Got a rivet - build yourself a Spitfire!


Another fine example of British eccentricity:

Global hunt to rebuild Spitfire

Martin Phillips said he now has all the parts he needs
A Devon collector is rebuilding a World War II Spitfire fighter plane with parts from around the globe.
Martin Phillips has spent about seven years and £1m gathering thousands of parts at his workshop at Langford.

He was inspired to start the pet project after being given a small aircraft rivet.

It began in earnest when he found the fuselage of a 1944 Spitfire RR232 in Worthing. The aeroplane is expected to take another few years to complete.

'Steady progress'

Mr Phillips, 47, said he now has every part he needs to rebuild the fighter in a shed outside his country home near Exeter.

The final assembly and first flight of the restored aircraft, to be named City of Exeter, will take place at Exeter Airport, itself a World War II fighter base.

Mr Phillips said: "We are making steady progress, but there are lots of engineering problems to overcome.

"I had a five-year plan, but that is shot - we are looking at another one or two years before it is finished."

He has four Merlin engines, a £70,000 four-bladed propeller, wing skeletons, engine parts, wing cannons, flying instruments, original seats and components.

One of its wings will be from a Spitfire which crashed near Exeter Airport.

I have a handle from a 432 that come off in my hand when I was attempting to close the back door. Although languishing in a box in the shed, I feel inspired by the feller above to have a go myself. Does anyone else have any bits that I could put towards this project?
I've just found that Puttees Senior has a NAAFI fork (serial no. 2904, I kid you not), so I'm now contemplating increasing the collection until I can recreate a 1944 NAAFI.

Getting more cutlery and crockery may be a problem, but I don't envisage difficulties getting authentic 1944 pies and cakes. They're still available for sale behind the counter, aren't they?
NAAFI KFS should be easily sourced from my light-blue bretheren.

At Halton not so long ago at least a third of the course were picked up during an inspection for having said cutlery in their webbing rather than the issued "made in China" things!

For a 432?

I could easily go and buy a runner for less than £7,500, but that's not the point.

With the way stuff falls off all British military equipment, there should be enough bits in sheds and garages and scattered across the training areas of europe to rebuild a battalion or two.
Apparently there are a lot of unrestored airframes in storage around the world.

After the war, many were fed down the food-chain to smaller Air-Forces around the world. Some ended up in private hands, some as 'gate guardians', some as museum pieces.

There's a hard-core band of loonies that scour the globe looking for anything salvageable - literally crash-site recovery in some cases.

There's a lot of money in it.....
Once spoke to the site manager at Eaglescliffe, a former Nuffield factory that was used to smelt down crashed aircraft remains during the war.
When the site was sold off to civiliqan hands a few years ago lots of topsoil had to be removed to Drigg as low level waste because of the quantity of luminous aircraft intruments burnt out back.
Lots of ircraft restorers and parts collectors were seriously interested in scrap dug up during the project and up until fairly recently an awful lot of scrap dug out of the ground went to projects to repair and restore wartime aircraft.
I've got a golden rivet, anyone up for helping me build a battleship?

RR232 used to be with Jim Pearce in W orthing. It was also in quite good condition, and was to be the 2nd Charles Church flying Spit from memory,Charles killed himself in another Spit.

Good luck to Martin, he's been at this forever.

Would be easier to find a Hurricane or Me 109 in a technical college in India :D
Reminds of these magazines you get now. Get one each week with a different part so you can build the Titanic or The Flying Scotsman... sounds bloody tedious and ends up costing you £500 +
There is an early production Mk1 Spitfire discovered on a mudflat near calais that is also being 'restored'. In fairness about the only thing they are utilising will be a pair of very mangled wings, and a set of original stamped 'Supermarine' rudder pedals. I gather they have already started building it at Duxford.

Amazing what they can put back together these days. I think Duxford managed to bolt back together a Handley Page Hampden from bits they found in a forest in Russia. Too bad that isnt a flyer.

I recall a guy on television 10 years ago who had an early motor car (1903 Renault I think). He said there was only one original part on it, a bolt he found while digging in his garden. :wink:
fairness about the only thing they are utilising will be a pair of very mangled wings, and a set of original stamped 'Supermarine' rudder pedals
And the dataplate no doubt.....
there are some real hardcore enthusiasts who poo poo people who rebuild a complete aircraft the only original bit being something dug up with the serial number one the whole project then assumes the identity of that plane yeah its not the original but at the end of the day when you see it fling around you have to admire these blokes then years latter it gets trashed by some yank with an ego bigger than the plane having meet some of those tossers i shake my head in anger when another long time project becomes a smoking hole in the ground because he just had to do one more wing over and pay the price of a huge ego sadly a lot of them are American personally no British ww2 aircraft should go over there as the atrition rate is quite high sadly money talks and there are somethings in life that money cant buy
Why spend seven years collecting the bits? There's a firm who still make most of the parts, they're just doing the resto on the Mitchell Spit in Hanley museum.
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