Quick question: How many Spitfires regularly fly?

Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years 7 months

Posts: 9,679

A Spitfire, IX SL 633, is moving from one branch of a collection to the local branch where I volunteer, so it's time to brush up on my Spit stats...

So, how many Spitfires regularly fly (not counting airworthy examples stuck in museums, etc).

I trust the collective wisdom here more than other sourced...

Thanks

Original post
Profile picture for user dhfan

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20 years 5 months

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I think this is pretty convincing proof that the Spitfire Brains Trust have decamped, I imagine never to return.

A year or two ago you'd have had more replies than you could shake a stick at.

I've always reckoned there are usually somewhere around 50, with the rate of attrition matched by the number of restorations but I don't know an exact figure.

Profile picture for user Ant.H

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20 years 5 months

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The oft-quoted figure is around fifty, so you're on safe ground quoting that number I would have thought. 

Enjoy that Spit, a rounded rudder Mk.IX is a lot of people's idea of the perfect Spitfire. Such unusual markings too, a good opportunity to talk about the contribution of the Czechs and other nationalities in the wartime RAF and the difficult days that followed in post-war Czechoslovakia. 

 

Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years 7 months

Posts: 9,679

Thanks for the replies...

Dhfan....You're correct, back in the "old days" when this was the best aviation forum in the world, I would have had an answer in minutes...and likely started a small war as the Spitfire guys argued among one another.

Oh well.

Shall you call the coroner or should I?  This place is officially dead. 

In the meantime, I looked up wiki...that comes out to something like 52:  40 in the UK, 7 in the US, 3 in NZ...I each in Canada and OZ...

 

Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years 7 months

Posts: 9,679

Ant.H...

Yes, SL633 is in beautiful shape. Before the Foundation relocated to Spokane, John Sessions brought it to Felts Field for the annual "Neighbor Day". It's a free event and the aircraft was simply parked in the open to give everyone a good view...I suspect many UK enthusiasts would have been envious for that opportunity.

 

I'm looking forward to spending time with it once the facility reopens.

 

Since the Spokane museum opened in December, I've had the pleasure to spend a lot of time around the "B" model Mustang, it too is in excellent condition. And Sessions is very accessible, he enjoys sharing the aircraft with the public. 

 

BTW: He told me he prefers flying the Spitfire over the Mustang...high praise from a man who owns and flies both.

Profile picture for user DH82EH

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7 years 4 months

Posts: 550

In Canada, it is exactly one.
So you'll have to excuse me for getting a bit testy when people moan about "another two seater" or some other nonsense.
Also, you are totally correct about this forum. The last time a Spitfire question was posted, I, a lowly Canadian was the first to show up with the goods! :D
At this rate, in another year, the answer to the posed Spitfire question will be.... ...."what's a Spitfire?"

Profile picture for user woodbridge10

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13 years 1 month

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about 65 airworthy ? give or take !!

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2 years 4 months

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What is this spits fire thing you speak of?

Just kidding. Sort of. 

Profile picture for user DH82EH

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7 years 4 months

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There you see!!??
It's starting already......

Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years 7 months

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How quickly they forget.😊

I understand the type was famous for a battle somewhere...

 

Profile picture for user Fleet16b

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13 years 9 months

Posts: 269

Here in Canada we had one Spitfire but it has now moved on

The only thing we have now is a replica MkIX that was built from scratch by Vintage Wings of Canada.

There are some Spitfire bits in it, engine , instruments etc  but that's about it.

A lovely recreation but one that did not start from any actual airframe and has 0 provenance.

As VWC themselves say " its the first Spitfire built in Canada" .

VWC no longer operates the aircraft in the collection and they have all been transferred back to the Mike Potter Collection. 

Operations at VWC have been winding down over the past couple of years and most of the aircraft have been mothballed for some time now .

Even more so post Corsair incident last year

It seems that the aircraft are slowly being sold off though some due to them  having doubles.

sold off:

Lysander, Swordfish , Spitfire , Hurricane , Fleet Finch , Foxmoth , Waco Taperwing, Sabre ,

 

Profile picture for user Fleet16b

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13 years 9 months

Posts: 269

Good news

Ive just heard that the VWC replica has just completed its annual inspection and the test flight will happen soon👍

Replica or not it’s better than nothing.