Major Announcement – In conjunction with Spitfire P8331 Restoration Ltd – Today 22nd April 2020 the UK Civil Aviation Authority has issued Supermarine Spitfire MKIIb CBAF Number 709 – P8331 with its new civilian registration: G-KOSC. This registration was chosen by the “Spitfire P8331 Restoration Project Ltd” as it pays homage to the pedigree of P8331’s 303 “Kosciuszko Squadron” history and her pilots flying from 13th May 1941 until her loss on 27th June 1941.
As a MKIIb Spitfire, the aircraft becomes an extremely rare example as only 170 were made, with only two other known to exist, ironically sister Spitfire P8332 non-flying held in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, and P8208 in restoration. This now officially places P8331 onto the UK Aircraft Register.
In the last few weeks, the application to the UK Ministry of Defence has been submitted for the project to have permission to display P8331’s military markings. Similarly, permission has been sought with the CAA to seek the exemption from displaying civilian markings also.
This acts a significant milestone in the process of returning what will pose a unique historic tribute to the 18,000 Polish Air Force personnel, 303 Squadron, Anglo/Polish unity and finally as one of potentially two flying MKIIb Spitfire’s worldwide making it priceless. This Spitfire is being quoted as the most historically significant Spitfire now in existence by the Historic Aviation Communities.
This see’s 34 years of painstaking historical research and a collation of interviews, photographs, surviving wreckage 40%, and independent expert verification to gain this registration. Where possible any items that are deemed to be recoverable will be incorporated into this £3,000,000 restoration. This we hope to start in the next 6-12 month with appointment of a nominated build partner in review.
Ultimately we would like to have P8331 flying as a Polish Memorial Flight to take to Poland for the 85th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 80th Anniversary of VE Day in 2025. This then to act as a Historic Commemoration to the Polish Forces unable to March in 1945.
How can you help?
We are looking for long term partners such as business leaders, companies or individuals interested in becoming a serious “DNA” partner for this rare, unique and momentous historic project. As mentioned the longer-term legacy for generations comes in the form of a permanent Polish Memorial Flight for all to enjoy and remember “The Polish Few” in perpetuity.
We would like to thank all those in and around the project who have persevered to reach this important step and encourage people to visit www.lagunasspitfirelegacy.org or our Facebook page by the same name for more information.
Image credit: © Will Jarman
Spitfire P8331 Restoration Project Ltd
Company Number 12526628