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Welcome to the Spitfire Restoration Project!


Welcome to the Spitfire Restoration Project. Spitfire 5518 arrived in South Africa in 1947 and served in the Cape and at Waterkloof Air Force Base before being decommissioned. She then served as a gate guard at Waterkloof for a number of years. In the early 1990s the South African Air Force Museum motivated the restoration of an iconic Spitfire to flying condition to serve as the star attraction at Air Force Air Shows to promote the Air Force and aviation amongst the youth. 5518 took to the skies in 1994 as 5553 "The Spirit of Reutech". Unfortunately she crashed at an air show at Zwartkop in 2000 and was consigned to a container.

We are very excited to announce this news!

Performance Center has partnered with The Spitfire Restoration Project Friends of the SAAF Museum! This partnership will help raise funds for the restoration project as well as raise awareness of the history and legacy of those South Africans who gave their lives in the fight against tyranny in World War 2.

Ian Grace and Col Tony Smit (a former Officer Commanding and intimately involved with the first restoration), over the past few years, started lobbying for Spitfire 5518 to be rebuilt. After a number of presentations to the Museum Council, the go ahead was given to the Pretoria Branch of the Friends of the South African Air Force Museum to manage the project on behalf of the South African Air Force Museum in October 2014.

The aim of this website is to provide:

  • Information about 5518's history

  • The personalities involved

  • Restoration news and progress

  • News about partners and sponsors involvement

  • Spitfire related news and articles