Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI - RW388
Monday February 5, 2018 saw the arrival of Spitfire Mark XVI RW388 into the workshop of MAPSL. Donated to the City of Stoke-on-Trent in 1972 in memory of its designer, Reginald Mitchell, who was born and educated in North Staffordshire, this was a low altitude fighter with clipped wings and powered by a Packard Merlin 266 engine.
RW388 was one of a batch of 1,500 Spitfire XVI's manufactured at Castle Bromwich in 1945, too late to see any war service. First taken on charge by No. 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton on July 18, 1945 a month later it was issued to No. 667 Squadron where it sustained Category Ac damage in a flying accident. Taken to No. 411 Repair and Salvage Unit on December 30 for repair, in 1946 it was sent to High Ercall for storage before returning to RAF Brize Norton on January 12, 1949. By 1951, RW388 had been allocated to No. 612 Squadron where it remained for 6 months before going to the Fighter Command Control and Reporting School. Receiving a Category 3R damage this was its last flight before it was used as a display aircraft, a gate guardian at RAF Benson and RAF Andover finishing up as a showpiece at the Royal Tournament and Edinburgh Military Tattoo. In 1972 the Spitfire was presented to the City of Stoke-on-Trent by Air Chief Marshall Sir Neil Wheeler where it was originally housed under a glass structure before moving to the city museum.
Unfortunately, much of the interior of this aircraft was stripped before it was presented to the Stoke Potteries Museum by the RAF Museum. Many parts have been procured or replicas are being made, but if you have any authentic parts hidden away that might be useful to us in restoring this iconic aircraft, please contact us.
This aircraft was returned to the Stoke Potteries Museum and Art Gallery on
21/22 June 2021 and has since been installed and reassembled in their new
extension. It will be on display to the public in the near future.
Photos July 2021 - Preparing for Delivery
Photos January 2021 - Instrument Panel and Rudder
Latest Images March and April 2021
filming the work and fitting the tail section.
Early Photos. Wednesday 20th June 2018 - Wings being attached and local press photo call
Monday February 5, 2018 the arrival of Spitfire Mark XIV RW388