Preview: A Completely Different Venture, Building Your Own Spitfire

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We have a soft spot in our hearts for exceptional designs as well as for people who manage a career altering leap into a new career involving hands-on work. Building a new Spitfire—arguably the greatest fighter plane of World War II—checks all of these boxes and many more.

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21 Responses So Far to “A Completely Different Venture, Building Your Own Spitfire

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    Charley Humphrey says:

    So glad he’s doing this! I was lucky enough to start my aviation career when the WWII pilots were just ending theirs. Worked with a Romanian bf 109 pilot, an American RCAF pilot who flew the Hampden, Whitley, and Halifax, and was taught everything I needed to know about flying overweight DC-3s by a former ATC Hump pilot and a guy who flew B-25 strafers in the Pacific. There is no way to replace the knowledge, experience, and downright fun that the WWII generation brought to flying and I’m sad to say the flying world is lesser for their absence.

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    Frank McCann says:

    I have lived in Hobart all my life, and my father Fred McCann (also from Hobart) flew Spitfires in WW II in both the UK and in Northern Australia when he returned from the Europe Theatre of War. He always felt privileged to “own” a Spit, and said that flying one felt like the aircraft was a natural extension of himself. I will have to start looking in all the waterfront shed near Hobart to locate this fantastic project.

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    That was wonderful. Such a great question to ask about the take-off procedure. I had no idea there would be so much torque of various kinds to account for. Must make it even more dodgy in a cross-wind take-off and landing! Those familiar with Reginald Mirtchell’s designs that predated Spitfire will recall the Schneider Trophy events of the ’20s and ’30s for float/seaplanes. Even then Mitchell’s Supermarine series with floats attained speeds over 300 knots:

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    James Harris says:

    The enthusiasm and dedication enthral me enitirely. I am going to have to watch this several times.

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    Ian Anderson says:

    Thanks yet again OCH, for another outstanding Real World vid. A good friend of mine passed away 4 years ago. He was a Spitfire pilot in WWII at the age of 19 and had a seemingly endless supply of fabulous stories from that time. I really regret not recording them – we will not see their like again, I feel, but Rod is certainly the next best thing! I hope he sees the project to completion, he deserves it.

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    Philip Myer says:

    Maynard did not mention that the shed where this fantastic aircraft is being built, is right on the water amongst all the old boatbuilding sheds near Hobart. Steve and Maynard were looking for wooden boats when they stumbled across a Spitfire!

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    Robert De Leo says:

    two living treasures in a riveting conversation…I am inspired by the wisdom and depth of experience…what a treat and a great addition to the video library of OCH….thank you, thank you, thank you.

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    Chris Mills says:

    Amazing! The take off procedure description sounded so real and so full of yearning to fly. Thank you for another wonderful insight into creativity and passion.

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    Bert van Baar says:

    Wauw, what a man! Building this beautiful new Spitfire.
    Makes me think of one of my students from last year boatbuilding class asking us permission to build an airplane instead of a boat!
    OK why not: it is a hull too!
    He succeeded building a Super Koala airplane in 2 years. only the skin layers had to be shrieked on the hull!
    Strange thing though: I meet a lot of men liking boats as much as airplanes!

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    Jerry Kirschenbaum says:

    Maynard you devil ! …….What a wonderful experience and great man of character. I am also another of the semi-closet Spitfire worshippers. Now finishing up a 1/24 super-scale model of the original Merlin 12-cylinder engine. The super detail cockpit is already done with all the instrument labels in the right place. I have also managed to mount a 1942 Mark I Spitfire navigation/chart light in a much safer place in the ongoing restoration of my 1972 Series III Land Rover. A great privilege of many years ago was meeting Douglas Bader….who lost both legs in a pre-WWII flying accident and then returned to the RAF to lead a squadron of Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. He could out-turn the ME-109’s because the blood did not take so long to return to his brain when pulling G loads and reduce the duration or intensity of a blackout. What people!

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    John Bukowsky says:

    It’s a tribute to great design and engineering. Originally built as a war machine and now brought back to life as a performance show piece. Bravo! It will be beautiful. Impressive dedication to its construction. Thanks for sharing.

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    Burton Blais says:

    Fascinating! Those RAF pilots were quite something – I understand the originals had a problem with the carbs flooding in a barrel roll, and the pilots had to adjust their approach in a dog fight accordingly, lest the Messerschmidts exploit the flaw. They were amazing men, flying amazing machines. Proud to count my canuck great-uncle among them. Wonderful history, the likes of which we’ll never see again…

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      Paul Usher says:

      This flooding was fixed by a women pilot/engineer called Tilly Shilling
      Check this amazing woman out thru Google

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    Alan Bright says:

    A tribute to lose that lost their lives flying this iconic plane, Close to home in that my mothers first husband was shot down flying a spitfire over the North Sea after being married for just a few weeks, still so very young as most of the pilots were.

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    Rod McLaren says:

    Very impressive. It certainly provides a different perspective on the 1400 hours I spent on my last boat build. Thanks once again for sharing a most interesting project, OCH.

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    Ian Thomson says:

    Wow, talk about channeling a potentially devastating condition into a very productive venture. I’m very impressed by the size of Rod’s commitment as well as the apparent quality of his work. My hat goes off to him, (plus really looking forward to seeing it fly!)

  • suzan

    suzan says:

    WoW…..great peek into the parallel universe of aircraft to watercraft. I can see why so many make the leap from flying to sailing~

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    Jason Prew says:

    That’s amazing. I look forward to seeing it fly!

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    Ed Altonji says:

    Thank you! The spitfire is also my all time favorite airplane of any type. I hope OCH gets the opportunity to return and see her fly. Well done.


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