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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:52 pm 
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Robert Mikesh, former Senior Curator of the National Air & Space Museum, in ‘Restoring Museum Aircraft’ Briefly defines them as follows:
“Original: A specimen that can be shown to be in the original as-built configuration, or as modified by the user, that remains unaltered from the time it ended operational service.” The Spirit of St Louis as example.
“Restored original (Restoration): An artifact composed of at least 50% original components (by surface area or volume) and the remainder returned to accurate early condition made with the same materials, components and accessories.” – He quotes it as a National Museum of the United States Air Force (USAFM) definition.
“Replica: A reproduction built by the builder of the original artifact in part or in total.” Another (USAFM) definition. If it’s got original bits, he says ‘Replica with some Original Parts’.
“Reproduction: A reasonable facsimile in appearance and construction of an aircraft made with similar materials, and having substantially the same type engine and operating systems.”

From Joe Norris, EAA Aviation Center, Oshkosh, WI

“The basic difference between doing a restoration and building a replica is what you start with. A restoration means that you have an existing aircraft that you disassemble, repair as necessary, and reassemble.
A replica is a new aircraft constructed from raw materials that has the same specifications as the aircraft it replicates.

The data plate on the restoration would indicate the original manufacturer, the original serial number, and the original model.
The data plate on the replica would indicate the name of the builder of the replica (not the manufacturer name of the original aircraft that's being replicated), and would have a serial number and model name assigned by the builder of the replica.”


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:44 am 
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With all due respect to the EAA, they seemingly give awards annually to aircraft that don't fit their definitions.
A largely new warbird by their definition is a replica, but nearly all have the factory data plate on them, not one from the rebuild or restoration shop.

Do restoration shops even put their own data plates on their work?
Not that I've seen.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:04 am 
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ALOHADAVE wrote:
“Original: A specimen that can be shown to be in the original as-built configuration, or as modified by the user, that remains unaltered from the time it ended operational service.” The Spirit of St Louis as example.
“Restored original (Restoration): An artifact composed of at least 50% original components (by surface area or volume) and the remainder returned to accurate early condition made with the same materials, components and accessories.” – He quotes it as a National Museum of the United States Air Force (USAFM) definition.
“Replica: A reproduction built by the builder of the original artifact in part or in total.” Another (USAFM) definition. If it’s got original bits, he says ‘Replica with some Original Parts’.
“Reproduction: A reasonable facsimile in appearance and construction of an aircraft made with similar materials, and having substantially the same type engine and operating systems.”

A definition that I have also encountered is a 'Facsimile', which is used for aircraft that look the same on the outside, but may be of entirely different construction inside. The various plastic Spitfires and Hurricanes that are currently used as gate guards would fit this description, but are often referred to as replicas.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:15 am 
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Personally i have no problem calling a newly constructed aircraft that was designed by Messerschmitt or Supermarine a Messerschmitt 109 or a Supermarine Spitfire. If it's genuinely identical (or as near as possible) in construction, then it seems petty to remove the name of the company who put all the work in designing it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:21 pm 
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All ya need to know .... :wink:

https://tighar.org/Projects/Histpres/guide.html

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:01 pm 
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Let's imagine that it is the year 2119. Spitfires no longer fly but are just artifacts in museums or tucked away in the collections of rich, eccentric individuals. Do those Spitfires which contain high percentages of actual Supermarine produced metal command higher prices than those primarily made from new metal? I will bet they do. And that is when this debate will get settled.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:56 pm 
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If they no longer fly..or ground run (because gasoline will be banned), I don't think there will be much of a market for them.

They are valuable now because some rich guys want investments, and bragging rights to pronounce "I have a Spitfire" at the club (either a proper "gentleman's club"...like the RAC in the UK, or country club in the U.S.).
Once they become static, that market will pretty much vanish but there will be a few in private hands of WWII buffs even though they don't fly (much like some car guys buy recently retired F1 race cars that are too exotic to run in vintage races).
All the government-sponsored museums will have one.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:49 am 
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C VEICH wrote:
Let's imagine that it is the year 2119. Spitfires no longer fly but are just artifacts in museums or tucked away in the collections of rich, eccentric individuals. Do those Spitfires which contain high percentages of actual Supermarine produced metal command higher prices than those primarily made from new metal? I will bet they do. And that is when this debate will get settled.



Eh, won't matter. Vintage aircraft are lousy investments in the long run anyway. The most expensive Mustang or Spitfire has lost 75%+ of its value from new (adjusted for inflation using calculators optimized for government purchases), and the time value of a similar amount of money in even the lowest ROI fund is a much better bet.

The guy that WANTS a Mustang will have one.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:10 am 
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I think that the market for vintage aircraft that can't be flown will be awful. At that point they are just giant paperweights that cost a lot of money to house and maintain, for no other benefit than looking at them. As opposed to a painting, where a $50 million Renoir can hang on any apartment wall, housing even a relatively small airplane like a Spitfire will be well outside the realm of possibility for most everyone. And even rich folks are usually fairly practical with their money. They are looking for bang for their buck. If there are 150 or so Mustangs that exist in 100 years, but none of them can fly, I bet that you would be able to get one pretty cheaply.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:29 pm 
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ALOHADAVE wrote:
Robert Mikesh, former Senior Curator of the National Air & Space Museum, in ‘Restoring Museum Aircraft’ Briefly defines them as follows:
“Original: A specimen that can be shown to be in the original as-built configuration, or as modified by the user, that remains unaltered from the time it ended operational service.” The Spirit of St Louis as example.
“Restored original (Restoration): An artifact composed of at least 50% original components (by surface area or volume) and the remainder returned to accurate early condition made with the same materials, components and accessories.” – He quotes it as a National Museum of the United States Air Force (USAFM) definition.
“Replica: A reproduction built by the builder of the original artifact in part or in total.” Another (USAFM) definition. If it’s got original bits, he says ‘Replica with some Original Parts’.
“Reproduction: A reasonable facsimile in appearance and construction of an aircraft made with similar materials, and having substantially the same type engine and operating systems.”

I actually own this book and I can't believe I completely forgot about it. :roll: Thanks for bringing it up!

ALOHADAVE wrote:
From Joe Norris, EAA Aviation Center, Oshkosh, WI

“The basic difference between doing a restoration and building a replica is what you start with. A restoration means that you have an existing aircraft that you disassemble, repair as necessary, and reassemble.
A replica is a new aircraft constructed from raw materials that has the same specifications as the aircraft it replicates.

The data plate on the restoration would indicate the original manufacturer, the original serial number, and the original model.
The data plate on the replica would indicate the name of the builder of the replica (not the manufacturer name of the original aircraft that's being replicated), and would have a serial number and model name assigned by the builder of the replica.”

This one I hadn't seen before, but is also excellent.

Mark Allen M wrote:

Man, I had forgotten about this one too! Thanks for bringing up another great source.

Say what you will about their Amelia Earhart searches, but TIGHAR really did some excellent work moving the field of academic warbird care forward.

C VEICH wrote:
Let's imagine that it is the year 2119. Spitfires no longer fly but are just artifacts in museums or tucked away in the collections of rich, eccentric individuals. Do those Spitfires which contain high percentages of actual Supermarine produced metal command higher prices than those primarily made from new metal? I will bet they do. And that is when this debate will get settled.

It really bothers me that this discussion is dominated by money and market value. Sure, what people want will determine value, but their is a disconnect between value and authenticity/originality. The bottom line is that no amount of money will ever change whether an airframe is a restoration or a reproduction or replica. It may change people's perception of what one is because how they are (mis)represented, but the actual matter remains entirely separate.

EDIT: Here's a few more relevant links:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:02 pm 
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Noha307 wrote:
C VEICH wrote:
Let's imagine that it is the year 2119. Spitfires no longer fly but are just artifacts in museums or tucked away in the collections of rich, eccentric individuals. Do those Spitfires which contain high percentages of actual Supermarine produced metal command higher prices than those primarily made from new metal? I will bet they do. And that is when this debate will get settled.


It really bothers me that this discussion is dominated by money and market value. Sure, what people want will determine value, but their is a disconnect between value and authenticity/originality. The bottom line is that no amount of money will ever change whether an airframe is a restoration or a reproduction or replica. It may change people's perception of what one is because how they are (mis)represented, but the actual matter remains entirely separate.



My point being that when these aircraft are no longer flying and are reduced to being just static artifacts, then there will be no disconnect because, I suspect, authenticity/originality will be the determining factor when it comes to value.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:34 pm 
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Noha307 wrote:
It really bothers me that this discussion is dominated by money and market value.

Don't stress it. Most all discussions related to this topic eventually end up that way.

Noha307 wrote:
but their is a disconnect between value and authenticity/originality.

I'd suggest you have it backwards. "It's Proven: The Science Behind Why People Value Authentic Products. Studies show consumers prefer a product that they believe has the aura of authenticity. ... The main takeaway here is that consumers place a higher value on products they believe contain the aura of authenticity, warbirds included.


Noha307 wrote:
The bottom line is that no amount of money will ever change whether an airframe is a restoration or a reproduction or replica.

Again, I'd suggest you have it flipped. It's ALL about the money. Money will always determine the outcome of whatever you wish your airframe to be referred as. However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are most likely referring to an already completed airframe and that money would never change it's designation. Doesn't mean you can't take all that money and tear it apart and rebuild the thing at whatever standard you want it to be.

Noha307 wrote:
It may change people's perception of what one is because how they are (mis)represented, but the actual matter remains entirely separate.

Not sure what this means, but I'll add that NO amount of money can buy taste, class, dedication and a commitment to excellence if the one with all the money chooses not to care about the aforementioned. Originality Comes From Authenticity.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:54 am 
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C VEICH wrote:

My point being that when these aircraft are no longer flying and are reduced to being just static artifacts, then there will be no disconnect because, I suspect, authenticity/originality will be the determining factor when it comes to value.



Why do you make the assumption that these planes (and others) won't be flying 20, 50, 100 years from now?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:57 am 
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Saville wrote:
Why do you make the assumption that these planes (and others) won't be flying 20, 50, 100 years from now?


I can't speak for C VEICH, but as I said above, my guess will be lack of AVGAS. Listen to some politicians, they want only electric cars in 20-25 years.
Good luck trying to get the very small supply of AVGAS needed for warbirds 50-100 years from now.

You can have rich collectors, teams of expert mechanic and restorers, but no one will have a refinery in their pocket. Even the Vulcan group doesn't have that kind of money. And if they did, the environmental lobby won't allow it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:06 am 
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JohnB wrote:
Saville wrote:
Why do you make the assumption that these planes (and others) won't be flying 20, 50, 100 years from now?


I can't speak for C VEICH, but as I said above, my guess will be lack of AVGAS. Listen to some politicians, they want only electric cars in 20-25 years.
Good luck trying to get the very small supply of AVGAS needed for warbirds 50-100 years from now.

You can have rich collectors, teams of expert mechanic and restorers, but no one will have a refinery in their pocket. Even the Vulcan group doesn't have that kind of money. And if they did, the environmental lobby won't allow it.


No avgas? Not buying that opinion. First off electric cars do not suddenly ground jet transports. Secondly the market for avgas is very large as prop driven airplanes make up a large section of an economy.

Thirdly don't forget technology.

Fourthly not a foregone conclusion that the political outcome will be what you suspect.


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