Our good friend John Parker from WarbirdsOnline in Australia recently made another visit to Vintage Fighter Restorations (VFR) in Scone, New South Wales to check out progress with the restoration of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX MH603. We have covered several of Parker’s previous reports HERE, which you can check out for the aircraft’s history, and will let John’s words pick up the latest news as follows…
It’s been 10 months since we last reported on this Spitfire. As with most warbird restorations, the final phases often seem to take longer than anticipated, and this has been the case with MH603. A major visual indication of progress came with the arrival and installation of the fighter’s Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, following its overhaul in the USA. While the impact of COVID-19 and associated parts supply delays held up the engine shop’s work, they eventually overcame these issues, and shipped the zero-timed Merlin to a grateful VFR.
In the interim, VFR has performed a significant about of work setting up the Spitfire’s hydraulic, electrical and fuel systems, which are now nearly finished. Much of the current activity surrounds the installation of numerous engine system connections and ancillary components along with final-testing the aircraft’s controls.
At this stage, there is no definitive timing envisioned for MH603’s first flight however, with the passing of each day, the number of items remaining on the checklist for completion grows smaller and smaller. Rest assured, as the final components are signed-off, we will be on hand to witness the first flight of this magnificent Spitfire!
It was great to get back to Pay’s Air Service and Vintage Fighter Restorations at Scone NSW to view the progress on the Spitfire; it will be an exciting time, with much to look forwards to once she’s completed. As always, we thank Ross Pay and the team at VFR for their assistance with this news article.
We will continue following these remarkable efforts and bring additional news as soon as we can. Many thanks indeed to our friend John Parker at WarbirdsOnline for this article.