Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton Spitfire design entry deadline arrives

Spitfire
Image caption The Spitfire made its maiden flight on 5 March 1936 from Eastleigh Aerodrome

Organisers of a competition to design a Spitfire memorial for Southampton, where the plane was first built, have had more than 300 entries.

The 180ft (55m) replica - more than three times the size of the actual plane - will stand at Trafalgar dock overlooking Southampton waterfront.

The Spitfire Tribute Foundation hopes to raise £2m to build the monument.

All the entries will be exhibited at Solent Sky Museum from next week, a museum spokesman said.

Wartime history

Squadron Leader Alan Jones, from the Solent Sky Museum, has the task of sifting through all of the submissions to draw up a shortlist.

The process is expected to take a month.

"The interest has been fantastic," he said.

"We have had international entries including some from Luxembourg, Germany, France and Spain.

"The designs range from computerised graphics to sketches from young people."

Structural engineers will see whether it is feasible for the short-listed designs to be built.

The monument is set to be built in 2011, the 75th anniversary of its 1936 maiden flight.

RJ Mitchell's aircraft played a crucial role in defending the freedom of the skies during the Battle of Britain.

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