Spitfire MK.XIX “PM631”

The Spitfire Case

TMB have enjoyed an ongoing mutually beneficial relationship with the Royal Air Force’s historic collection, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) based at RAF Coningsby, for some while, the result being that they kindly let us acquire original ‘scrap’ materials removed from their aircraft during necessary restoration programmes.

As with all old aeroplanes and cars, to both maintain them in tip top operational condition and preserve them for the years to come its necessary to perform a degree of component renewal and recently their Spitfire MkXIX “PM631” had its 2mm thick Duralumin leading edge wing skinning replaced which had shown degrees of age induced stress. TMB acquired this material directly from the BBMF and it is elements of this original ex-PM631 wing skinning that are included in the construction of our new spectacular The Spitfire Case.

Built in 1945 PM631 is a relative newcomer and, equipped with massively powerful Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, served as a high speed, high altitude PR (photo reconnaissance) aircraft. Whilst regularly flying to heights in excess of 30,000 feet, one MkXIX achieved a staggering 51,500 feet in 1952. Although not having the history of 1940 vintage “P7350”, it’s interesting to compare the two aircraft, P7350 being of the initial early operational design whilst PM631, equipped with its larger engine, five bladed propeller, longer nose, bigger tail and bubble canopy was pretty much the ultimate evolution of the Spitfire, both from performance and design perspectives. More information on PM631 can be found on the BBMF’s website http://www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf/theaircraft/spitfirepm631.cfm

We’re very excited about acquiring the sections of original ex-PM631 wing skinning as it has fantastic provenance, the metal being literally part of the form of the aircraft and of its iconic elliptical shape. Its therefore appropriate that sections of this Duralumin skinning have been incorporated into a limited edition of cases that pay tribute to, and adopt elements of, the Spitfire’s shape.

TMB’s new The Spitfire Case is surely one of the most eye-catching, exclusive and individual briefcases ever created. Uniquely these cases, which are limited to only twelve (12), plus initial prototype, and include design clues taken from the iconic Spitfire throughout, incorporate actual sections of Spitfire skinning in their construction, this “donor” material being Duralumin wing skinning originating from Spitfire PM631. A fusion of function, history and art, each case is entirely handmade to order to customers specification.

Elements of original ex-PM631 Duralumin wing skinning on the illustrated prototype case are the main lid ‘face plate’ (complete with filled rivet holes where it was once attached to the wing), side aerofoil profiles, rear Spitfire silhouette plus handle fixings and escutcheon plate on the top. The case is constructed around an unseen wooden carcass to provide strength and rigidity, this then covered by sturdy bridal leather with hand engineered solid brass corners and fittings. The top and sides of the case are radiused, this innovative design feature a tribute to the curves of the Spitfire but also lending a lovely 1930’s period feel too. A reoccurring theme is the Spitfire’s elliptical wing and this shape has been subtly utilised in design clues throughout.

This is an extreme limited edition of just 12 numbered cases crafted using ex-Spitfire PM631 skinning. The case illustrated is an initial prototype constructed as a briefcase but as each case is specifically commissioned, within limitations it will be possible to modify elements of the design to the customers preference. Pease contact us to discuss details.