Historic Aircraft

Rebuilding a Spitfire

First you take a the heap of junk, which you found somewhere in an obscure place, then you put thousands of hours of work and a load of money into the project, and then at some stage you are the happy owner of an airworthy Spitfire. To the right is picture of a project, which The Fighter Collection in Duxford, England, is working on. It will be a few days before enough spares and affection have been put into Spitfire LF Mk. IC, serial number RK858, before it will take to the air again.

What is the price for a Spitfire? A Spitfire with a "history" may cost as much as between 2.3mio Usd and 2.5mio Usd. A Spitfire without may have a price tag between 1.8mio Usd and 2.3mio Usd.

What's the price of a re-build? It could cost you up to 1.5 mio Usd - and take 5 years.

Is it expensive to operate a Spitfire? Suppose so... an oil change would cost you around 2500-2600 Usd (31.5 liters for every 25 flight hours) and so on and on and on.

At first when you consider that more than 20,000 Spitfires were built, it does not seem so impressive that today about 60 Spitfires are airworthy, but taken into consideration what it costs to bring such a historic aircraft back into the air - not to talk about the cost of keep it flying - it is actually quite impressive. One should bare in mind that aircraft built at that time were "consumer goods" - buy, use and throw away when spent - and were never meant as as something which should be kept flying for more than half a century.

In these years the number of airworthy historic aircraft is increasing. To restore, maintain and chasing parts for these aircraft has become somewhat of an industry. To keep them flying is a sport only for people well off and for groups of people with financial backing.

In the summer of 2000 the first Danish "war bird", a North-American T6 Haward, took off from Kastrup Airport for the first time after years of patient work. A group of volonteers could some weeks later see their "baby" in the air at the 50 year aniversary of the Royal Danish Air Force. Unfortunately this aircraft crashed during preparation for a formation flight with another Harvard. The two onboard sadly lost their lives.

--ooOOoo--


Apart from the Spitfire you will find many vintage aircraft that have been kept in or brought back to flying condition.

Click here to see more examples.


Norwegian Spitfires

Like many other countries the Norwegian Air Force took delivery of Spitfires. In the spring I was on a short trip to Oslo and in the lovely Norwegian spring the trip went by a flea market. In a box with photos and other militaria a nice picture of a Spitfire in Norwegian colours emerged. According to the writing in the corner of the picture this aircraft was most likely stationed at Gardermoen Airfield in the late 1940's. If someone knows about this aircraft please feel free to send me an e-mail with the details. (My e-mail can be found in the "Foreword" section of this web site)

A load of money, patience and a lot of parts - then you've got a Spitfire

A Mk.XVIII nearing completion.

TFC's Mk XIVE at a major check

A Norwegian Spitfire - Click for large picture