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