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Spitfires moved to larger Biggin Hill hangar 80 years on from first flight

PUBLISHED: 17:46 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:46 08 March 2016

New Biggin Hill Heritage hangar. Photo: AK Photos

New Biggin Hill Heritage hangar. Photo: AK Photos

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Hangar No.204 provides more space to exhibit the Spitfires to the public

Flight Lieutenant Rodney Scrase opens the new hangar. Photo: AK PhotosFlight Lieutenant Rodney Scrase opens the new hangar. Photo: AK Photos

Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar celebrated the 80th anniversary of the first Spitfire flight on Tuesday by opening a new site for its planes.

After several years in Hangar No.528, the Spitfires moved to the new, larger hangar No.204.

Still situated in Churchill Way, the new site offers an improved working environment for the engineers and a new viewing experience for the public.

The hangar allows the current restorations by the Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd to be shown at their best.

Several of the aircraft are nearing completion and will be test flown in the new year whilst Mark 9 Spitfire TA805 named ‘Spirit of Kent’ and known as ‘the Kent Spitfire’ takes pride of place.

With a very busy 2015 and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain over, the heritage hangar is preparing for the 2016 season.

In particular, it features the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the first flight by the prototype Spitfire K5054 from Eastleigh airfield near Southampton.

Spokesperson Robin Brooks said: “We’d simply outgrown the old hangar with seven flying Spitfires and three under restoration.”

Since the demise of the Biggin Hill Air Fair, as featured in the Bromley Times last month, the hangar provides an opportunity for the public to get their fix of the iconic aircraft.

“We didn’t want to keep them behind closed doors,” Mr Brooks added.

“80 years ago Matt Summers flew the Spitfire and said ‘this is a perfect plane.’

“It’s still perfect and we want as many people as possible to be able to come and enjoy them.”

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