The mortal remains of TA805 arrived at the Airframe Assemblies works, Sandown, Isle of Wright in early 1992. Having previously been in storage in Sussex. The dormant period continued for another 3 years or so until the current owners acquired the aircraft. Work to return her to flying condition started in early 1996.
The period up until July 1997 being taken up with the manufacture of the many pieces that make up a Spitfire fuselage. These small pieces being made up into sub-assemblies such as fuselage Frame 9.
Also along with the new build items, as much original material as possible was removed from the remains, for incorporation into the rebuild. These photos show the all important Frame 5 being dismantled and the almost complete assembly following rebuild.
With the kit of parts ready, assembly in the build fixture commenced in August 1997. Shown here is the basic structure being assembled in the jig.
New skins started being cut in and drilled off in November 1997. The photos shows the new skinning, along with the original skins which were used as checking patterns to ensure that the structure was true.
Skinning work continued, resulting in the completed fuselage out of the build fixture in July 1998
With the basic fuselage finished, the next major task was the building of the wings. This following a similar pattern, with many months being spent making components and sub-assemblies prior to the start of the build. This task not made any easier with the need to move the whole of Airframe Assemblies to a larger premises in May 2000. The new “works” being located on the other side of town, with ‘805 turning a few heads as she made the trip! She arrived safe and was carefully unloaded.
Along with the wing build, the bare fuselage was kitted out with various items of plumbing/systems and cockpit instruments during this period.
In parallel with the wing work, another major sub-assembly being built of the fin.
The photo shows the completed wing leading edge “D-Boxes” with ribs attached.
Restoration of the cockpit internal details and instrument panels is complete.
The fuselage of TA805 departs Airframe Assemblies on June 26, 2002. Initially to Sedlescombe in Sussex, prior to ARCO at Duxford for fitting of engine and final assembly.
The wings and final stages of assembly are undertaken. Skinning, fitting of gun covers and access doors are complete. Wing tips are under construction.