A sculptor has carved a wooden replica of the iconic Battle of Britain Spitfire using a chainsaw to mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Edward Parkes, 27, toiled for two months to carefully craft the stunning three-tonne fighter plane from five huge logs of timber, with a wingspan of 23ft.
He used wood from a tree that had fallen over in Conwy Valley, North Wales, and specialist chainsaws, to painstakingly hew the two-thirds-scale Mark I Supermarine Spitfire aircraft – working seven days a week for up to 14 hours a day.
Mr Parkes said: “I started making the plans at the start of the year. It was the 100th anniversary of the RAF and I wanted to do something to celebrate that.
“It was the biggest challenge I have ever undertaken.
“I have always had a big interest in Spitfires – they are such a beautiful, graceful plane and I have always wanted to carve one.
“I have also had family who fought in the RAF and the armed forces.
“The biggest challenge was getting the right size of timber. I was hoping to try and make a full size replica – but we couldn’t get the timber.
“I wanted to use black pine timber, partly because it is so big, but also as the grain is beautiful.
“I sourced a tree that had gone down in a storm.” He used five huge logs of black pine, measuring four feet in diameter by 16 feet in length, to carve the Spitfire, using a tractor to haul the timber from where the tree had fallen.
Using a chainsaw to cut the Spitfire – invented by RJ Mitchell – was a painstaking process, as ‘you only get one chance’.