The process of returning vintage aircraft to flying condition can take anywhere from three months to one year. Restoring a single craft involves thousands of hours of work for aviation experts, engineers, and mechanics. Even before the actual work begins, restorers or owners must show proof of the plane’s original serial number, hold title to the plane, and restore the plane according to the original manufacturer’s specifications. Whether the aircraft is restored using its original materials or reconstructed from virtual scrap, all parts must map to exacting inspection standards.
All our aircraft have been or are in process of being restored to airworthy condition. Here are two examples of planes illustrating classic scenarios.
P-51B “IMPATIENT VIRGIN”
Impatient Virgin crashed in 1945 and lay shattered in a British beet field for more than 50 years. » Read the backstory. After three years of patient excavation and detailed certification research, the plane made its way in fragments to Pacific Fighters for a complete restoration. The results will be exceptional—and creative. One side of the plane will showcase the aircraft’s identity as Impatient Virgin, and the other will reflect its alternate identity—Eva.
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MARK LF IXE
Establishing the identity of our Spitfire and verifying its original RAF serial number (SL633) turned into a detective story that lasted more than 20 years. » Read the backstory. The happy ending? Historic Flying Limited, the company restoring the plane, has been able to overhaul many of the plane’s original parts—in their words, “a true restoration of an historic aircraft, not a reconstruction, as most aircraft have to be these days.”
SL633 being assembled at Historic Flight Foundation after restoration