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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 12:38 GMT
Global hunt to rebuild Spitfire
Martin Phillips with the partially assembled Spitfire
Martin Phillips said he now has all the parts he needs
A Devon collector is rebuilding a World War II Spitfire fighter plane with parts from around the globe.

Martin Phillips has spent about seven years and 1m gathering thousands of parts at his workshop at Langford.

He was inspired to start the pet project after being given a small aircraft rivet.

It began in earnest when he found the fuselage of a 1944 Spitfire RR232 in Worthing. The aeroplane is expected to take another few years to complete.

'Steady progress'

Mr Phillips, 47, said he now has every part he needs to rebuild the fighter in a shed outside his country home near Exeter.

The final assembly and first flight of the restored aircraft, to be named City of Exeter, will take place at Exeter Airport, itself a World War II fighter base.

Mr Phillips said: "We are making steady progress, but there are lots of engineering problems to overcome.

"I had a five-year plan, but that is shot - we are looking at another one or two years before it is finished."

He has four Merlin engines, a 70,000 four-bladed propeller, wing skeletons, engine parts, wing cannons, flying instruments, original seats and components.

One of its wings will be from a Spitfire which crashed near Exeter Airport.

Deal struck to buy rare Spitfire
01 Oct 07 |  South West Wales

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