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Spitfire Factory

Old 27th Sep 2020, 21:02
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Spitfire Factory

Rebuilding a Spitfire. Heads up More 4 in the UK on Monday at 21.00 appears to be a new programme
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 21:10
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Good spot, thanks Kiltrash!
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Old 28th Sep 2020, 13:26
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They are not real Spitfires; they are taxis.
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Old 28th Sep 2020, 15:53
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The four at Biggin are genuine Vickers conversions...
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Old 28th Sep 2020, 17:59
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Thanks for the heads-up! Immediately after at 2200 is Guy Martin's Spitfire for those that haven't seen it. Well worth a watch!
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Old 28th Sep 2020, 20:26
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John Fairey's spares ship was G-ASOZ/MJ627 also now flying at Biggin as G-BMSB!
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Old 28th Sep 2020, 20:27
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G-AIDN

To think DN was given to the Hampshire Aero Club decades ago and kept at Eastleigh Airport as was. The account of the delivery / collection flight from Tarrant Rushton to Southampton is recalled in John Isaacs book 'Aeroplane Affair' as are his early days at Supermarines. DN was the two seat prototype and kept by the company. L Cheshire had used it as a 'hack' when he was managing the swing wing model trials at Predannack for Barnes Wallis. Eventually sold to John Fairey who kept it at Andover. Years later when i stopped off at his private strip at Stockbridge to defrost en route to Cornwall in a Turb there was another two seater dismantled in the hangar (ex Irish Air force ) for spares. There is an amusing account of JI being allowed to taxy DN down the road to the Airport entrance on occaisions as an advert for pleasure trips with the club.
When Nick Grace obtained his machine is was moved to St Merryn (Cornwall) for the rebuild. He then discovered that the rivets which look fine on the outside were in fact quietly disappearing under the skins requiring a considerable amount of extra work.
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Old 1st Oct 2020, 04:06
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I'm pretty sure DN was the first "live", as opposed to in a museum, Spitfire I ever saw. I have no idea why now but my dad called in at Elstree Aerodrome with the family in the car some time in the middle 60s and it was just sitting there. AFAIK it was the first and last time I ever went to Elstree, despite being Hertfordshire born and bred.
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Old 1st Oct 2020, 08:45
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AIDN was up for sale c, 1971 for 6000 quid.( IIRC Hampshire Club?)
I ( naively) tried to get a consortium together to buy it for a University of London Air Squadron centred team,plus others , and base it at White Waltham in our hangar.We had a core of appropriate ( e,g, ex Harvard) potential instructors .
It seemed so do able.
Silly Boy!
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Old 1st Oct 2020, 09:39
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Sound proposal

Originally Posted by Haraka View Post
AIDN was up for sale c, 1971 for 6000 quid.( IIRC Hampshire Club?)
I ( naively) tried to get a consortium together to buy it for a University of London Air Squadron centred team,plus others , and base it at White Waltham in our hangar.We had a core of appropriate ( e,g, ex Harvard) potential instructors .
It seemed so do able.
Silly Boy!
At that time there would have been some Airshow/promotion income available to help with flying costs, and also lots of expertise around post the BoB film, but also the costs of an engine/prop OH would have been difficult to cover without some sort of paying passenger income (not really available then). Not sure when DN needed a substantial re skin, but that would have been another substantial cost not easily recouped.
BAC would have been the ideal partner from a support point of view, but I think they were struggling with the difficulty of being part of an industry trying to compete on a world market. It could have been a fantastic PR machine for Rolls Royce but they were embroiled in their own financial crisis around that time. The factor against the two-seater was the standard rear canopy spoilt the classic look of the machine and I think this rather affected its popularity, and certainly NG made the decision to alter his due to that.
Nothing silly about trying, its the history of aviation.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 22:09
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An outstanding series. Probably the best programme on Spitfire restoration that I've seen.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 10:38
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I assume they are not doing them at the moment, but they do tours around the hangars, with an option to sit in a Spitfire. When the world gets back to normal it is well worth a visit, the staff were very friendly and knowledgeable.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 23:38
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Its remarkable, that on top of the nearly 40 Spitfire's currently airworthy in the UK, there are at least another 20 that are currently in various stages of restoration to airworthy status.

I can remember when there was less than 10, let alone possibly 60....!!

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Old 23rd Oct 2020, 04:00
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I seem to recall Flypast did a survey of surviving Spitfires worldwide many years ago and had 199 listed. A quick and very rough count now has that figure approaching 240, though of course, one man's survivor is another man's collection of a few scrap parts... I think there are currently 70 fliers and projects currently on the UK register - and that doesn't include the six with the BBMF!
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Old 27th Oct 2020, 18:33
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With regard to GeeRam's comment "fewer than 10, now possibly 60", IIRC the problem with rebuilding Spits at the time was the unavailability of suitable jigs for rebuilding the complicated wing spars.
Supposedly some were found in a pit/mine in Australia ?
I'm sure there is someone on here who knows the full story ?
Listening out.
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 23:05
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Another completed Spitfire restoration has flown today from Biggin Hill, Mk IX PT879 completed for Peter Teichman - in Soviet colours no less as it was part of the Lend/Lease scheme and its remains were recovered from a crash site near Murmansk.
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Old 28th Oct 2020, 23:10
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Sleeve Wing, you might be referring to a tube squaring tool that was vital for restoring the various Hawker biplane fighters that have reappeared over the past few years - I forget the details but one was discovered in a South African scrap yard.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 20:02
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Interesting article in the Sunday Times today. Instead of using propellers made in Germany, authentic propellers, based on the 1942 design, will soon be available. Apparently, this Hercules propeller will allow the Spitfire to use more power.


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...eoff-pnt3drkx7
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