The Spitfire remains one of the most iconic combat aircrafts of all time and to own an airworthy example of this classic fighter is the Holy Grail for many wealthy Warbird collectors. For an aircraft that first flew more than 70 years ago and which went out of production in the early 1950s, it may seem odd to discover that there is a flourishing industry centered on this aircraft in the 21st century. Scratch-building brand new Spitfires or restoring original examples to airworthy condition has become big business, with aircrafts changing hands for several million dollars apiece. Husband and wife author team Paul and Louise Blackah look into what is required to find a Spitfire that's suitable for restoration and then return it to the skies. With Paul's vast experience in restoring and maintaining the RAF BBMF's Spitfires, and both Paul and Louise's contacts in the aircraft restoration community, this promises to be a unique look inside the world of Spitfire building and restoration in the 21st century.
Paul Blackah joined the RAF in 1976 and trained as an airframe fitter. In 1993 he was posted to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. His specialized knowledge of vintage aircraft is considered crucial to the maintenance of the aircraft in the flight. In the 1990s Paul was closely involved in the restoration-to-flight of the Messerschmitt Bf109F 'Black 6'. He is co-author with Alfred Price of the Supermarine Spitfire Manual. He lives in Lincolnshire, England.
Louise Blackah is also an aircraft enthusiast and has worked with Paul Blackah on his other books.