The author's replica Spitfire taking shape at his Swindon workshop in 1982.
The Swindon workshop in July 1984, with "K5054" looking more like the real thing.
Left, a row of happy faces. From left to right: project inspector Len Morris, designer Ray Hilborne, the author, and test pilot Pete Thorn.
Right, the author assisting Pete Thorn with his harness before the Spitfire’s first flight, on June 7, 1991.
Peter Thorn, son of A.V. Roe’s former chief test pilot, seconds from lifting "K5054" into the air for the first time - June 7, 1991.
G-BRDV "K5054" airborne in April 1992. The wooden replica tips the scales at 2,500lb, about half the weight of the original.
The author fires up the 350 h.p. Jaguar engine for the first time, on February 13, 1990. The special reduction gearbox took a long time to perfect, and was the most expensive single item in the whole project.
“K5054” awaiting final inspection outside its RAF Hullavington hangar on June 6, 1991, the day before the first flight.