MAPS Ltd is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, having no share capital and solely comprising volunteers from the Medway Branch of The Royal Aeronautical Society, whose aim is the restoration and preservation of historic aircraft and artefacts for public display. MAPS Ltd are registered in England under the Companies Act No. 02331464
Mapsl Ltd. AFIS Unit Rochester Airport. Maidstone Road. Chatham. Kent. UK. ME5 9SD
1974:- The Medway Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society was reformed under the auspices of Elliott brothers and later GEC-Marconi.
1977:- The branch decided to form an aircraft preservation group, to initially cover a Short Sunderland display in the aircraft's birthplace. Unfortunately the venture was unsuccessful. The first successful project was the restoration of the wartime Spitfire gate Guardian at R.A. F. Manston of which only a few survive. The aircraft was returned to the RAF 18 months later in 1979 and housed in a purpose-built memorial building at Manston in 1981. MAPS gave considerable help in the fund raising as they did later with the Hurricane Museum.
1988:- The aircraft preservation group became a limited company at Medway aircraft Preservation Society Ltd was formed. In addition to complete aircraft many aviation artefacts have been restored. These have mainly been for display but conversely MAPS has also located and restored many specialist components for other groups restoring vintage and wartime aircraft in the UK and abroad.
The company has undertaken the restoration and preservation of a number of aircraft and aero engines all-important in his country's aviation Heritage many to be seen in museums others are still flying. All work is voluntary and non profit making.
Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) Limited, started as an Aircraft Preservation Group, which Lewis Deal formed, in 1977, as part of the Medway Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
The Group began by rescuing those sadly neglected and ever corroding aircraft, which used to stand guard, in all weathers, outside RAF stations. The first was the RAF Manston Spitfire, which was restored at Rochester Airport, and is now beautifully housed back at Manston, where it is the second most popular public attraction in Thanet. The Ministry of Defence soon realized that such gate guardians throughout the country had great potential value and rapidly ordered them all to be housed indoors for restoration. As a result, many of these priceless aircraft are now either flying or are on static exhibition, a happy development triggered by Lewis Deal and his small team.
The Group's success did, however, pose a problem. When restored, such aircraft began to acquire six-figure values for their owners, way beyond the financial competence of the local Branch of The Royal Aeronautical Society. Accordingly, in 1988, Lewis and I, and fellow Branch members, formed MAPS Limited.
MAPS has since preserved many aircraft at Rochester Airport. Today the principal customer is the Royal Air Force Museum, which has honoured MAPSl by allowing it to take whole aircraft from its wonderful collection, for preservation at Rochester Airport. Only Medway has this privilege. One of the most recently restored includes the worlds only pre war spitfire ( K9942)flown by Flt Lt J Nicholson VC who was the only fighter pilot to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the epic Battle of Britain. Mapsl have also restored the unique Fairey Battle.
MAPSl preserves aircraft for public benefit and also restores them to their original condition, as required for historical accuracy, involving much research. All members are volunteers, whose work, worth six figures in a typical project, makes many restorations affordable, which would otherwise not be available to the public.
To date the company has completed, for flight or public exhibition, a Gloster Meteor Mk IV, Republic Thunderstreak F-84F, Piper Tripacer PA22, Northrop Drone, Fairchild Argus, R-R Merlin engines Mk 20, 35 and 500, Daimler Benz 603, Junkers Jumo 003 and Bristol Hercules XII engines, parts of the four-engine Short Sunderland and Stirling aircraft, Complete Spitfires Mk XVI, PR Mk Xl, MkVb and Mk 1, and two Hawker Hurricanes, Mk II, a Short Sherpa (fuselage), Tempest (wing) and a Bristol Sycamore, the first air-sea rescue helicopter. The photo reconnaissance Mark XI Spitfire now owned by Peter Teichman at North Weald. It is the only mark of this Spitfire Flying in the world and was the star of the documentary " Operation Crossbow" recently on television.
At its Rochester Airport premises, the company encourages public interest in preservation work and in the handing-over of important aircraft, in which the Mayor and other dignitaries participate. The company is keen to devolve skills to younger people and has hosted school parties and young people on work experience.
ROYAL INVESTITURE, PATRONAGE, VISITS AND OTHER AWARDS
His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, invested Lewis Deal (Managing Director) with the MBE at Buckingham Palace in 1992.
Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, became an honorary member of MAPS following a visit in 2010. She later agreed to become a Patron of MAPS.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, inspected MAPS built Spitfire TB752 and Hurricane BN230 at the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum at Manston.
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, inspected both the Spitfire and Hurricane at the museum in 1992
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was presented to MAPS by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Viscount De L’isle MBE DL in 2010.