Warbirds Online recently visited Pay’s Air Services at Scone NSW to view the restoration of the Supermarine Spitfires and other aircraft in the workshop.
Ross Pay has reorganized the workshop facilities at Scone and the Warbirds, including the Spitfires, which are now located in the main hangar at Pay’s Air Services, along with the Hawker Hurricane C/N 60372, C-FDNL, Mk XII / IIB Serial No 5481. Ross has also formed a new company to formalize the work they are doing in the restoration of customer machines called Vintage Fighter Restorations Pty Ltd. The Warbird restoration work continues in earnest.
Supermarine Spitfire IX MH 603 continues to make steady progress to airworthy condition with the wings being further advanced and nearly ready for mating to the aircraft’s fuselage. The engine for this aircraft has been cleaned as is about to leave for rebuilding in the USA. The background on Spitfire MH603 can be found in our previous report.
Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. IXb MH415 which arrived at Scone earlier this year from the USA has made a staggering amount of progress. As we stated in our article on Spitfire MH415 is one of the most complete and original Spitfires to be restored to flight anywhere in the world. The aircraft fuselage has been completely stripped to its basic components and is mounted in the jig ready for the reassembly to take place in coming months.
The overall condition of the aircraft has been found to be excellent with little or no corrosion, wear or damage. It may seem from the accompanying photographs that very little of the aircraft remains, however most of the structure and fittings of MH415 are sound and will be reassembled making this a very complete and original Spitfire with one of the best provenances in the restoration world. It is a rebuild utilizing existing components, not a new build as with many of today’s Spitfires. The wings of MH415 have been stripped of paint and will shortly be mounted in new jigs for rebuild, again retaining as much material as possible.
North American P51D Mustang
Mustang P51D, 45-11526 VH-FST has now left the Pay workshop, having recently been sold to Brad Bishopp co-owner of Fighter Pilot Adventure Flights operating out of Archerfield, Queensland for adventure flights and as a Warbird display aircraft.
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
Recently a Curtiss P40 N model has been acquired and will move from Wangaratta Victoria, where it was under rebuild by Precision Airmotive for a European owner. The Warhawk will have further work completed by Precision Airmotive and then move to Scone in the near future for final assembly and completion. The P40 will have a second seat fitted to make it a more practical Warbird and allow for adventure flying type activity without compromising the appearance of the aircraft. This is a common feature of many current P40 restorations. At this stage the identity of this aircraft remains to be confirmed.
Pay’s also have a Hispano Buchon also from the USA and another Supermarine Spitfire Tr9 under rebuild in the UK, as noted in our last report on Pay’s Warbird Collection.
Pay’s Air Services would welcome enquiries from those considering a Warbird rebuild or acquisition as they progress the growing Warbird restoration business at their excellent Scone NSW base.
© John Parker 2016