Spitfire showcase at Science Museum

The Science Museum in London is to host an exhibition celebrating the design and history of the Spitfire aeroplane. It will be created by freelance 3D designer Andy Feast and the museum’s head of design Lyn Modaberi.

The exhibition, Inside the Spitfire, opens on 15 August to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

A Spitfire, to be donated by the Royal Air Force, will be deconstructed into its component parts, revealing its complexity and allowing visitors to explore the design principles behind the famous fighter plane.

The wings, fuselage, tailfins, cannons, guns and other sections of the R J Mitchell-designed Spitfire will be displayed in the 330m2 space to the north side of the museum’s Ingenious Gallery. The equivalent area on the south side of the atrium will detail a selection of objects, stories and memorabilia behind the acclaimed plane design.

‘One of the problems from an exhibition design point of view is that if you break the plane up it becomes much harder for the viewer to make the association with an actual, complete Spitfire,’ explains Feast. ‘We will need to use films, models and photographs to keep the whole object in people’s minds.’

Feast will oversee the three-dimensional aspects of the exhibition, collaborating with Modaberi and her team to create the graphics. Displays will include enlargements of original blueprints, as well as cutaway drawings assembled from the former Castle Bromwich Spitfire factory in Birmingham.

The exhibition will also provide the setting for a specially commissioned statue of R J Mitchell and will trace his career at the Supermarine aircraft company in Southampton from 1917 until his death in 1937.

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