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Thread: First North American Built Spitfire Nearly Ready to Fly

  1. #1
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    First North American Built Spitfire Nearly Ready to Fly

    This just posted on the Vintage Wings of Canada site: http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNe...re-Update.aspx
    "I always wanted to procrastinate, but I just never got around to it."

  2. #2
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    I think I might have used 'rebuilt', and will leave to those who know better to add whether any have been rebuilt in the USA. Good to see nevertheless.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  3. #3
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    Lots of nice sheet metalwork had to be done

  4. #4
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    Not the first to be rebuilt in North America, or even the second, but a superb piece of work nonetheless.

  5. #5
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    First spitfire build I ever followed online and a huge impetus on the reason I thought "hey if these guys can do it".A big congrats to the original team and all that followed on to finish her..
    Name:  Assembly-jig-with-frames.jpg
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    "If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
    http://spitfirea58-27.blogspot.com.au/

  6. #6
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    Been following this one for a long time. Can't wait to see the flight pics.
    Daren Cogdon

    Spitfire fanatic

  7. #7
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    Perhaps |I| should have added a question mark to that because really not sure if it is the first. Having followed it since the team in Comox started on the fuselage and then when the wings were being built at Vintage Wings its great to see it finally coming together. It would be interesting to see both Spitfires in the air together as the article suggests.
    Last edited by K225; 24th February 2017 at 15:20.
    "I always wanted to procrastinate, but I just never got around to it."

  8. #8
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    Beautiful job!
    Give a man a fish and eat for a day. Give a man a fishing rod and he'll eat for a lifetime. Give a man religion and he'll die praying for a fish!

  9. #9
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    Not the first to be rebuilt but certainly the first to be built from the very humblest of beginnings, the vestiges of a battered South African firewall with a firewall plate and a stencilled RAF serial.

    Several Spitfires and Seafires have been rebuilt in North America but the starting point in each case have been former Gate Gaurdians or basic component sheet metal was undertaken in the UK.

    The wings for TE294 were made by Ken Wood in Gatineau, Canada, using spar booms from the UK

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark12; 24th February 2017 at 22:16.
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12 View Post
    Not the first to be rebuilt but certainly the first to be built from the very humblest of beginnings, the vestiges of a battered South African firewall with a firewall plate and a stencilled RAF serial.
    Was curious.. looked around and found this


  11. #11
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    Would that even count as (the oft-mentioned) "substantial remains"?
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  12. #12
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    You cannot step over it or lift it, if you kick it you would hurt your foot. Yes, I would call that substantial.

  13. #13
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    I've seen less...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagan View Post
    Was curious.. looked around and found this

    The image was taken by my friend Peter Sledge at the SAAF Museum storage compound at Snake Valley in March 1988.

    The image is in the 'boo' and at that time Mark De Vries was negotiating for it.

    Importantly the RAF serial was evident.



    It is one of the eleven or so Spitfire wrecks and sections pulled from the scrap yard of SA Metals in Cape Town that I had identified on a visit in July 1981.

    All bar one have gone on to fly or museum display, although that was beyond dreams back then.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

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    What happened to the one that didn't go on to fly or museum display Mark?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
    What happened to the one that didn't go on to fly or museum display Mark?
    ML196 remains in the left of this image.



    ML196 - The remains provisionally identified to be from this aircraft – consisting of little more than the
    firewall and Frame 5 – were recovered from the yard of the South African Metal and Machinery
    Co. at Salt River, Cape Town, in 1981 and placed in open storage at the S.A.A.F. Museum facility
    at Snake River. Following the disposal of the Museum‘s Spitfire parts collection, the remains
    were acquired by Graham McDonald and taken to Durban in 1995. Graham McDonald sold the
    project to Mark de Vries and they were moved to Bryanston, South Africa, joining the parts of
    TE294 which he had also acquired from Snake Valley. The identity ML196 was associated
    with the project but there was no physical evidence visible following over-zealous cleaning by
    McDonald of the fire-proof spar cover where, traditionally, on Mk IX airframes the RAF serial
    is stencilled. In a vain effort to confirm the identity British Airways Captain Martin Philpott couriered
    the spar cover to Peter Arnold in the U.K. to have it forensically examined in a Police
    laboratory, but to no avail, the provenance trail was broken.


    Thin but broken provenance.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  17. #17
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    So the identity cannot be used to create a flying one?
    Magister Aviation
    www.fougamagister.be

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    Thank you for that gen Mark, what a shame about the lost provenance.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for that Mark I knew the project had started with very little if anything remaining of the original aircraft. I wonder at which point it would be considered a new build?
    "I always wanted to procrastinate, but I just never got around to it."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fouga23 View Post
    So the identity cannot be used to create a flying one?
    ML196 - In my view with broken provenance and no physical evidence or image of the RAF serial or data plate to link it to the frame 5, together with the published history, this project would not pass muster to qualify for a UK CAA registration.

    Mark
    "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CeBro View Post
    You cannot step over it or lift it, if you kick it you would hurt your foot. Yes, I would call that substantial.
    It may be substantial BUT how much of that is actually fit enough to be used in an airworthy aircraft ? so you start with a little [albeit substantial] and it gets less.

  22. #22
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    Ask the CAA.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by K225 View Post
    Thanks for that Mark I knew the project had started with very little if anything remaining of the original aircraft. I wonder at which point it would be considered a new build?
    The debate on what is a restoration and what is a new build will go forever I'm afraid,
    I find in pretty hard to justify calling a data plate build an original aircraft restoration considering nothing on the aircraft is original Spitfire . To me that is a replica/new build .
    The VWC Y2K Spitfire can hardly be called original . Are they even using the original firewall?
    At most this aircraft , somewhat like a few other flying Spits is basically new build with a vintage data plate attached
    Attaching an original data plate to an entirely new airframe hardly makes it that aircraft let alone an original Spitfire
    There lies the crux of the debate .
    Either way a new build Spitfire is still a thing of beauty and better than none at all .
    However,
    if I was the one forking over 3 million , I would sure want it to be an aircraft that was fairly original not one that had nothing but an original data plate attached

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