Spitfire restoration progress update - February 2016

Spitfire 5518’s restoration progress: The stripping, cataloguing and evaluation of the components from the aircraft’s fuselage have been underway for several months. Work continues with other major assemblies: wings, undercarriage, engine frame, etc., to facilitate further inspection and transportation.

The project is now moving into a structuring phase. An undertaking of this nature is a large and complex exercise, and attempting just to wing it (we must be allowed an aviation pun on this topic) will be a total disaster. We are fortunate to have several volunteers with experience in various aspects of setting up and managing projects of this scale and with examples in aeronautical engineering. Anyone with project management experience will be familiar with a ‘WBS’ – Work Breakdown Structures – and we are currently focusing on developing one for (re)building a Spitfire. This will be followed by a Charter, a detailed project structure with roles and responsibilities, and a ‘PEP’ – Project Execution Plan – to give us a more detailed way forward.

In the meantime, administrative activities are continuing, such as specifying processes to ensure that we comply with all relevant Safety, Health, Environment, Quality, Legal and Risk Management requirements, both the SAAF and the aviation authorities. Work also continues to get our workshop and related facilities up to the required standards.

The project continues to receive excellent publicity and interest. This website is actively visited, as are other related ones and our Facebook page. There is frequent interaction with other organisations interested in participating – either through sponsorship or actively in the engineering work required.

No one is under any illusions about the magnitude of the task we are undertaking, but equally well, the commitment and enthusiasm for such a worthwhile project, both amongst our volunteers and in the global aviation fraternity generally, is enormous. We look forward to continuing and keeping you posted as we progress.