Is Spitfire sculpture just a flight of fancy?
This is Hampshire - John Hoskins
IT'S been billed as Southampton's answer to the wow factor.
However, proposals for a monumental Spitfire sculpture greeting visitors to the city have received a mixed reaction from the public.
Shoppers smiled, deliberated, frowned and shook their heads as we revealed the proposed landmark to rival the Angel of the North.
Planners hope the envisaged monument could prove an icon to define Southampton and deliver the definitive tribute to RJ Mitchell and his Spitfire.
Standing on its tail and more commanding in size than the illustrious Angel of the North but with wings almost the same size, the metal sculpture would glisten in the sun and be lit up at night.
The concept was recently unveiled at the inaugural meeting of the Spitfire Tribute Foundation, with the Daily Echo backing calls for a lasting tribute to the magnificent fighter plane that first adorned the skies above the city.
But the design to greet people arriving at the entrance to the city at the junction of the M3 and M27, provoked a variety of reactions.
Shoppers at the WestQuay shopping centre were not exactly bowled over by the creation as well as the need for the proposed landmark.
Reactions ranged from "Is there a need for one?" "It's a lot of money," to a "I know who R J Mitchell is and what the Spitfire means to the area."