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 Post subject: Reproduction vs. Replica
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:23 pm 
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What distinction, if any, do you guys make between the terms reproduction and replica? (Note that I am not asking about the difference between restoration and reproduction/replica.) Are they synonymous to you? Does one imply a greater level of historical accuracy than the other?

I've thought about this and the one thing I can offer is that if you take the term "reproduction" literally, it would refer to any airframe built during a restarting of mass production (e.g. Flug Werk 190), rather than being a one-off. However, I doubt anyone uses the term this way.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:17 pm 
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Noha,

Great topic. Everyone likes this! Authenticity is a sliding scale in my opinion. If you ar selling vs buying is a real good place to have an opinion on it too!

Noha307 wrote:
I've thought about this and the one thing I can offer is that if you take the term "reproduction" literally, it would refer to any airframe built during a restarting of mass production (e.g. Flug Werk 190), rather than being a one-off. However, I doubt anyone uses the term this way.


There is a reason why nobody uses it this way and that is because nobody has restarted mass production. Besides, that doesn’t work at all. If a manufacturer like Boeing happened to own the NAA P-51 “rights” and decided to make them from new as NAA Boeing P-51B-10 airframes for example, they are a continuation of production by the auspices of the original manufacturer. They are genuine articles, if not authentic to WWII. As an aside; The Flugwerk “run” is more of a kit plane/replica as it is not authentic to the original structure, engineering or powerplant of the original. It’s not a new build 190, but a plane sold as a kit that replicates the look of an Fw-190. It is not authentic in many respects to the original.

The term reproduction generally applies to parts, for example, with a vintage Corvette a reproduction quarter panel or seat cover that accurately matches a 1967 part but was or is newly made is a reproduction. To extend that, if a complete reproduction car is assembled from parts but picks up some original parts, and a “vin” from a rusted out car, it still is that car as per the paperwork. If it has no paperwork, and has a few original parts but is licensed as a 197 Chevy by a sympathetic DMV but without a corvette correct vin number it would be a reproduction car. The financial hit in doing this is severe so most find a car to resurrect.

With aircraft there will never be a mass produced run, or even a low rate production run of any kind. There will be new build parts. But labeling aircraft is problematic when you are an enthusiast who has no skin in the game. Especially when you call someone’s mega dollar restoration a very inflammatory word.

If the plane is registered with a correct serial number and has the correct paperwork to make it legally a P-51 for example, then that is what it is. The legal title of it is incontrovertible. If a perspective owner wants to know just how much is or is not “original” or if the plane is a resurrection then they probably contact a guy like me. When we look at an airframe for valuation these old labels like the ones you mention are really not applicable anymore. They are at the 75th anniversary of D Day now. In the next 25 years all active P-51’s will have had new longerons installed and will have been substantially rebuilt.

The real question: Is there any good and fair reason to stop the process, or label these individual efforts of restorers as something less than they are? NAA built them on a production line, and many new aircraft had defects that resulted in rework. I would postulate that every Mustang completed by industry today is better than anything NAA made.

But that’s only applicable to Mustangs. Apply the same logic to Zero’s or FW-190 and you run into supply problems. A correct new build but perfect FW-190 restored from a wreck is worth far more than a Mustang because real ones are unobtanium. That’s the real issue. Corvettes have huge supply of original perfect cars in comparison. How many FW-190’s have original paint and low miles?


Last edited by Joe Scheil on Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:38 pm 
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FWIW, in the old school automotive world, a replica was made by the factory, a reproduction was made by an owner.
For example if a Fallthorpe Snark competed at LeMans, the factory might make a dozen more cars to an identical specification (or nearly so) and and sell them as "Snark LeMans Replicas". If Joe Enthusiast took his pedestrian Snark and fitted it with all of the go-faster parts that the competition Snarks had, it would be a reproduction. (and chances are it would be a better car, as Joe Enthusiast would have learned from the factory's mistakes)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Great response Joe, and as Joe already said I like this topic Noha.

Joe, the "new-build" Yaks that took over where the old numbers ended (or however the story goes) where do those fall in?

I was also reading about the Hughes H-1 recently, never knew that Jim Wright's was granted serial #2. Is this really considered a replica at that point? I guess the distinction is the fact that Hughes Aircraft built the first one and not Jim Wright's..?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:42 pm 
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http://eaavintage.org/about-us/categori ... standards/

Perhaps this is a good read? What is interesting is that a Flug Werk Fw-190 would not qualify as a replica in this definition as it does not conform exactly to the manufacturers plans. However a new build P-51, like “Lope’s Hope” did. However it was not judged as a replica. It’s interesting and a consistently imperfect way to categorize aircraft. While “Hope” was registered as a P-51 it was never in any way disassembled and restored/replaced to fit that other definition...


Last edited by Joe Scheil on Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:47 pm 
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GRNDP51 wrote:
Great response Joe, and as Joe already said I like this topic Noha.

Joe, the "new-build" Yaks that took over where the old numbers ended (or however the story goes) where do those fall in?

I was also reading about the Hughes H-1 recently, never knew that Jim Wright's was granted serial #2. Is this really considered a replica at that point? I guess the distinction is the fact that Hughes Aircraft built the first one and not Jim Wright's..?



Jim Wright built as close as you could get and honored the extant original H-1 so strongly that anything other than continuation was not acceptable. The Ralph Rosanik P-6E Hawk is another one that comes to mind.

Industry and owners have learned to use the “continuation” term to describe these faithful latter day extensions of the production line.

At the end of it all, it’s probably not original paint. If it’s repainted is it with the correct paint, or a modern compound ext.. it can only be judged with the term “authentic” in many cases, in that it may appear to us as we think original MAY have looked like. There is no such thing as an “original” restoration. Once it’s restored it’s original character and innate authenticity are gone and replaced with a personal and individual interpretation of it. This is why original and untouched “stuff” is worth a mint in most other collectible arenas.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:52 pm 
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I've always disliked the term "replica" when used to describe any warbird (including WWI types) that has been built to original spec, that is in no way different to an original version of the type, where in which every part is the same/interchangeable, made of the same material and design, etc. I feel this way because the term "replica" is so widely used and thrown about, including being applied to smaller-scale aircraft that happen to have only the smallest/slightest likeness in appearance, and with not a single part in common to that for which it is being called a replica of (the press in the UK recently reported on the crash of a "replica Spitfire", that actually happened to be a Midget Mustang).

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.

To put it in perspective, I cringe when anyone refers to a Spitfire such as P9374 as a "replica", when it is the epitome of the most authentic Spitfires flying, as accurate/detailed as they get, and all the while the same term, "replica", is also used to describe any of the scaled-down, made of various materials, home-built Spitfires.

Looking through the EAA judging guidelines that Joe linked to, I can see that they even have trouble following their own standard/definition they have set. (BTW, since it has already been a subject included in this thread, I wouldn't say that the P-51C "Lope's Hope 3rd" is any more new build/reproduction than an aircraft such as the Collings Foundation's "Pearl Harbor" P-40B, to just throw out an example which I don't recall ever seeing referred to as a replica or reproduction, but is almost all newly-built as well.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:10 pm 
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Joe Scheil wrote:
Great topic. Everyone likes this!

Thanks! Glad you think so!

Joe Scheil wrote:
If a manufacturer like Boeing happened to own the NAA P-51 “rights” and decided to make them from new as NAA Boeing P-51B-10 airframes for example, they are a continuation of production by the auspices of the original manufacturer.

Oh boy, don't get me started on Boeing claiming the P-51 as part of their "heritage". :roll:

Seriously though. You reminded me of an attempt I made to try to determine at what point an aircraft should actually be considered a new model by laying out all the different scenarios. The subject is a bit different since it deals with the issue of model instead of replica/reproduction, but I figure that it is related enough to copy/paste my notes here:

Noha307 wrote:
Aircraft Name Change Hypotheticals
  • Company “A” designs, builds, and develops an improved version of an aircraft.
  • Company “A” design and builds an aircraft. Company “B” buys company “A” and develops an improved version of the aircraft.
    • e.g. Boeing E/A-18G Growler
  • Company “A” designs and builds an aircraft. Company “A” changes its name and develops an improved version of the aircraft.
    • e.g. Me 109
  • Company “A” designs, builds, and gives company “B” a license to build an aircraft.
    • e.g. TBM Avenger
  • Company “A” designs and builds an aircraft. Company “A” changes its name and continues to build the aircraft, but does not develop an improved version.
  • Company “A” designs and builds an aircraft. Company “B” buys some of the completed aircraft and remanufactures them.
    • e.g. Twin Navion, Bay Super V
  • Company “A” designs and builds an aircraft. Company “A” goes out of business. Company “B” buys the production rights to the aircraft and restarts production of the same version.
  • Company “A” designs and builds an aircraft. Company “A” goes out of business. Company “B” buys the rights to the aircraft and restarts production of an improved version.
    • e.g. Viking Air DHC-6 Series 400
  • Company “A” designs an aircraft. Company “B” builds it.
  • Company “A” is bought by company “B”. Company “B” continues to operate company “A” as a division of company “B”. Company “A” then designs and builds an aircraft.
    • e.g. Boeing-Stearman Model 75
  • Company “A” builds an aircraft. Company “B” buys company “A”. Company “B” buys back some of the aircraft built by company “A” and remanufactures them.

Owning a type certificate would seem to confer legitimacy in naming. However, the Federal Aviation Administration's rule that the manufacturer is whomever completes more than 50% of the work on the airframe seems to contradict this.

David H. Marion has written two absolutely excellent articles about when an aircraft should be judged to be one make and model or another.[1][2] They are a great look into an only rarely discussed aspect of aviation. Unfortunately, given his background as a mechanic, he only considers one potential arbiter of aircraft names – the FAA. However, looking at it from a historical – and not just a regulatory perspective – there are other sources of legitimacy.


Joe Scheil wrote:
As an aside; The Flugwerk “run” is more of a kit plane/replica as it is not authentic to the original structure, engineering or powerplant of the original. It’s not a new build 190, but a plane sold as a kit that replicates the look of an Fw-190. It is not authentic in many respects to the original.

I don't want to take this thread off topic, but to the best of my knowledge, the Flug Werk reproductions are (poor manufacturing quality aside) actually pretty authentic in terms of their structure. Except for the powerplant, wiring, and instruments, there is not much that is different (at least before any modifications by owners).

That being said, I do struggle to come up with a term to describe the work to complete the Flug Werk projects, as "restoration" is not an accurate descriptor since there are very little to no original parts.

Joe Scheil wrote:
The term reproduction generally applies to parts, for example, with a vintage Corvette a reproduction quarter panel or seat cover that accurately matches a 1967 part but was or is newly made is a reproduction.

So, if I understand what you're suggesting, it is that the term reproduction should apply only to parts?

shrike wrote:
FWIW, in the old school automotive world, a replica was made by the factory, a reproduction was made by an owner.

This is exactly the type of distinction I was looking for. Thanks.

GRNDP51 wrote:
Joe, the "new-build" Yaks that took over where the old numbers ended (or however the story goes) where do those fall in?

Coincidentally, if I were to use the strict definition of "reproduction" I mentioned above, they would be other warbird example that would be closest to qualifying. However, again, that is not really a definition anyone uses.

What's interesting to me is that, IIRC, the "new-build" Yaks were built with the help of some of the original factory workers. This would seem to confer additional legitimacy as "reproductions" since they would be constructed using the original techniques. (Which is something over and above modern restorers doing it according to the manuals. cf. Joe's comment about "defects") There is a reason that museums like NASM sent airframes back to be restored by original workers like those at Vought and Grumman.

Joe Scheil wrote:

Excellent link, thanks for sharing!

What's interesting to me is that it contradicts shrike's automotive definition of a replica above, as in that case a replica was made by the factory, while according to the EAA a replica was not made by the factory.

Joe Scheil wrote:
What is interesting is that a Flug Werk Fw-190 would not qualify as a replica in this definition as it does not conform exactly to the manufacturers plans.

What category would a Flug Werk Fw 190 fit in? Or does it not fit in any of the categories? (Which I assume would make it ineligible for the competition.)

Joe Scheil wrote:
However a new build P-51, like “Lope’s Hope” did.

Again, not to go off topic, but I've never been quite clear what the starting point for Lope's Hope was. I'd always assumed that there was some small part of a carcass they based the restoration on, but I've never known for certain.

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.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:36 am 
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shrike wrote:
FWIW, in the old school automotive world, a replica was made by the factory, a reproduction was made by an owner.
For example if a Fallthorpe Snark competed at LeMans, the factory might make a dozen more cars to an identical specifcation (or nearly so) and and sell them as "Snark LeMans Replicas".


Which is exactly what the British firm Frazer-Nash (not to be confused with the American Kaiser-Frazer firm or Nash autos) did with its Le Mans and TT racers. It made Le Mans and TT Replicas. Note the capitalization of the R in replica, it's an official factory model name.
Since then, firms and fans have made Le Mans Replica replicas.

Happily, when it comes to warbirds, no one used the term much, most people pretend their Spitfire is "factory real" (to coin a phrase) even when it's airframe is 95% new. But having a data plate and a couple of old parts lets everyone (liscencing authorities, museums, owners and enthusiasts) pretend they are original when they are not.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:04 am 
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What will complicate matters is that each industry and each regulatory body will have a word, or definition of a word, unique to itself. That same word may have a very different meaning applied to a different industry or regulatory body.

"Certificated" is a classic example. It's not only unique to aviation, it's poor grammar elsewhere. Meaning built by someone with a certificate, and not certified to be anything.

"Remanufatured" has a specific definition compared to overhauled - which also has a discreet definition. In A/C engines at least, only the original manufacturer can remanufacture an engine. Which is essentially an overhaul with the history erased and a new number issued.

In FAA parlance, our shop is definitely NOT a manufacturer. However for shipping purposes, we are, because we can address damage to a shipment, rather than seek replacement from a distributor.

Not even gonna touch on "theory" inside and outside of scientific usage

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:38 am 
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The distinction between "replica" and "reproduction" that I learned from Leo Opdycke (of WWI Aero and Skyways magazines) and have always applied is that a replica is built by the company of original manufacture, while a reproduction is built by someone else.

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.

If I were to build a Curtiss Pusher to exact standards, even including some original parts, it would never be a "Curtiss" Pusher, because it was not built by the Curtiss factory (or Glenn Curtiss). Perhaps this might be referred to as a McCartney-Curtiss Pusher, but this could never be a Curtiss Curtiss-Pusher. It would instead be a reproduction of a Curtiss Pusher.

I have always accepted this use of "replica" because: 1) this makes a real distinction between replica and reproduction, and 2) the usage fills a genuine need, meaning is-the-real-thing-but-not-the-real-old-thing.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:51 am 
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GRNDP51 wrote:
I was also reading about the Hughes H-1 recently, never knew that Jim Wright's was granted serial #2. Is this really considered a replica at that point? I guess the distinction is the fact that Hughes Aircraft built the first one and not Jim Wright's..?


The builder of an experimental aircraft can assign any serial number they want, Jim Wright picked #2, it wasn't granted to him.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:04 pm 
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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 ,in most cases, nothing is really re-useable. So essentially one uses the parts as patterns and build a new airplane
IMHO that makes 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. It started out with a very badly corroded un-useable firewall. 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 aircraft , I would sure want it to be REAL, and have some actual provenance .

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Last edited by Fleet16b on Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:08 pm 
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This is a good discussion, and everyone brings up great points.

One of the things that made me smile was seeing Rajay’s name and his viewpoints cited earlier. I very much enjoy Dave and his knowledge of the Grumman seaplanes is beyond compare. It is also completely true that even the FAA has no idea about the accurate registration of vintage aircraft, no did they care for many years. They are starting to care now, but in a misguided way in my opinion. They should not kill this industry because of some potential liability that does not factually exist.

The “Pearl Harbor” P-40 was recovered from a mountainside, and if you look at the rebuild of the plane that was profiled in Warbird Digest, with pictures, that’s pretty much a textbook case of what we all dream of. They found an incomplete wreck. They found more wrecks, and then they started putting one together. As they did it, industry came up and met them halfway and the plane was completed. Other than the Paul Allen example, this one is the “next best” and most original in the world. Subsequent ones may be less so, but that aircraft is the one that was there. Which brings up the question any potential buyer needs to ask....”Where can I get another one?” If you can’t, or one does not exist anywhere in the world, than that’s instructive.

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?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... lf_Fw_190s


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:17 pm 
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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.


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