Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated, a registered not-for-profit charity based at Scone, NSW, Australia has commenced its most ambitious project yet,  the restoration to airworthy status of one of the most famous remaining WWII RAF Mk I Spitfires, Serial X4009.

Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia RAF Serial X4009 construction number 945 / 6 S-74889 was the aircraft of Flight Lieutenant Paterson ‘Pat’ Clarence Hughes, DFC, Australia’s highest scoring Battle of Britain Ace. The service history of the Spitfire and the fact that Hughes was Australia’s top scoring Battle of Britain ace makes this one of the most significant Spitfires to be restored anywhere in the world.

The aircraft was built at Supermarine’s Eastleigh factory in the UK and her first flight was on 24th July 1940. She was sent to RAF No 37 Maintenance Unit for allocation and on 28th July 1940 and was issued to No 234 Squadron RAF 18th August 1940. From the time of its arrival until its last fateful flight on the 7th of September, Pat Hughes was its sole pilot and scored 10 of his 17 BoB kills in this Spitfire and flew a total of 21 operational missions. On 7th September 1940, the aircraft crashed after an engagement with a Luftwaffe Dornier Do17 Southeast of London with F/Lt P C Hughes was killed.

Ross and Ann-Maree Pay acquired the wreck of Spitfire X4009 and generously donated it to Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated. The wreck of X4009 is unusual, as a substantial amount of material was recovered for her restoration and will be restored as a flying memorial to Paterson Clarence Hughes, DFC.

Initial restoration work on X4009 has commenced at Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of White in the UK with a Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grant of $150,000 awarded to Hunter Fighter Collection by the Australian Government. Following this work, the restoration of this aircraft will be undertaken to airworthy status at Scone, NSW Australia by Vintage Fighter Restorations, one of the leaders in Spitfire aircraft restorations in Australia.

Supermarine Spitfire X4009 Parts

Images courtesy Airframe Assemblies, UK.

Vintage Fighter Restorations (VFR) a division of Pays Air Service located at Scone, NSW, Australia will undertake the restoration of Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia RAF Serial X4009 on behalf of Hunter Fighter Collection to airworthy status.  VFR have an enviable international reputation in the rebuild, restoration and operation of Warbird type aircraft, particularly Supermarine Spitfires. More recently VFR has restored two Mk IX Supermarine Spitfires, MH603 and MH415, both now flying, and another Mk IX is under late stage rebuild. In addition, another two Vc (Trop) restorations Spitfires are in early production at Vintage Fighter Restorations, Scone.

Once completed, Spitfire X4009 will reside in Scone, NSW Australia with Hunter Fighter Collection and will serve as a perpetual flying memorial to Paterson Clarence Hughes, DFC. It is planned that the aircraft will participate in displays and commemorations across Australia. When not participating in displays, the Spitfire will be an exhibit at Hunter Warbirds Aviation Centre at Scone NSW.  It is expected the aircraft will be viewed by thousands of visitors every year, as well as many more who will witness its flying displays across Australia.

Ongoing operation and maintenance of the aircraft will be carried out by Vintage Fighter Restorations at Scone NSW. As the Spitfire is in the ownership of Hunter Fighter Collection, a not-for-profit charity, the Spitfire will remain in Australia and cannot be sold to ensure that X4009 will always remain accessible to the Australian public.

Images courtesy Airframe Assemblies, UK.

Donate to the Pat Hughes Spitfire – Help X4009 Fly Again!

Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated is now seeking donations to fund the rebuild and restoration of Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia RAF Serial X4009. Help fund Australia’s most significant flying Warbird with the goal being to see ‘The Pat Hughes Spitfire’ X4009 flying within 5 years.

Donations of $2 or more to Hunter Fighter Collection are tax deductible in Australia. Donations can be made securely with Paypal using your PayPal account or Credit Card or Contact Us at Hunter Fighter Collection.