relevant fuselage frames (5-13) using full scale drawings. Each frame is hand built by panel-beating the aluminium using a pre-constructed former. Unlike the SE 5a cockpit which was completed in seven months, however, Bob Goodrick, the lead engineer, anticipates the Mk IX project will take much longer with a target date of February 2016.
The Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX was produced in greater numbers than any other type of Spitfire. Based on a Mk V fuselage and with a more powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine it was designed and produced in 1942 to counteract the German Fw 190 that had proved superior to the Mk V, Fighter Command’s day fighter aircraft. The Mk IX proved so successful that it remained in service until the end of the Second World War.