Some great pictures of a Spitfire rebuild

Avspecs in New Zealand rebuilds Spitfires and other vintage aircraft.  International Business Times has a fascinating photo essay on their rebuild of a Spitfire Mark V.  Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite, greatly reduced in size to fit this blog.

There are many more images at the link.  Highly recommended viewing for aviation buffs.  There’s also an interesting article about the history of the Spitfire and how they’re restored.  (There’s also my three-part series on the Spitfire in Weekend Wings #11, #12 and #13.)



  1. We've got a wing and propeller from a Spitfire up near here, north of Whangarei. At least, it looks like it. Might well just be a sculpture.

    Used to be an airfield near here; still got most of a bunker. All the sand got carted away, but the concrete's still here.

    From when they thought there'd be nips crawling all over Aussie and points south, as I understand.

    It's really strange; we've got all kinds of stuff around, but never actually got invaded. There's this warren of tunnels around Auckland from the same time and coastal siege gun emplacements all over the place from when England and Russia were playing geopolitical chicken in the '80s.

    1880s, to be exact.

    There's actually a story about that.. seems a paper once ran a story about a Tsarist warship that sailed into Auckland harbour and held the city and an English warship hostage for ransom.

    Seems the boat was called the Kaskowiski.
    Should probably be a bit of a hint towards how closely the story reflected reality.

    Have to wonder if something can be a war relic if the war it was created to fight never actually happened.

  2. The full article is around somewhere. Seems it had a paragraph at the base of the page saying "this is just a warning of what might happen if SOMEONE doesn't see about getting us some defences" or words to that effect, and a date several months in the future.

    Turns out "UFO" sightings aren't new, either; it's just that in the past, they were zeppelins.

  3. Good book about the Spitfire:
    "Sigh for a Merlin" by Alex Henshaw.
    He was the Chief Test Pilot at Castle Bromwich, an aircraft factory.
    IIRC, he flew at least 10% of all Spitfires built, in addition to other warplanes.
    Although it wasn't part of the test, he made a habit of barrel rolling the 4 engine Lancaster bomber at the conclusion!

    He did aerobatic displays for Churchill and various Royalty, and also for training and frontline Spitfire pilots. (The pilots thought he was
    crazy, and were shocked at what the plane was actually capable of)

    He was directed to do a routine over Birmingham early on. He ended it by rolling down the main street, passing the Mayor's speaking platform
    inverted, below rooftop level! His display literally brought the entire city to a standstill.

    Quite a story.

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