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Steve in Ottawa

Spitfire wing repairs in wartime

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7 hours ago, noelh said:

Yes indeed but surely the actual identity of the aircraft is on the data plate? So even the fuselage is a mere spare too. Controversially some restored Spitfires are started with a data plate and perhaps a firewall and maybe armour plate. 

In modern times with modular jet engines. I've seen the ultimate result of this mix and matching where literally the only original part of the engine sn XX1234 was the spot where the data plate was fixed.


Any and every part of an aeroplane is in theory replaceable, it just depends upon whether it's financially viable, you have the time, skills, energy documentation and the will is there, people often think of aircraft like cars, whilst using a car as an analogy to explain maintenance cycles that's really where the similarity ends.


7 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Anything mechanical is made up of parts, like the axe of various mythical characters and unknown numbers of grandparents.  Only six new heads and five new handles...  Aircraft restoration from only a dataplate is a modern habit, with the CAA turning a blind eye to the creation of new airframes without exposing them to all the requirements of a genuinely new airframe.  As you said, controversial, but it's a fiddle from which everyone benefits, providing the CAA pays close attention (and it does) to the quality of the people doing the work (which is high).  It isn't what was done in the past.  In harsh truth, these are new airframes with an old dataplate. Hush, someone might be listening.


But of course to the general public and the news organisations, these remain vintage aircraft, not what they are, essentially new airframes, engines and other systems which are cosseted and cared for.

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