Case Study

Building the IWC Silver Spitfire at Heathrow

In 2019 two very talented pilots were attempting to fly a genuine WW2 spitfire around the world.  IWC watches were one of the main sponsors and as part of the global marketing campaign to promote this historic adventure Edge Retail were asked to design and manufacture a stunning promotional site in Heathrow Terminal 2 departure lounge.

The Concept

The site used a full size 1:1 replica of the actual aircraft that would be attempting the perilous journey around the world.  The client wanted the Spitfire to look as if it was in the air so that you could appreciate its beauty and scale.  This impactful design also needed to allow customers to browse the extensive range of IWC watches.

Due to the size of this 1:1 replica Edge Retail’s technical team needed to work with several specific materials. In addition to these challenges, everything also had to be in line with the strict building and fire regulations of Heathrow Airport.  The Replica aircraft was moulded from an actual real spitfire and then painted with a specially developed Fire-Retardant paint and lacquer.

WOW Factor

We were able to cleverly hide the significant metalwork structure that was needed to support the one metric tonne replica, inside the black cladding.

Additional LED lighting and branding was included within the main structure so that customers throughout the terminal would instantly be able to see the IWC watch logo.

The nose of the spitfire was elevated and rose to approximately 6 meters in the air on the final site. In addition to the Spitfire, there were numerous other key areas for customer interaction.  High-end bespoke maps showing the world-conquering route the actual aircraft would take on its mission.  Large illuminated 3Dbranding for the “#silver Spitfire” feed and many selfie moments.


The Aircraft and site were all transported in parts from Leicestershire to Heathrow. Edge Retail project managed the whole project from start to finish using our in-house team of approved airside pass holding members of staff.

Extreme lifting

Due to the size of the spitfire and the height we needed to lift it too, we had to get a crane inside the terminal to lift the preassembled aircraft into place on top of the large metalwork plinth.  The Spitfire itself was in several parts and had to be assembled on the floor of the terminal during the night when the airport was closed.

Installing a legend

It was a truly fantastic moment when the spitfire was lifted up in the air and slowly moved into place onto the waiting metal framework.  Once in place, the aircraft was bolted to the support structure and then we could build the rest of the site around it.


We are pleased to inform that the Silver Spitfire successfully completed its mission to fly around the world, and managed to safely return to its home in Goodwood.  This was such a fantastic project to be involved with and we were truly honoured to be a part of it.