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By Paul_Sengupta
#1661880
Quanta Mechanic wrote:Using a Spitfire as a simple example, would it then be right to say that if one was built today (with 100% the original parts and gadgets) would this still be deemed OK according to the CAA?


Yes. In fact, they are still being made these days to original plans (whenever someone finds a data plate on a heavily crashed one) and they are still being given a permit. There's one notable exception and that's the radio, it would need a modern 8.33kHz spacing VHF radio if it wasn't going to be non-radio everywhere. But then the old ones need to be retro-fitted as well.

Quanta Mechanic wrote:Or have some of the parts/instruments been made obsolete or no longer fit regulatory requirements?


No.

But you wouldn't build a Spitfire for combat these days, you'd build an F-35 or something.

You'll also find that a PA28 from 1974 is remarkably similar to a PA28 made today! Though there's a trend these days to equip everything with glass cockpits, it isn't by any means universal or mandatory.

The regulatory environment can catch up with older aircraft though, especially passenger carrying ones. DC-3s , JU-52s, AN-2s, etc, used to give passenger rides fairly frequently, but various EU regulations have put a stop to much of this...for instance there's a requirement to have an exit slide from the door...notwithstanding that the DC-3's door is only a couple of feet off the ground. This may be in the EU "straight banana" camp, but it was one of the reasons given for stopping DC-3 passenger flights in this country when the new regulations kicked in. There was also the EU insurance requirement which put the B-17 in the same camp as a 737, and which nearly grounded the B-17s in Europe as insurance rates tripled.
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By Korenwolf
#1665905
johnm wrote:
Quanta Mechanic wrote:Using a Spitfire as a simple example, would it then be right to say that if one was built today (with 100% the original parts and gadgets) would this still be deemed OK according to the CAA? Or have some of the parts/instruments been made obsolete or no longer fit regulatory requirements?


AIUI Most of those flying have been rebuilt to very close to original design. Variations tend to be because some items are no longer available and can’t be tailor made.

Why not take a trip to Duxford and ask those who do it?


Only just noticed this thread, so I'm a bit late to the party - apologies.

John, you have it exactly. If one had a complete stock of all of the original parts needed, it would be possible to nail a Spitfire together and the CAA would grant a Permit to fly, as long as it could be traced to an identity (via the data plate)

Obviously that is a hypothetical situation, as enough original parts don't survive. Therefore, it becomes necessary to rebuild or manufacture those parts. The original metal specifications have been long superseded, so modern equivalents are used, approved via the modification route.

It isn't possible to "build" a Spitfire, or any other out-of-production historic warbird, as they don't have a valid type certificate (and never did anyway) The approved route is to restore one, which can be done by any organisation with the recognised expertise and approvals. The extent of restoration isn't laid out by the authorities in the UK, theoretically as long as some original parts have been used then it will be regarded as a restored (repaired as necessary) aircraft.
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By Dominie
#1677552
Paul_Sengupta wrote:You'll also find that a PA28 from 1974 is remarkably similar to a PA28 made today!

This is of course because the current PA28s (and Cessna 172s etc) are built to the original airworthiness standards, not the current ones, as they are judged to have been in continuous production ever since first certified. Whilst this is legal you cannot help but wonder whether the manufacturers are taking the p*** a bit considering that this is ~ sixty years!