70 years after a Spitfire took off from runway 02 at RAF Eglinton, its tailwheel finally touched down again yesterday on the same runway at the City of Derry Airport.
The Spitfire was successfully excavated in June this year from a boggy moor on the Inishowen peninsula.
Jonny McNee who organised this first licenced excavation of a WW2 aircraft in Ireland said the team has been stunned by the state of preservation of the remains.
The first aid kit, the pilot’s helmet and incredibly paperwork were succesfully recovered while the machine guns, currently being cleaned by the Irish Defence Force’s Ordnance team, are immaculate.
All the recovered remains have now been carefully cleaned, identified, preserved and catalogued.
Derry City Council is now focusing on how best to display the historic aircraft.
The substantial remains of the RAF aircraft, which was abandoned by its American pilot after the engine overheated during a convoy patrol, were recovered as part of a BBC NI three-part documentary series called Dig WW2 which will be broadcast early next year.
The dig was filmed by Derry based TV company 360 Production