Warbirds Online continues to report on the work being carried out by Vintage Fighter Restorations at Scone NSW on two very historic Supermarine Spitfires, both of which have an excellent WWll provenance, Supermarine Spitfire IX MH 603 and Supermarine Spitfire MH415.
Spitfire IX MH 603
Since our last report more progress has been made on Supermarine Spitfire IX MH 603 with work on the wings progressing further and nearing attachment to the fuselage of the aircraft. The images here show the detail work being done on these assemblies and the beautiful workmanship of the team at Vintage Fighter Restorations as the aircraft progresses towards completion.
The fuselage has also come along very well since our last visit with colors and markings being applied. The scheme is the aircrafts actual WWII colors as worn when it served with RAF 331 (Norwegian) Squadron as coded FN-B. The empennage is also nearing completion following a thorough rebuild and will also soon be mated to the fuselage. By the time of our next visit all of the major structures should be mated together and awaiting the fit out of the electrical and hydraulic systems. An engine has been sourced for this aircraft and is currently under rebuild and will be fitted to the airframe when it returns.
There’s more background on the history of MH603 is in our previous article.
Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk. IXb MH415, the other resident Spitfire restoration at Vintage Fighter Restorations is also making huge progress. The fuselage which had been completely dismantled is now in the purpose built jig and coming back together again with a surprising amount of original material going back into it. Most of the rear frames have now been refitted. The fuselage will continue to be assembled with the cockpit and firewall coming next along with all of the stringers and then the skins in the same way as MH603.
The wings of this Spitfire are now in the jigs being dismantled and again these will go through the same process as those of MH603 however as with the fuselage, they will contain as much of the original metal as possible.
The wings have come apart in very short order and provide an excellent insight into the structural layout of the Spitfire, again there was not as much damage or corrosion which had to be corrected and the rebuild is expected to proceed without undue problems and remain a very original aircraft. Because of the amount of original material and the soundness of the airframe this Spitfire is progressing at a faster pace than MH603 did which uses much more new material. It is anticipated that MH603 will still fly before MH415 but the interval will probably be less than most people had thought.
There’s more background on the history of MH415 is in our previous article.
Warbirds Online will continue to report on the progress on the restoration of these two Spitfires as the highly professional work carried out by Ross Pay and the team at Vintage Fighter Restorations continues. Our thanks as always go to the team at Scone for their help in preparing this update.
© John Parker 2017