WE were privileged to time-lapse the reassembly and installation of the iconic Spitfire RW388 at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, which opened to the public at the weekend.
Following its removal from the museum in 2018, the aircraft has undergone extensive restoration before being rehomed in the specially designed & erected £5.6 million museum extension, funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
In just three days in June 2021, the fully renovated Spitfire was manoeuvred into the new 3,800 square foot extension, complete with specialised new structural glazing, which enables the aircraft to be viewed from outside the museum.
In the weeks prior to the plane’s transportation and installation, we meticulously planned our set-up to ensure optimal capture when works begin. This included studying site imagery, plans and drawings, as well as details of the orientation of the plane build, so we could advise on the most effective angle. Once we had all the relevant information one of our in-house skilled engineers undertook an on-site visit so we could look at the best options for set-up ahead of the works commencing on 22nd June.
Using our years of experience, we installed a free-standing frame – rather than any hard-fix – to avoid interfering with the new extension in any way.
Through rapid capture, we carefully documented the aircraft’s full reinstatement, from arriving in separate pieces to re-construction in the new building. Our camera system reported in full as the plane came back in parts and was assembled on-site by a team from RAF Cosford, Shropshire.
However, we did not simply leave the camera system to operate by itself. Our monitoring team provided ‘eyes on’ at all points throughout the assembly, micro-managing capture to ensure everything was captured in best and complete detail.
As a result, and with all our projects, we were able to then provide a live viewing platform to show images of the whole process in real-time. This allowed all those involved in the project, even if working remotely, to view the homecoming as it happened.
When the reinstatement was complete, we edited the time-lapse capture into a final, fully post-produced video that documented the whole intricate process.
In total, Time-Lapse Systems created three completed videos to document and, most importantly, commemorate the plane’s return. Our creative team revisited the Potteries Museum and Arts Gallery when the aircraft was completely re-installed to take further video footage of the Spitfire in-situ.
Our editors then incorporated this capture into a beautifully finished video to showcase the whole process and the plane’s positioning within its new bespoke museum annexe:
Time-Lapse Systems are proud to have been involved even in just a small part of the Spitfire’s restoration story which we hope that the museum and Stoke-on-Trent will benefit from both now and in the future.