Project Update - January 2018

  Sunrise at Swartkop  

The highlight of the last two months has undoubtedly been the Pilots Lunch which took place on Saturday 4th November in conjunction with the latest Museum flying day. Great to see these heroes in the flesh and to talk to them of their experiences. Our thanks go to Ian Grace and all those who assisted in organizing the project, including the Friends who are not members of the Spitfire group and the Irene Air Scouts.

Poppy Cupcakes by Michaela Ritchie An additional highlight of the Pilots lunch (so close to Remembrance day) were the ‘poppy’ cupcakes produced by Michaela Ritchie – Thank you Michaela.

High level talks continue with Solenta and Simuflight regarding assistance to the project, as well as offers from other companies to carry out repairs of smaller assemblies and components such as the canopy.

A meeting over the holiday period discussed the way ahead with regard to the construction, control and use of the technical drawings involved in the project and a drawings tree is now under construction.

5518 Armaments Work continues on removing and inspecting and repairing the armaments from the damaged wing assemblies. Cataloguing of component parts continues in respect of fuselage, empennage and engine.


We gained some excellent media exposure in a few of the aviation magazines in 2017 who covered the Spitfire pilot reunion story for us. These included Airnews, African Pilot and Flyer SA. Our 4th November pilot reunion also featured on Global Aviator’s Facebook page as well as on their website. Thank you! Global Aviator

Global Aviator Thank you to the media for your support! We need your help to spread our story, so we appreciate the fact that you publish our news.

Our social media channels remain active. If you are a Facebook fundi, please like our page and share our updates. We will continue to share our project’s progress and requirements via our social media channels and on our website, so keep watching!

In 2018 we will continue to participate in the various airshows in the Gauteng region, and we’ll announce these events via our Facebook page.

Finally, please remember that the first Saturday of every month is an Open Flying Day at the SAAF Museum. Please support our project by coming through in the morning. Buy a cap, T-Shirt or other promotional items at our gazebo and support the Friends by buying a boerewors roll. (They are good!) Any support is appreciated

NEC Building Rennovations
Renovating work continues on the National Executive Committee building, shortly to open as our office area: (Above image shows Clive & Robert hard at work.)

Liaison is ongoing with the Ditsong and Rand Airport Museums.

Unfortunately the fabric covering training day to be held on 25th November had to be postponed and will hopefully now take place in March 2018 - Watch this space !

Requirements: Your Expertise

Tradesmen of all types: We can use your skills!

For our IT/PR we require a graphics designer to work with our webpage, handouts etc.

Your tools:

Special thanks to Mike van Breda for his hard work in this area, in cataloguing all those tools received so far and providing the list of requirements below. Thank you all for the donations so far but this is very much an ongoing process - why not have one more search of your garage, workshop and attic and donate anything that you no longer need?

Requirements include:

  • Hydraulic Jacks
  • Bench Vices
  • Screwdrivers (all types)
  • Torque wrenches
  • Vernier Callipers
  • Micrometers
  • Feeler gauges
  • Soldering Irons
  • Pinking Scissors (for fabric repairs)
  • F & G Clamps
  • Electric Drill & Bits

New Advertisers & Members

A big welcome to:

Chimaera Logo Keith Cain, a Non Destructive Testing Expert from CHIMAERA, who will advise us on materials testing and all matters concerning aspects of metal treatments. Keith is ex SAAF Engineer with experience on a variety of Aircraft types
David Olivier, an ex SAAF Armourer who now runs his own company LAU-LYNN LEATHER producing high quality leather products. David has agreed to supervise the inspection and repair of the armaments fitted to Spitfire 5518. He joins his son Matthew on the project. David has also kindly provided/sponsored key fobs for the project. Lau-Lynn Leather Logo
Storech Logo Ian Reeds, an Electronics Technician employed by STORTECH as Senior Storage Engineer in their Data Center Service. Ian is also an acknowledged expert on the Griffon Aircraft Engine and will advise us on reconstruction of both Merlin and Griffon types as well as all matters electronic.
And Roel Strausebach, Project Manager at Arion Excellence in Projects. Roel will assist with the proposals to create simulators as a fund raising endeavour for the project. He has recent flying experience in Tiger Moth and other light aircraft. Lau-Lynn Leather Logo

Components: They give to us, we give to them!

Lau-Lynn Donation Thanks to Lau-Lynn Leather (David Olivier) for donating 600 plus leather Spitfire Embossed key rings which will go on display and sale in our shop shortly.
Thanks to Jacko Venter from Lexton Crafts & Design for the laser cut model Spitfire donated to our artwork auction. The date for this event will be announced shortly. Lexton Crafts & Design
Autobooks Thanks to Ken Hardwick of “Auto Books” for a donation of “ Supermarine Spitfire” – the Owners Workshop Manual.

We highlight all the companies shown above to encourage other companies and individuals to trade with them. This is our contribution to them, after they have assisted us. And always to tell them why: i.e. you are a Spitfire Restoration Project Member!

Aviation enthusiast Graham McDonald has donated Spitfire instrumentation and an aircraft frame from his personal collection. The Project acknowledges and thanks Graham and Sally for their generous donation.

Friends Members continue to contribute:

Basil Kriel Donation Thanks again to Basil Kriel, a regular donor, of “Antique and Diecast Models & Toys” for donating the framed famous print of the Spitfire by Artist Barry Clark . Why not visit his stand at the next Swartkop flying day?

Thanks to Douglas Kinsey for the Signed Spitfire Picture for the clubhouse and a CD Player which brings music to our ears.

Thanks to Lynn Greyling who kindly donated a flying suit. Some of you may be aware of our plan to dress the pilot in a World War 2 style scheme. We will need a tailors dummy, which may well determine whether our pilot will be male or female. i.e. Sailor Malan or Jackie Moggeridge, the female Pretoria born Air Transport Auxiliary Pilot, who delivered many Spitfires. Now we need Googles, Headgear, Boots, Badges etc!

Workbench Donation Thanks to Theo De la Rey for the portable workbench and vice he donated to the Friends Project.

Thanks to Louis la Lagadec for donating an alarm system for the project. Life’s so much safer these days.

Thanks to Linton Ritchie for the Water Cooler: life is also so much cooler.

Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous 2018.

Now is “REBOOT TIME”! Let’s start the new year by rebooting our system, our thoughts, our faith, our dreams. Let’s make 2018 a huge success story.

Are we doing enough for the project, our Spitfire, our ideas, our dreams?

Let’s take it forward with a bang!

Let’s involve our friends, our families, our colleagues!

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