Trumper still didn't answer the question of what level of involvement he brings to the preservation/restoration world. Would that be nothing per chance? Or is it simply you attend airshows and sit commenting on here about how the very industry you "enjoy" are just making replicas and are destroying history.
I'm just glad you represent a tiny minority and that generally the enthusiasts I meet regularly are appreciative of the work carried out by engineers up and down the land.
So you are quite happy to see history scrapped in the name of a facsimile --- thats up to you. Personally i think RAFRochfords post is the correct way -original left to be displayed alongside the "facsimile" .Somewhere you have to draw the line at when "restoration" actually takes away the reason for the existence .
It's an emotive subject, and I do appreciate both sides of the coin. I've been involved on both sides too. I understand the work, dedication and money that goes into the restoration (of fabrication if you wish) of many warbirds, all of which I immensely enjoy seeing and hearing gracing our skies.
I also appreciate the integrity of the historical artifacts. One of my influences as a kid was reading Al Deere's "Nine Lives" for the first time. Having the opportunity to stare through the armoured glass windscreen on display at Hawkinge that Al Deere looked through as he wheeled his "Kiwi" in combat in 1940 was a special moment. I felt the same way about the exhibits that we displayed at the Rebel Air Museum. Could almost taste the history. I'm just glad that we have the wealth and diversity of aviation heritage that we have in this country. We're very lucky indeed.
When I overhaul a helicopter gearbox, there are times when the only thing left is the data plate. Corrosion and wear have made everything else unserviceable. When I finish the overhaul, the same serial number gearbox goes out, with all new parts in it and continues counting hours in service. It doesn't start at zero hours again, it keeps counting from where it was when it came to me for overhaul.
This is the age old argument of granddads axe. I change the handle one year and I change the head the next year, but it is still granddads axe. The removed parts were once part of that axe but are no longer.
That is a simplified version of how it works with aircraft. You don't have to agree with it, but that is how it is. Calling the flying restorations that have proper certification paperwork "replica" is incorrect and insulting.
As an aircraft owner once said when someone complained about the paint work on his warbird "If yo udon't like it, go buy your own and paint it in any damn colour you please!"
How about NZ3072, which doesn't exist now, but if it did, how would it be categorized? In WWII it was shot up and had the wing and tailplane replaced. So is it not still NZ3072?? Then the canopy got broken, then the engine was replaced. So you ended up with a fighter that had most of the fuselage and some of the tail still original.
Oh wait, on it's delivery flight to the Pacific Islands it crashed and had most of the fuselage replaced. Oops, suddenly this aircraft becomes a copy of itself while still in service!
There are rules about what is allowed and what is not. They are there for a reason. I refer you back to the axe
I should add, that the decidedly British idea of not having one dataplate for the airframe (on some types) does make it very difficult to keep track of what part or parts constitute the "soul' of the aircraft!
Last edited by Graham.A; 19th March 2017 at 16:18.
JP843 Propulsions/Systems Lead
Exactly Graham. Trumper I'm afraid as much as yes you are entitled to an opinion, your opinion is pretty insulting. You also don't have to own an aircraft to be involved in restoration and preservation, I know many people who don't. Take for example the meteor thread on here - parts are coming off as they are too corroded, and that's for static. I don't see you up in arms that a new wingtip never fitted to it or any other meteor has gone on it. Parts are missing or damaged, parts are replaced. In your eyes it seems this is destroying history, I see it as preserving an airframe in whatever condition, so yes I am perfectly happy with doing so. The fact is if only 30% of an airframe has survived 80 years like my Luton, I will be replacing the missing 70% and whatever doesn't pass inspection of the original 30% to ensure that aircraft lives on.
To say I'm destroying history, or creating a non historic replica is truely insulting, more so by the fact you actually bring nothing to the movement that you seem intent to insult.
my vote goes for keep them flying and enjoyment is shared by many, dissecting the origins of an aircraft is not needed for the pleasure hit of seeing a flyer.BIG thanks to all who work to restore and fly aircraft. Static museum exhibits have aplace but flying is the way to keep interests in front of the next generation.
From my point of view if an aircraft has been in continuous service and had major components replaced then it is still the same aircraft. If it has been sat in a hangar, museum or scrapyard and then had parts replaced with serviceable ones then it is still the same aircraft, either way it has provenance linking it to the original. Where I become a bit uneasy is when a few bits of tangled wreckage are dug out of the ground having been shot down violently 70 years ago or more, used to prove an identity for a new aircraft to be built and then thrown away/scrapped/stored. I am by no means belittling the incredible work put in by engineers to rebuild/reconstruct these aircraft, in fact I am quite in awe of the skill to do so, what I am against is then presenting the aircraft as the original. In the case of the aircraft which started this thread, NH341, the owner is promoting it as the aircraft that saw service in World War 2 for business purposes, will passengers be flying in the aircraft that its original pilots flew in? Will there be any part of the original? I will be taking a flight in a two seat Spitfire next year but it will be either ML407, PV202, MJ627, MT818 or possibly SM520 as I see them as continuing the existence of the original and even if parts have been replaced there is something of the original in them. I am aware that SM520 started with only major components from a scrapyard but I believe it gives it a tangible identity. Not so much a new built aircraft that takes its identity from a stencil on a spar cover plate that was copied on to a new built item. Just my personal point of view.
Graham.A............... well said that man and accurate ! P.40s that went through the RAAF Repair and Salvage Units in WW.II were scrabbled together from what parts they had from various airframes, mainplanes, engines etc. They were given what was considered to be the "appropriate" aircraft serial number, signed out and returned to service - operational service. If you happened to come across one of these now for rebuild would it be considered not to be 'original'? Would you call it a replica even though it went back on operations? I know of at least one of these airframes that was 'salvaged' and sent back on ops that carried a different serial number on each side of the fuselage? What would you categorize that machine as ? Which machine would you call it? I have worked on many aircraft where panels, wings etc are marked with serials of another machine. Does that make the aircraft as a whole not 'original'? Again, Graham.A is right. Let's just sit back and enjoy their sight and sound. There was a time here in Oz when the only 'warbird' you could see was one of the two Mustangs that was used for target towing or radar calibration for the military or very, very, very rarely perhaps get a glimpse of a Sea Fury in that role. The argument is circular. If you don't like what you perceive as a "replica" don't go to the shows where it appears, do not take photographs of it but better that that........ stop moaning.........
Go find another hobby if you don't 'approve' of the warbird movement.
Frankly, you don't belong here.
Do we really have a grip on what we are discussing when we talk of 'destroying'? If it really is just a dataplate being born aloft by a newly built aeroplane, what gets destroyed by removing it from the donor wreckage? Maybe a bit of drilling out of the rivets, at very worst? If it's a copied stencil, then there is NO net effect on 'historic material'.
Of course, the ethical aspect of telling punters they are flying in an original without qualifying that description, if that is what anyone's doing, is an entirely different question.
I suspect from my own limited exposure to it that the world of 'original' statics being 'restored' to museum standard destroys far more 'historic' material (as in my previous example of reskinning) than the use of a convenient dataplate for a flying aircraft. Those paying to put something for us all to enjoy in the air and doing what they have to do to make it possible are probably the wrong target, if you need a target at all.
Last edited by Beermat; 19th March 2017 at 20:52.
Time to get back on topic, me thinks. The restoration of NH341. Has it done any further flights since that first short one?
I love seeing warbirds fly and can hardly believe how many companies are involved in their restoration/rebuilds in the 21st century.
I also let those who can afford them worry about their provenance!
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!
Spitfires are surely one of the most significant fixed-wing types ( numerically) wholly manufactured in the UK in 2017 .
Perhaps the only other 'entire aeroplane' projects now are BN Islanders and Hawks, both produced in pretty low numbers, and maybe a few LAA types like the Sherwood Ranger.
You could make a robust case that to all intents and purposes, the Spitfire is back in production....
Id rather trust my butt in a new build Spitfire than a 75 year old survivor with the advances in metallurgy,techniques and build quality.
"If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
Big point, that. Consider the difference in quality between something put together by roped-in shift workers under time pressure and across multiple sites, and only expected to last a couple of years, and something lovingly and carefully hand built by a single team of type specialists.
Another point is you are putting your original material at risk if you fly it around, in the way you are not if you leave it in a museum and fly a new-build. Surely everyone wins?
TD248 itself uses all of the original frames, and the majority of the structure in the wings, along with all of the reconditioned systems from the original aircraft. By any standards, it is a genuine Spitfire, with full traceability back to service and factory. What you see at Flixton is a mock up. Nothing more or less.
Ultimately, this is a silly argument. NH341 is undoubtedly a Spitfire. It has been built to exacting standards, by a dedicated and professional team. We have plenty of original aircraft preserved for posterity, and this in no way dilutes the gene pool. As enthusiasts, we should be glad that there are people out there who are able to invest in our hobby in this way, and that will be a very significant investment by Keith Perkins. Good for him.
I had no idea that the dataplate / identity /FB's Luton Minor discussion is an ancient one of Philosophy and Metaphysics that goes back to Plutarch in the first century AD and before.. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus
Last edited by Beermat; 20th March 2017 at 07:56.
In my mind, and I know some won't agree, I would rather spend what is quite a sum to fly in an original for longer time and less money than a reconstruction with tenuous links to an original.
Last edited by DangerM; 20th March 2017 at 08:01.
Thank goodness that we have choices regarding what we view and choose to fly in.
There's something almost autistic, or even fetishistic about this unhealthy obsession with originality and stubborn inability to appreciate a flying Spitfire for what it is.
Keith Perkins gave me a guided tour of the rear cockpit of NH341 at the recent event at DX
Some might say the little extra on the price per minute would well worth while.
A forward facing video camera has been installed in the standard camera gun position.
The passenger/student has a small TV monitor in his gun-sight position and I suspect that it has a graticule.
When the the gun button is pressed the passenger/student hears firing sound effect in his headset.
The rear cockpit is also fitted with fixed wide angle camera facing the the student/passenger to record the whole event for posterity.
"...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"
Who could have imagined 35 years on, nine of these identified wrecks from the SA Metals yard would be flying, close to flying or in one case a museum static?
"...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney…"
Running with the ship of Theseus philosophical model for a moment.
If that ship has every plank replaced, is it still the same ship? There appear to be two trains of thought. If, in operational service, all of those planks are replaced gradually, such that by the time it makes its last voyage, it has no original parts, then it is still the same ship. However, if the ship retains most original planks by the time it is retired, and then has them allreplaced so it can resume its service at a later date, then it isn't the same ship? Semantics I think.
As long as it is permissible to recreate an aircraft around an identity, and so long as it is fully documented as to what has been done, and importantly, that the principal investor is not being fooled, then I only see a win/win scenario. I would note that in the car world, the well known case of a Bentley No 1 came about following a misrepresentation of what had been sold.it also keeps a good few people in employment..
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