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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:33 pm 
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Ok, break out your thinking beverage of choice:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Joe Scheil wrote:
Fleet16b wrote:
Interesting , usually taboo, subject
I was recently involved in a discussion about this.
An example, of the aprrox 58 flying Spitfires in the world, on abot 25-28 are actual Spitfires. The rest are brandnew except for the engine and some original instruments etc. . They are in reality replicas, not actual WW2 airframes.
The term "dataplate restoration" comes to mind and there are a lot of aircraft out there that are just that.
Take an airframe from the jungle, from saltwater , that came out of a beach in France, we all know that besides the dataplate , nothing is really re-useable. So essentially you used the parts as patterns and build a new airplane.
IMHO that make it a replica of but NOT the original aircraft.
However , EAA feels different . At last years Osh a WW2 British Fighter ran away with a heck of a lot of awards and it is by all rights not an original example. I know for fact an identity was purchased in the UK and attached to the project. EAA in their own rules now say that "replica warbirds " qualify for a Grand Champion Award .
Bottom line, if I was going to shell out millions for a WW1or 2 AIRCARFT , I would sure want it to be REAL, and have some actual provenance .



They are not legally replicas, that is a label you have applied. Generally the registration and restoration reflects the view that the original aircraft has been resurrected.

You need to define the word REAL. What does that mean exactly? Does it mean original paint tires and factory supplied air in the tires? What about magnesium rivets? Original hardware? Does an operational repair of battle damage lower the value of a REAL aircraft? How bout a ground loop in 1946? 1976? 2019? It’s an impossible standard. There are only a couple original paint Spitfires in the world, unchanged in many ways from when they left service. They are generally state owned, and are more artifact then aircraft. They should never be destroyed by restoration or a misguided idea they should return to the air in my opinion.

So that leaves guys like me without desire to recover, restore and return one to the air. Maybe that’s a guy like you too. If I spend 20 years trying to do it, and lovingly craft each piece as originally done, incorporate an identity and parts I have scoured the world for, and make it exactly true to every other one extant..... Then it’s a gosh danged F’n Spitfire. To see PL983 flying again is inspiration for many. With her original windscreen and other things I think she is best called a restoration. She was restored to flight. Long may this practice continue.

A "home built" aircraft must be 51% made from scratch . I could suggest that unless 51% of the original aircraft is used to constitute "REAL" , if not then it is not said aircraft . Its a "replica" or "reproduction" (take your choice)
I'm sure suggesting this will open a can of worms

Further calling a newbuild aircraft and original is certainly insulting to the guy that rescues an actual original airframe, painstakingly restores it and returns it to the air.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:10 pm 
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A replica? A reproduction? .... Be happy your airplane isn't called a Knockoff.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:17 pm 
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shrike wrote:
Ok, break out your thinking beverage of choice:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus


That is a really good starting point for a beverage, but I must go aviate so that can’t happen. Perhaps it is best to think of Spitfires like rivers. Ancient, ever changing, at times life taking, but also life giving and naturally beautiful if protected and preserved. And if I ever get to strap one on....I will think of this metaphor.

All the best, and a great point....it is the core of our discussion.


Last edited by Joe Scheil on Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:44 pm 
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Replica, real or continuation Shelby Cobra?

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-04-15-vw-23029-story.html


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm 
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bdk wrote:
Replica, real or continuation Shelby Cobra!


Don't even go there!
Even Shelby got into the act with various "continuation" cars (made by other firms but sold with his blessing and stamped with Shelby serials (albeit in a higher series number).
Then there were the alleged old leftover frames with period serials he said he found...

And AC, the builder of the original, engineless cars shipped to Shelby back in the day, built continuation cars...with late model (in the '90s) Mustang engines and other proprietary parts (like relocated fuel tanks with Jaguar fillers) and modern safety bits like side market lights to get DoT safety approval.

Yes, they were cars built by the same company, but under the skin shared little with the cars made in the '60s. Many Cobra replicas were far more authentic....but didn't have the cache of being built by AC.

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Last edited by JohnB on Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:59 pm 
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BDK and JohnB Great to see you here as always. For any Cobra buyer I recommend a detailed look at the CSX number as some have been resurrected from flame melted remains (sounds familiar). Each CSX number has a history. Some a lot better history than others. Each “thousand” CSX is a step away from the first one, CSX2000. CSX3000 was the first 427 car. 4000 and aboves are cousins and sisters perhaps. The current Market price tells you what people think of them.

https://www.supercars.net/blog/1988→2010-shelby-cobra-427-sc-continuation-series/

And here is a “genuine” 4000 series car selling for one tenth what a real one is worth. 1/10th is similar to what a Flugwerk 190 may be off the real thing as a starting point as I would value a real FW as at least $10M USD.


https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1999- ... tinuation/


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:14 pm 
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Joe Scheil wrote:
The ultimate arbiter in many ways is the marketplace, as informed buyers and informed sellers set and negotiate prices that reflect the originality, accuracy and provenance of these collectible goods. When we look at the actual sale prices for some of these artifacts, the truth becomes a bit more self evident. Look at the value of a completed Flug Werk 190. Look at the cost of an original BMW 801 Kraft Ei. What would Paul Allen’s original engine restored Fw-190A be worth? Probably 15 to 20 times what a “reproduction” could be worth. Look at the supply, originality and condition of each example and put yourself in a collector mentality with a bit of discretionary funds. What one would you chase?


This is why we have all different interpretations of what is a "replica", "reproduction", "restoration", etc. You mention the Flug Werke Fw-190's, which are of course different in a great many respects to that of an original - not built to the same tolerances, vary in the design of parts, and powered by different engines. How about a different comparison, such as an airplane like the Collings Foundation's Fw-190F-8, which is almost entirely newly-built, but to original pattern parts/design, and powered by a BMW 801, and being referred to as a "replica" or "reproduction". Now, if the Collings airplane ever came on the market, and the FHCAM example (which is often described as being at least 90% original) came on the market, would they really be that far off in prices? Does the knowledge of what's original in the airplane, and what's not, actually count that much for those that have the money to spend on them? As another example, if they both came on the market, would the P-51C "Lope's Hope 3rd" be worth any different amount, based on amount of original parts contained, than Kermit Weeks' P-51C "Ina the Macon Belle"? With a plane such as the Collings Foundation's "Pearl Harbor" P-40B, which is just as new-build as the number of Mustangs/Spitfires so often thrown about, it just so happens that the narrative that has been put out there projects it as the true, original article, though when you actually look into the "restoration", you see where just about every piece of that airplane was built new, and of course it had to, otherwise it would not exist other than a box of parts collected from a mountainside after several decades. I can't see calling it a "replica", just as I can't see calling the newly-manufactured Spitfires and Mustangs "replicas", which have just as much claim, in most cases, to an original ID/provenance.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:17 pm 
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If you read FlyPast magazine, every month they breathlessly report on the latest Spitfire news.
The other month they did something rare, they showed the actual Spitfire bits that will emerge from a workshop in a couple of years a a flying aircraft. They laid out the bits in the outline of a Spitfire. I'm no A&P, but there were few, if any, parts that looked decent enough to go into a flyer without total rebuilding.

I asked the question on their forum about the CAA's criteria for how much was necessary for the authorities to say it was a "Spitfire" and not a homebuilt. The international expert who makes his living finding Spitfire projects, gave a terse reply to my query that there was enough in this case to satisfy the CAA. No further explanation was offered.

I have a hunch that because of the type's iconic, pretty much mythical status in the UK, they give known rebuilders a very wide birth in their definitions, to keep a healthy population of the type flying.
I dare say if someone tried the same "all new rebuild by someone not the original builder" tactic rebuilding a Bonanza or some other general aviation type, they would not be amused and the rebuild would never fly.
Just my hunch.

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Last edited by JohnB on Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:29 pm 
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JohnB wrote:
If you read FlyPast magazine, every month they breathlessly report on the latest Spitfire news.
The other month they did something rare, they showed the actual Spitfire bits that will emerge from a workshop in a couple of years a a flying aircraft. They laid out the bits in the outline of a Spitfire. I'm no A&P, but there were few, if any, parts that looked decent enough to go into a flyer without total rebuilding.

This one? Spitfire AA810
Image


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:47 pm 
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Let’s put this another way

I take a WW2 Veteran and give him a whole new replica uniform etc yet he is wearing his original dog tags
Does that make him an authentic WW2 Vet .,.. yes it does

Now take his son , who cane from the DNA of that Vet
Put the vets original dog tags around his neck , put the new uniform on him
Does that constitute a WW2 Veteran ? Not in my eye
But why not there is lineage
This is basically the same argument used with dataplate new builds
Sorry, Replica, reproduction , newbuild , call the what you will but please don’t say they are real when they are clearly expensive homebuilts

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:39 pm 
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My greatest issue, in this type of discussion, is with those that are selective on their use of the terms - if one is so quick to refer to the latest Mustang or Spitfire as a "replica" or "reproduction", then you should't be refraining from using the same terminology for any other warbird type, no matter how rare/significant, if it has just as little, if not even less, original parts.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:41 pm 
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Thomas_Mac wrote:
This one?


Yes.
I'd like the opinion of other WIXers on my opinion on the useability of any bits.
As I said, I'm no A&P, but not a lot of useable bits there, IMHO.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:26 pm 
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Noha307 wrote:
...

JohnTerrell wrote:
To me, the terms "reproduction" and "re-manufacture" are much more fitting and accurate when used to describe a new-build warbird, since it speaks to the fact that the parts/airframe have been re-produced to original production spec - not just a likeness, but the exact same as any other originally-produced example. I know certain other individuals feel the same, as I've seen some people on forums purposefully use the term "replica" in a derogatory/defamatory manner, rather than use another term like "reproduction" or "re-manufacture". Another term I like is "clone", which I also feel properly respects the work done/effort gone into making an exact copy. When it comes to all of the new-build P-40's, Mustangs, Spitfires, what have you, with original ID's attached, I also like the phrase that Jim Harley has used, that being that the aircraft is a "ghost of" the previous aircraft for which it claims to be.

Interesting, what you're saying seems to jive with the suggestion I've seen elsewhere that the distinction is that reproductions are more authentic than replicas. (I ran into it when talking about Avro 504s with John Gaertner of Blue Swallow Aircraft.)

The thing about "re-manufacture" is that it is a term that is used to refer to airframes that have undergone significant amounts of rework during their original service careers – usually to zero-time the airframes. (e.g. F-14D(R) or C-45G/H) For that reason I feel like it could be confusing.


When the public use of 'replica' encompasses examples that are so far away from the original, then if you are using it in a narrower sense you need to define it. If you are defining a term every time you use it in order to distinguish our usage from the common one, it isn't a useful term.

Those using 'Reproduction' as more authentic than 'Replica' include The Vintage Aviator. They own many replicas (e.g several Fokker Dr.1s with modern engine designs), but only machines that they manufacture to original spec (with original or new-build engines) are reproductions. They do however use modern production methods, which can lead to things like their new-build engines having higher output than the originals are rated at (due to better tolerances etc)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:39 pm 
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JohnB wrote:
Since then, firms and fans have made Le Mans Replica replicas.

I love it! :lol: Reminds me of the F11F-1F designation for the Super Tiger for some reason.

old iron wrote:
As a case in point, the Smithsonian has a Curtiss Headless Pusher that was built by Glenn Curtiss as something of a nostalgic exercise after WWI. While this may include some original parts that were sitting around the shop, this is not an original pre-WWI pusher, as this was assembled after the war, but this is REAL Curtiss Pusher -- assembled by Glenn Curtiss at the Curtiss factory in NY. That I understand is a replica.

Great example! You got me thinking about the oldest reproduction/replica airplane I had heard of and I remembered the Garland-Lincoln LF-1. It also made me think of NEAM's Bunce Homebuilt Replica of a Curtiss Pusher.

Joe Scheil wrote:
This is a good discussion, and everyone brings up great points.

Agreed.

Joe Scheil wrote:
They are not legally replicas, that is a label you have applied.

Yes, but, as I mentioned above, the law is not the be-all, end-all of originality.

Joe Scheil wrote:
It’s an impossible standard.

I disagree. It may be difficult, but not impossible. Ironically, if you base you standard of what is a replica on the law, the FAA has an answer for you: 51%.

Joe Scheil wrote:
There are only a couple original paint Spitfires in the world, unchanged in many ways from when they left service. They are generally state owned, and are more artifact then aircraft. They should never be destroyed by restoration or a misguided idea they should return to the air in my opinion.

Agreed.

Joe Scheil wrote:
So that leaves guys like me without desire to recover, restore and return one to the air. Maybe that’s a guy like you too. If I spend 20 years trying to do it, and lovingly craft each piece as originally done, incorporate an identity and parts I have scoured the world for, and make it exactly true to every other one extant..... Then it’s a gosh danged F’n Spitfire. To see PL983 flying again is inspiration for many. With her original windscreen and other things I think she is best called a restoration. She was restored to flight. Long may this practice continue.

That's all well and good. If they want to go for it and rebuild an airframe like AA810, that's their prerogative. However, they have to be prepared to call it a reproduction and not a restoration. To do otherwise is intellectually dishonest. Old Rhinebeck's website offers a good contrast. On their collection pages they label each airframe as "original" or "reproduction". A similar idea, but in a slightly different issue, is the issue of restoration versus conservation, as exemplified by the restorations page on Century Aviation's website. Any museum or restorer that identifies that distinction and publicly states it immediately gains credibility points in my book. Again, this isn't to say you can't restore to fly. This isn't even to say that it is not a worthwhile endeavor – it most certainly can be! Flying aircraft offer a wholly different, but equally vital experience. You just have to be willing to call a spade a spade.

bdk wrote:

Although I know nothing about classic cars, I have to say that's a very good – and relevant – article.

JohnTerrell wrote:
My greatest issue, in this type of discussion, is with those that are selective on their use of the terms - if one is so quick to refer to the latest Mustang or Spitfire as a "replica" or "reproduction", then you should't be refraining from using the same terminology for any other warbird type, no matter how rare/significant, if it has just as little, if not even less, original parts.

Agreed. I'm not sure I've ever run across this particular issue, but based on what you say the issue must be out there. If so, I certainly agree that the standards must be the same across the board.

FWIW, my greatest issue in these debates are the people that throw their hands up and say, "welp, this is a very complex and difficult issue, so it's all relative", because it stops all further discussion. (That, and the people who cite Washington's axe, or some other random example, rather than the Ship of Theseus, which has a much better series of philosophy built up around it.)

ErrolC wrote:
When the public use of 'replica' encompasses examples that are so far away from the original, then if you are using it in a narrower sense you need to define it. If you are defining a term every time you use it in order to distinguish our usage from the common one, it isn't a useful term.

Just to make the definition issue that much more complex, when discussing aircraft I like to make the distinction between "authentic" and "original". An authentic restoration would be one that, say, uses a radio of the correct model that was manufacturer during the war, but came from a different airframe. An original restoration would be one that uses the exact radio that was used by that particular airframe during the war.

To move back towards answering the original question, so far I've seen two major competing ways of what makes a the difference between a reproduction and a replica:
  • Involvement of the original builder/manufacturer
  • Level of authenticity (particularly in terms of construction)

The former seems to be the older understanding and apparently comes from classic car culture.

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