Further progress has been made on the restoration of Supermarine Spitfire IX MH 603 at Scone NSW. Since we last visited the project in March 2017 a great deal of work has been progressed. Recently the newly completed wings and empennage were trial fitted to the fuselage of the Spitfire to ensure everything was as it should be dimensionally and structurally.
The wings and empennage will now come off the fuselage again to allow for final fit out of the airframe, painting and other detail work prior to reassembly for the last time and fitting of the Rolls Royce Merlin. It is great to see the aircraft finally come together as a single unit for the first time since 1955!
As with any restoration of this type the last stages always take longer than anticipated, however progress on this aircraft has been very impressive and it shouldn’t be that long until a first flight is being considered. Warbirds Online will be on hand to report more progress on this magnificent Warbird restoration by Ross Pay and the team at Vintage Fighter Restorations as she nears the end of her return to flight.
In further news on this aircraft, the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase this Spitfire – The last surviving Spitfire flown by the Norwegian Squadrons (RAF 331 and 332 Squadrons) on operations in WWII – The information on this project can be found here and we wish them well with this task.
In another Australian Spitfire twist, the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation has arranged for Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk.IX RR232 to be finished in Norwegian colors. The aircraft is owned by Martin Phillips and operated by Boultbee Flight Academy in the UK. This Spitfire also has Australian connections having been restored by Peter Sledge to static standard in 1986. The Spitfire is being used to promote the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation and its Crowd funding efforts for the acquisition of Supermarine Spitfire IX MH 603 and is flying in the famous colors of Wing Commander Rolf Arne Berg of 132. ( N ) Wing RAF painted his personal markings. Warbirds Online reported on the history of this aircraft previously in our news article.
Spitfire HF Mk.IX RR232 has now appeared at several airshows in Norway and looks beautiful in her temporary markings.
It is certainly exciting times in Australia and Norway for Spitfire enthusiasts.
© John Parker 2017