– The most recognizable thing in the sky,
is obviously the silhouette of the Spitfire.
She’s just a beautiful lady, I assure
a lot of men would like to actually marry her.
I’m sure their wives wouldn’t agree.
There’s 396 parts in the Spitfire seat, how do I know that?
I built it.
– [Narrator] This is Martin Phillips.
– My name is Martin Phillips, and I am
sitting next to my Spitfire RR232
which I’m the proud owner of.
– [Narrator] Martin is obsessed with Spitfires.
– [Announcer] The big bombers
join in pounding the shoreline.
– [Narrator] In the darkest days of World War II,
Spitfires filled the skies above England.
They are an icon, like freedom on wings.
British kids make models of them.
But Martin took his Spitfire
devotion to a whole other level.
For his 40th birthday, Martin’s friends
gave him a single Spitfire rivet.
– When I was presented with this rivet,
the challenge was to go and build myself a Spitfire,
so on the spar of the moment, not thinking, I said,
“Why, I’ll go out on a Monday morning
and I will build a Spitfire.”
I never thought that over a period
of 14 years, I’d had probably wear three cars out
with mileage, along the journey
to provide all the parts that you now see today.
The fuel tanks, they came from Norway and Sweden.
Some of the other parts came from Russia,
some of the parts came from Israel,
some of the other parts came from Holland, came from France.
One of the wings was offered to us
through a lost property department.
And another wing came from a little guy coming into work.
He said, “I got a Spitfire wing in my garden.”
The man hours that go into a project like this,
don’t underestimate it, they are terrific
and I know the blood, sweat and tears that went into that.
After 14 years, I know the questions you’re gonna ask me,
“Do you fly it?”
I am learning to fly and I hope,
one day to fly it, but greater guys than me fly it.
– My name’s Matt Jones, I’m a Spitfire pilot.
The modern airliners fly 85% the speed of sound,
they’ve got Spitfires flying at 96, 97% the speed of sound.
You don’t get in a Spitfire, you strap it on
and it becomes a part of you.
Because the airplane means so much to so many people,
there are a lot of people who have
gone down Martin’s path and started thinking
they wanna build a Spitfire.
But I’ve never met anyone else whose completed it.
He dedicated his life to finding the parts he needed
to get this airplane flying again.
– I went through these 14 years,
had heartache when bits didn’t fit.
Just putting it together and finishing it,
and the providence and the journey,
the journey I went on, you know, tears.
Even today, I cry when it runs.
It’s just been amazing, absolutely amazing.