Supermarine Spitfire F Mk.IX MH603 – Restoration Update – November, 2021

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX MH603 Merlin engine run up at Scone NSW. Photo by John Parker
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

Over the past couple of years, we have been following the restoration of Supermarine Spitfire F Mk.IX MH603 at Vintage Fighter Restorations (VFR) in Scone, New South Wales, Australia. The aircraft is very close to flying again, and recently made another series of engine runs. Our good friend John Parker from WarbirdsOnline has provided further details on this progress and what the future holds for this aircraft. We have covered several of Parker’s previous reports HERE, which you can check out for the aircraft’s history and earlier restoration updates. We will let John pick up the latest news with the following…

Supermarine Spitfire F.Mk.IX MH603 recently began the final phases of her engine testing in Scone NSW. VFR personnel rolled the fighter out to the hard standing, tied her down and chocked the wheels ready for Alf Morgan to climb aboard and put the Rolls-Royce Merlin through its paces.

Trundling MH603 out to the hard stand for her engine runs. (photo via John Parker)

Preparing MH603’s Merlin engine for the engine runs. (photo via John Parker)

The aim for these tests involved exercising the Merlin for longer periods and at higher power settings, hence the need for  securing the airframe to the ground. After a couple of brief run-ups to ensure the engine was operating properly, Morgan initiated a series of longer exercises, gradually increasing the revolutions and power settings. The big V-12 behaved flawlessly, its characteristic roar feeling like music to the small crowd gathered nearby to witness the event.

Her Merlin engine beginning to roar, MH603 recently underwent some high-power engine tests in the preparations for her first flight. Note how the aircraft’s tail is firmly strapped down to the hard stand. (photo via John Parker)

And so the aircraft is now one step closer to flying again. VFR technicians are methodically working through their checklist, as one can never take short-cuts on such things, but the much-anticipated date of that first flight is fast-approaching. We will be on hand to witness and report on what will become Australia’s 4th airworthy Spitfire when she takes to the sky. Our thanks go to Ross Pay and the team at Vintage Fighter Restorations for making this update possible.

Many thanks to John Parker for this update. MH603 is currently available for purchase at Platinum Fighter Sales, as we reported HERE in early October. The Spitfire, resplendent in her authentic RAF No.331 Squadron (Norwegian) livery, will certainly make an impressive addition to the air show circuit!


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