Gatineau, Quebec-based Vintage Wings of Canada, in addition to the restoration of their Hawker Hurricane on which we recently reported, is also well along on their restoration of Supermarine Spitfire IX TE294 which most recently flew for the South African Air Force in 1951 when its career was ended by an accident while landing at AFB Waterkloof near Pretoria.
The plane, destined to be painted in the colors and markings of Flight Lieutenant Arnold Roseland’s Spitfire Y2-K of the 442nd fighter squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which was formed in 1942 due to the perceived threat on Canada’s West coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The squadron participated on strafing and bombing missions against then-Japanese held Kiska during the Aleutian Islands Campaign before being transferred to England in 1944 for attack and long-range bomber escort missions, where Roseland lost his life while flying over France.
The painstaking restoration project which will result in a airworthy plane at its end presently has the work on the machine spread across the continent, with the wings being re-refurbished in Gatineau after their return from a specialist in England who allegedly bodged the job. Meanwhile the fuselage and cockpit are being worked on in Comox, British Columba by Vintech Aero and the Packard-Merlin 266 is in the care of engine specialists, 51 Factory in San Martin, California.