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.

Spitfire N/S 5518 at Zwartkop AFB

S/N 5188 In Her Glory Days!

Extra Extra Read All About it!

Read the May 2021 Project Progress Report. Read Online

Breaking News! The Spitfire is getting its own Hangar!

A new home to restore our beloved Spitire is underway!

To read more click here!


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

Latest news and articles on Spitfire S/N5518 (5553)

Here are the latest articles on the famous Spitfire A-XK! Keep coming back for more!