New restoration hangar celebrated at roof-wetting event

The many people who attended the hangar roof wetting event at AFB Swartkop on Saturday, 5th of March 2022.

There is a saying, that the start of a journey is the first step. On Saturday 5th of March 2022, the first step to the Spitfire Restoration was undertaken.

The construction of the new restoration hangar is now underway with the steel structure being erected at AFB Swartkop in Centurion. The Project wishes to thank Phambili Construction for the building of the new facility.

There were thirteen organisations involved in the restoration, preservation and maintenance of the incredible history of the South African Air Force, at the function. These included the South African Air Force Museum, Buccaneer 421, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Gamma Artists, Hangar 51, Harvard Club of South Africa (HCSA), Korean Veterans Association, Royal Air Force Officers Club of South Africa (RAFOC), SAA Museum Society, South African Air Force Modellers Society, South African Air Force Museum Photographers, Sabre Project and the Spitfire Restoration Project. Rebecca Campbell, a journalist from the Engineering News publication and a loyal supporter of the Project, was also present. Thank you to all of these organisations for their support.

The Project remains grateful to Maj Ntshangase (the Museum Officer Commanding) and the Swartkop Base Commander, Col Schoeman for their incredible support, as well as the Friends of the SAAFM.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of the hangar. Should you wish to help us with donations of bricks or roofing material, please get in touch with Ian Grace, project lead, at +27 82 452 5291.

Col Tony Smit, second OC of the SAAFM, a living legend and initiator of the Spitfire Restoration Project initiated the new steel structure of the new Restoration Hangar.

In order for the Project to proceed, a workshop/restoration area is required. Therefore, the Project to restore Spitfire S/N 5518 is now divided into phases. Phase 1 is the erection of the new structure, which includes part of the roofing. Phase 2 will be the completion of the roofing.

During the function, Digby Sherwood of the South Africa Airways Museum Society presented a SAAFM First Day Cover Collection to the Project.
The Royal Air Force Officers Club (RAFOC) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) were represented by Karl Jensen. Karl then presented the Project with a framed photograph of Jack Malloch in his Spitfire, as well as a framed photograph of a Spitfire cockpit.

The Project was also honoured to have generous donors, such as Al Wenger, aviation enthusiasts from the public, and Performance Center, who sponsored the first of ten Supercar Ford Mustangs. It is thanks to Al and Performance Centre who facilitated the erection of the hangar by way of their generous donations.

We are extremely grateful to these organisations for their support. The Spitfire Restoration Project SteerCo is humbled and appreciative of the incredible support we receive, be it from attending events like these, financial support and expertise.