A ceremony will be held Sunday at 11 a.m. to mark  the return of the Spitfire plan to the Army

A ceremony will be held Sunday at 11 a.m. to mark the return of the Spitfire plan to the Army

Spitfire welcomed back to club

The Army, Navy Airforce Veteran’s club invites the community to help celebrate the return of the full-size replica Spitfire plane to the top of the club building.

The Army, Navy Airforce Veteran’s club invites the community to help celebrate the return of the full-size replica Spitfire plane to the top of the club building.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony with a flag-bearing colour party and local dignitaries will take place Sunday at 11 a.m. at at 2500-26 Ave.

The ANAF tried to buy an actual Spitfire aircraft in the late 1980s but was discouraged by the $90,000 price tag. The members did not give up.

They approached Glen Fletcher to put his knowledge of designing and constructing boats to making a replica of the Spitfire.

He came through and the original Spitfire replica was put in place in October 1993 and was a local landmark until Sept. 2010 when it was discovered to be damaged by rock-throwing vandals. The damage was so extensive that repairs were impossible.

The Spitfire was completely rebuilt, even the pilot and propellers.

The process involved the dismantling of the original plane to duplicate the design, reconstruction and re-assembly of each section.

Fletcher, 74, contributed countless volunteer hours on the reconstruction during the past 11 months. He was one of the three co-ordinators of the original construction 19 years ago which involved 2,840 volunteer hours.

The replica is a full-size model of the Spitfire measuring 31 feet, 10 inches from nose to tail, with a wingspan of 37 feet.

The model pilot is named Jackson Glen to honour the contributions of Jack Brash and Glen Fletcher to the project. The mannequin pilot is so realistic that a utility worker spoke to him on the back porch of Fletcher’s home.

The letters and numbers on the plane were taken from the logbook of the Spitfire flown by the late Second World War pilot Phillip Bodnarchuk.