Recently the Gold Coast Squadron of the Australian Air League negotiated the purchase of a 3/4 scale replica Spitfire with a generous reduction by the vendor and they have kindly provided a report of their ongoing Project Spitfire - starting with the acquisition and transport of the Spitfire in February.
After almost a year of negotiation, acquisition, preparation, planning, imagination and coordination–
WE DID IT!! WE HAVE A SPITFIRE!! How hard can it be to do something as simple as bring an aircraft down the Ipswich and Pacific Motorways? Well, we never doubted that we’d do it – but next time you’d like to try it, ask us about the processes, challenges and pitfalls..... Still, we all had a lot of fun explaining how we spent our weekends lately....
My thanks to the Branch Executive for what indeed must be the rarest of ambitious vision to see the enormous potential of this project – which has many fantastic tasks, activities and dividends to be realised yet; to members of the Spitfire Squad Steering Committee who brought specialist aviation knowledge and experience to the planning and preparations; to the Spitfire Transport Teams for their early rise, pie eating skills & solid physical efforts; Mr Jeremy King for his critical expertise and as critical toolkit; Mr Darren “Bambi” White (the towie who did without hesitation what others said couldn’t be done), and Officer Claire Sansome from Strathpine Squadron for “volunteering” his assistance (and Kate & Jonathan for their efforts).
Thanks also to Mr Brian “Shad” Shadler for the use of his personal hangar space and, along with the continuing valued support of Mr Gary Spicer, ongoing vital experience and suggestions on moving forward from here.
The end goal is a spectacular mobile display unit which is certain to turn heads at community events for years to come – we have some work to do but that too provides the precious chance to conduct a series of hands-on aircraft restoration/maintenance skills workshops for Cadets (and probably a few intrigued parents...).
We look forward to hearing more on the progress of Project Spitfire - more photos can be found below.