Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX MH603 – First Post Restoration Flight

MH603 looking resplendent in the skies over Scone, NSW following the conclusion of an extensive restoration program at Vintage Fighter Restorations. The aircraft made her first flight in more than six decades on December 11th, 2021. (photo by Darren Mottram via Aviation Spotters Online)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019


As noted in late November, Supermarine Spitfire F Mk.IX MH603 was fast approaching the conclusion of its down-to-the-last-rivet rebuild at Vintage Fighter Restorations (VFR) in Scone, New South Wales, Australia. We can now report, via our colleagues at WarbirdsOnline and Aviation Spotters Online that the fighter made her first post-restoration flights on Saturday, December 11th. Veteran warbird pilot, Stephen Death was at the controls for the initial 20 minute hop, joined in the air by Paul Bennet who flew chase duties in Ross Pay’s CAC-built Mustang Mk.21 A68-107.

Following the first flight, VFR personnel wheeled the Spitfire back into their hangar to remove the engine cowlings and check for any potential issues. According to John Parker at WarbirdsOnline, MH603 needed very little adjustment, other than minor tweaks to control surface trim. Stephen Death then continued with the test program, taking the Spitfire up for a further series of flights. With the successful culmination of these trials, Steven Death signed off on the aircraft’s airworthiness certificate, reportedly declaring MH603 as being one of the finest Spitfires flying anywhere. The entire team at Vintage Fighter Restorations should be congratulated for their efforts to return this magnificent aircraft to the skies. For those with both the desire and financial fortitude to acquire her, MH603 is available for sale via our sponsors, Platinum Fighter Sales.

MH603 looking resplendent in the skies over Scone, NSW following the conclusion of an extensive restoration program at Vintage Fighter Restorations. The aircraft made her first flight in more than six decades on December 11th, 2021. (photo by Darren Mottram via Aviation Spotters Online)
Pealing off from the camera ship, Stephen Death returns the Spitfire home to the airfield in Scone, NSW. (photo by Darren Mottram via Aviation Spotters Online)
A closeup of Stephen Death at the controls of combat-veteran Spitfire F Mk.IX MH603 during the fighter’s post-restoration flight test program. (photo by Darren Mottram via Aviation Spotters Online)
With the lush green farmland below, MH603 could easily appear to be flying over her native England rather than the land of her rebirth, Australia. (photo by Darren Mottram via Aviation Spotters Online)

Many thanks indeed to Aviation Spotters Online and Warbirds Online for the details on this event, and to Darren Mottram for the beautiful photographs accompanying this article (all reproduced with permission). To learn more about MH603’s history and its restoration, please click HERE.



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