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Spitfire warbirds photos - Australia No1

Posted by john parker on Sun Mar 21, 2004 09:23:50 PM

Hi all

A while ago someone asked for photos of Charles Churchs Spitfire (the one he unfortunatly passed away in).

I have recently put into digital format many of my old photos and amongst these are a few shots of Peter Sledges Spitfire. I believe this machine eventually passed on to Charles and was rebuilt to fly and ultimately crashed costing Mr Church his life.

I knew Peter Sledge in the years he was restoring his Spitfire and took the Photos mostly at some of the airshow days at Nowra RANAS NSW.

Peter started the restoration over the 1970/80s and commenced with a Fuselage he obtained from South Africa which contained the identity of the finished product.
Later wings were obtained from Thailand and various other parts from all over the world, particularly Australian sources. The engine was apparently from an Australian built Avro Lincoln bomber, this caused some issue in that it was a little longer than the installation in a Spitfire and accordingly the very costly cowlings wouldn't fit - at least thats the story I was told. I can say that in the time it was in Australia I never saw cowlings fitted to it.

Naturally as it was a static restoration compromises were taken with the rebuild but it was a great effort nonetheless.

Upon completion the machine was put on display on loan to the RAN Museum at RANAS Nowra.
Subsequently it was Purchased by Charles Church and we all know the rest...............

I have also included a few other shots of the AWM spit, an engine from Col Pays Spit and some replica Spits created fro the 1988 Bicentenial airshow.

As always bear in mind that I didn't always have access to great equipment and some of these were taken on kodak instamatics etc so enjoy in that context
John Parker


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