May 22 2013 Latest news:
by Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Spitfires have returned to Biggin Hill for the first time in 53 years thanks to the dream of a Bromley man.
Aviation enthusiast Peter Monk founded the Spitfire Company and has established a new heritage hangar to house planes that once flew from the base.
Craft including the Spirit of Kent are now being restored at the hangar, which may be opened to the public in the future.
Local historian Robin Brooks, 73, said the “iconic aircraft belong in an iconic field”.
“This is our flying tribute to the young men who flew from Biggin Hill and never came back,” he said.
Biggin Hill Airport was a key fighter base in the Second World War and became famous for its role in the Battle of Britain.
During the course of the war, 453 crew based at Biggin Hill lost their lives. Organisers hope the heritage hangar will be a reminder of the area’s history.
Mr Brooks added: “The establishment of the heritage hangar will certainly put Biggin Hill back where it belongs on the vintage aviation map of the UK.” Aeroplanes being restored at the hangar include the Kent Spitfire, a rare Mark IA spitfire, a Piper Cub and North American Harvard, with more arriving in the coming months.
n For information, visit www.kentspitfire.co.uk.