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How do you make a small fortune out of historic aircraft?


JonS
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As a benchmark, I hear the price of a Yak-3 made in the original factory in Orenburg, according to the original dies, is about one-half to one-third that. So you get a new airplane. The Yak however uses an Allison engine as they're still in production, not the original, so you

supposedly lose about 50 hp. The Spit of course has the Rolls Royce and those cool wing tips, but as I understand it the performance of the two planes is pretty close.

But all in all I'd say 1.9 million for a Spitfire is far from a fantastic deal. More like market.

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Plus it's a 2 seater - not many of them around.

Just in western Europe there are enough two-seater Spitfires that the producers of the British car show Top Gear were able to get three of them together so Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May could arrive "in style" to meet the competition – Sabine Schmitz (queen of the Nürburgring), Carsten van Ryssen, and Tim Schrick – for the Top-Gear-versus-D-Motor (i.e., Britain versus Germany) challenge episode.

Anyone know how much less than £1.7 million the restoration of the recently purchased Spitfire cost? In other words, did the restoring team get anything resembling a return for their investment? I suppose that would put into perspective whether £1.7 million was any sort of "deal" or not.

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Anyone know how much less than £1.7 million the restoration of the recently purchased Spitfire cost? In other words, did the restoring team get anything resembling a return for their investment? I suppose that would put into perspective whether £1.7 million was any sort of "deal" or not.

That's pretty much the provenance of the "small fortune ... big fortune" quip. That, plus the difficulty and expense of insuring them, the cost of running and maintaining them, and the cost of rebuilding them after each crash.

AIUI, airworthy historic aircraft make terrible investments.

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According to this thread there are 5 flying 2-seat spitfires - all of them in the UK.

Assembling 3 in 1 place might not be too difficult given the right incentives, but it doesn't make them any more common.

and of course all of them are conversions of 1 seaters - the one sold above having been converted this century....so there used to be only 4......

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If you asked Jeremy Clarkson about what the "right incentives" for getting three two-seat Spitfires in one place might be, he would probably say something about "rubbing it the Germans faces that we beat them in the Battle of Britain." In that particular Top Gear episode, not only did they arrive in two-seat Spitfires (to the tune of the rousing theme from the film Battle of Britain), they disembarked from said Spitfires and climbed into vintage Aston Martins and Jaguars, with Clarkson quoting Battle of Britain: "We're on our own, we're playing for time and it's running out!" :rolleyes:

I noticed that the first post in the thread Stalin's Organist quoted begins with (italics added):

A rare two-seat version of the Spitfire fighter, the plane that earned a nation's gratitude in the Battle of Britain, may fetch a record price in an auction this month.

Not to quibble about semantics, but it does say "the plane", not "one of the two fighter aircraft which helped foil the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain."

Are even Britons generally oblivious to the fact that the Hurricane made up the majority of the fighters in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, that the Hurricane scored many more kills the Spitfire during that time, and that the Hurricane was also pleasant to fly and fairly fast? Sure, I love the Spitfire, and I would prefer a Spitfire to a Hurricane (if given the choice), but I still think the Hurricane deserves more credit than it gets (among the general populace, that is), though it will always be outshined by the faster, more maneuverable, and shapely-er Spitfire.

Besides, several RAF fighter pilots who flew during the Siege of Malta wrote that their experiences defending that island made the Battle of Britain seem like a cakewalk.

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My favorite scene in the Battle of Britain, involving Hurricanes as it happens:

(Dripping and inherently snobbish Oxbridge accent)

"A flight, turn to port, and take heading two, three, zero)

(Excited Polish, several calls of "Niemtsi! Niemtsi!", then heavily accented English)

"Repeat please..."

(Oxbridge accent with heavy overtones of irritation and superior breeding, even rolling the "r" in "three") "I say again, "A" flight, turn to port, and take heading two, three, zero!"

(Annoyingly chipper Slavic accent with heavy overtones of insolence)

"Repeat please!"

Hurricane zooms out of formation in unauthorized power dive

Oxbridge: "I say again..."

More Hurricanes bomb out of formation towards a gaggle of Heinkels, each Pole calling "Repeat please!" eventually leaving the English squadron leader alone to contemplate the clouds.

Oxbridge: "Oh Christ..."

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Bigduke,

I never realized the Polish pilots were saying "repeat, please"; I had always thought they were just saying something in Polish. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OjUVjLuu5o&feature=related

I don't know what program they used for this air battle but the effects are very believable

Looks to me like the video was made with the flight sim IL-2: Sturmovik (a quite good sim and one that I've played extensively).

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I just came back from Duxford, where I watched a Spitfire buzzing the airfield for about 40 minutes in a glorious spring sky. The guy owning it may have sunk bucket loads of money into it, but the pilot seemed to appreciate it (one hopes it is the same person), putting her through her paces.

Very nice.

All the best

Andreas

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Are even Britons generally oblivious to the fact that the Hurricane made up the majority of the fighters in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, that the Hurricane scored many more kills the Spitfire during that time, and that the Hurricane was also pleasant to fly and fairly fast? Sure, I love the Spitfire, and I would prefer a Spitfire to a Hurricane (if given the choice), but I still think the Hurricane deserves more credit than it gets (among the general populace, that is), though it will always be outshined by the faster, more maneuverable, and shapely-er Spitfire.

Besides, several RAF fighter pilots who flew during the Siege of Malta wrote that their experiences defending that island made the Battle of Britain seem like a cakewalk.

A joke told to me by a former Hurricane/Tomahawk pilot:

If you're at a party, how do you know there is a Spitfire pilot in the room?

He'll tell you.

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