The cost of a Spitfire (it’ll make your eyes water)

Back in the 1940s, it’s said that a Spitfire would be £5,000 to make. That’s a drop in the ocean compared to what one would set you back now…

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During World War II, the revolutionary Spitfire Fund encouraged members of the public to give what they could to contribute towards the costs of building Spitfires. People were given a figure of £5,000, which was supposedly the price of building one.

According to the government, any amount up to this £5000, be it pennies or pounds, would contribute to the cost of one of these iconic aircraft, meaning that the general public could proudly say that they paid for at least one part of the amazing aeroplane. But how much truth is there behind this figure? And what would the true figure equate to nowadays?

We sat down with Cambridge University Engineering lecturer Hugh Hunt and Spitfire restoration engineer Tony Hoskins to reveal the truth behind the real cost of the Spitfire back then, and the rough cost of buying and restoring one now. It’s fair to say that for the latter, it’s a fairly expensive hobby…