World War I model aircraft built by tragic Welwyn Garden City pilot sold at auction

PUBLISHED: 16:51 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:11 15 February 2018

Viewed from the front: the hand-built Fokker replica aircraft. Picture: Sworders

Viewed from the front: the hand-built Fokker replica aircraft. Picture: Sworders

Sworders

A near-life-sized WWI replica fighter plane built by a late Welwyn Garden City aircraft enthusiast fetched more than three times its estimate at auction yesterday.

The model is nearly life-size. Picture: Sworders The model is nearly life-size. Picture: Sworders

The model plane’s maker, Ian Brewster, tragically died at the age of 71 when flying another aircraft on June 20 last year.

The pilot passed away after he crash-landed in a field at Luffenhall, near Walkern.

READ MORE: Welwyn Garden City pilot dead after aircraft crash

The model plane viewed from the side. Picture: Sworders The model plane viewed from the side. Picture: Sworders

READ MORE: Welwyn Garden City pilot who died in light aircraft crash near Walkern named

One of his labours of love was to hand-craft a near-life-size model of a Fokker Eindecker E111, a type of WWII war plane.

It is finished in German silver and black livery, and has a wingspan of 848cm.

Detail of the replica plane built by late pilot Ian Brewster. Picture: Sworders Detail of the replica plane built by late pilot Ian Brewster. Picture: Sworders

Though it can’t fly, it can motor along on the ground thanks to having a Reliant Robin engine fitted.

Mr Brewster’s creation was auctioned yesterday (February 13) by Sworders auctioneers, where the estimate was £300 to 400.

The model caught the interest of three bidders in the auction room and one telephone bidder, pushing the final price to £1,300 plus buyer’s premium.

A spokesperson for Sworders said the sale was made to a “private buyer in Suffolk who is fascinated with mechanics, and bought it for his children to play in.

Fitted with an engine, the replica plane can motor along, but can't fly. Picture: Sworders Fitted with an engine, the replica plane can motor along, but can't fly. Picture: Sworders

“He intends to position it on the lawn outside of his home.”

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