Restoration of Spitfire

EMSEA fabricated bespoke parts for this icon of British Aviation

Tasked with the restoration project of a World War Two plane, Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd looked to Emsea Ltd for the fabrication of bespoke parts. The crashed Spitfire P8208 lay submerged in the mud of the Severn Estuary from 1943 until 1993 when an expedition was mounted to recover the remains.

restoration of spitfire

Client: Retro Track & Air (UK) Ltd
Sector: Design & Manufacturing
Material: 5mm armoured plate
Machinery: Bystronic 6KW ByAutonom Laser

Tasked with the restoration project of a World War Two plane, Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd looked to Emsea Ltd for the fabrication of bespoke parts. The crashed Spitfire P8208 lay submerged in the mud of the Severn Estuary from 1943 until 1993 when an expedition was mounted to recover the remains.

“One of the numerous challenges we have faced was replacing the armoured plate that sits behind the pilot’s head to protect the fuel tanks,” said Peter Watts, director at Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd. He continued: “Unfortunately detailed plans of this part do not exist so we had to approach this as an engineering puzzle and as such needed a company with specialised engineering knowledge and bespoke metal cutting capabilities.”


Emsea Ltd. engineers initially fabricated a prototype replacement from 1.5mm mild steel. “We reverse engineered the piece from the mangled original, taking the prototypes to the plane and making minor adjustments,” commented Chris Sweet, director at Emsea Ltd. “Our design through to completion facilities enable us to provide a full and bespoke service to our customers, ensuring high quality finished products and this case was no exception.” Usually preferring to complete all works in-house, Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd have impeccably high standards.

“It is the nature of our business, restoring planes to air worthy specification, that our work must be precise. As such, we are extremely cautious about outsourcing work but we are thrilled with the excellent service from Emsea and will continue to use them for future endeavours,” said Peter.

The project is expected to take a number of years to complete and will form part of a private collection of air worthy vintage planes.

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