The engine of Supermarine Spitfire X4009 along with the aircraft wreck, amounting to nearly 500kg, is being packed to be shipped from Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of Wight UK to Hunter Fighter Collection at Scone Australia. Spitfire X4009 is owned by Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated, a registered not-for-profit charity in Australia. X4009 will remain in Australia on a permanent basis and once completed will be flown as a flying memorial to Flight Lieutenant Paterson ‘Pat’ Hughes DFC.
Stage 1 of the project to restore/rebuild Spitfire X4009 has now been completed including the manufacturing of the fuselage frame components and longitudinal structural members by Airframe Assemblies. This work was completed with $150,000 awarded to Hunter Fighter Collection from the “Saluting Their Service” Grant from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs.
Stage 2 of the project has commenced at Vintage Fighter Restorations at Scone NSW and public fund raising is now being accelerated to facilitate this next stage. Items in Stage 2 are the completion of the fuselage structure, commencement of the wing and tail assemblies, commencement of sourcing of mechanical and electrical components and the purchase of the engine and propeller cores.
These are major steps forward in the project. The completion of the fuselage structure will see the “heart” of Pat’s Spitfire come to life and gain recognition as an aircraft rather than a collection of components.
Stage 2 is a very significant component of the cost structure of this project and Hunter Fighter Collection is now seeking public donations to fund the project to get X4009 airworthy again. Donations of $2 or more to Hunter Fighter Collection Incorporated are tax deductible in Australia.
As followers of this project would know, Flight Lieutenant Paterson ‘Pat’ Hughes was killed in action on 7 September 1940 while flying Spitfire X4009, after destroying his last German aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Ten of his victories were in X4009. His tally made him the highest-scoring Australian of the battle, and the third highest-scoring Australian of the war.