Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 13:45 UK

Rare Spitfire will be auctioned


Tour of rare Spitfire

A rare two-seater Spitfire plane is to be sold at public auction.

The Mark IX aircraft is expected to fetch at least £1.5m when it is auctioned on 20 April at the RAF Museum in Hendon, north London, by Bonhams.

The plane, which was built in 1944, has gone on public display at Thruxton airfield near Andover, Hampshire.

Thanks to a five-year restoration project and dozens of new parts - including a German made propeller - the Spitfire is now airworthy.

The plane had been sold to the South African Air Force after the war.

In the 1970s it was rediscovered in a Cape Town scrapyard and rescued by the late building developer and aviation enthusiast Charles Church.

James Knight, from Bonhams, said: "We are greatly honoured to be entrusted with the sale of such a distinguished and historic aircraft."

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