PR Spitfire image Peter Arnold Collectio

Sandy's Spitfire 80th Anniversary Sponsorship Program

The 5th March 2022 marks 80 years to the day since Fettes Alumnus Alastair 'Sandy' Gunn was shot down over Norway on a daring solo mission to photograph the battleship Tirpitz. Captured, he was later murdered on orders of Adolf Hitler in 1944.

Whilst Sandy Gunn would never come home from the war, his Spitfire would after 76 years in the Trollheimen Mountains.

The restoration to flight of Sandy's Spitfire began in 2019 and we were on course to complete the £3m restoration project towards the end of 2023 ready for flight in 2024. In 2020 Covid-19 decimated the project schedule with the temporary enforced closure of the aviation industry impacting not only the available restoration workforce, but the financial sponsorship flow into the restoration.

Sandy Gunn was shot by the Gestapo on the 6th April 1944, the project aims to have his Spitfire taking to the skies on the 80th anniversary of his murder. In that same year Sandy's Spitfire will return to Scotland.

Supporting the restoration of Sandy's Spitfire

Since the commemorations of the first flight of AA810 that took place in Henley-on-Thames in October 2021, the project has been marking 80 years of AA810. Now as the project recovers from the impact of Covid 19 we want to accelerate the restoration, catch up the lost 7 months that has put the project behind, and to balance the impact restrictions have had on the financial sponsorship the project so heavily relies upon.

We are hoping to raise a minimum of £80k for AA810 between the 80th anniversary of the aircraft being shot down, and what would have been Sandy Gunn's birthday in September this year. Before the aircraft flies, we will be bringing our Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Program to Scotland, and are working with Fettes and many other schools on a number of educational opportunities. We would be delighted to have Sandy's former school, and those associated with it past and present, to join us on the journey of restoring this important piece of history to flight.

With your help, Sandy's Spitfire will fly again.

Project Progress Album

Sandy at Fettes 1933-1937

Men of D Flight 1PRU
Men of D Flight 1PRU

The young men of the PRU were routinely sent out on unarmed, unarmoured missions across occupied Europe. Nearly 50% would become casualties.

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Men of C Flight 1 PRU
Men of C Flight 1 PRU

Few pilots reached significant experience in the role before being lost on operations. The few that did were soon moved into training as the importance of their work increased.

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Finished leading edges
Finished leading edges

The wing leading edge structure will cost around £90,000 per side including our VAT liabilities. This campaign will hopefully fund one wing leading edge.

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Men of D Flight 1PRU
Men of D Flight 1PRU

The young men of the PRU were routinely sent out on unarmed, unarmoured missions across occupied Europe. Nearly 50% would become casualties.

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1/20

Born on the 27th September 1919, Sandy and his older brother Hamish excelled at sports, - firstly at Cargilfield before joining Fettes. Sandy distinguished himself by robust performances in House Matches, when in one match in particular, played on Bigside in 1936, his "good kicking" drove back Kimmerghame and contributed to a 20-0 victory!

 

He was a member of the 1st XV in 1936-37 being described as a "good tackler who used his weight well." He was also a reasonably successful cricketer, making it into the 1st XI in 1936.

 

He became a House Prefect in Carrington and served as a Lance-Corporal in the Officers' Training Corps, the forerunner to the modern CCF still at Fettes.

Restoring the WIngs of Sandy's Spitfire

The Fuselage and tail section are now well underway at our airframe contractor on the Isle of Wight, our primary flight engine is with a specialist contractor near Liverpool, the radiator with a company in Oxfordshire, and systems work is well underway all around the UK. The post restoration flight timescale is entirely critical on us accelerating the full restoration of the wings of Sandy's Spitfire - we have started them but we need an increasing financial input to get this process quickly back on schedule. Therefore all the sponsorship raised by this anniversary fundraiser will be spent on those iconic shaped wings of Sandy's Spitfire.

Full 2022 AA810 Wing Sponsorship Funding Plan

For those interested in more than the 80th Anniversary Sponsorship Program and would consider assisting the project further, please download our 2022 funding requirements that can found found in this .pdf:

How to support Sandy's Spitfire:

We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in either personal or corporate sponsorship of the restoration to flight of Sandy's Spitfire. For those interested in our packages please contact us by emailing info@spitfireaa810.co.uk

Alternatively we would be delighted with support for the restoration via our online shop. All profits raised from sales being directly invested back into the restoration.

Or should you simply just want to contribute to the 80th Anniversary Sponsorship Program, you can help accelerate the restoration to see us complete in 2024 via the link below: