Aeroplane Monthly 1982-07
??? - Spits in civvies
In 1967-68 surviving Spitfires were rounded up for use in the film Battle of Britain. One is the subject of our plate and was photographed by RICHARD RIDING at Bovingdon in September 1968. The plate depicts Allen Wheeler's Spitfire V (IA ???), G-AIST, disguised as N3311 for the film, for which a four blade propeller was used.
"Двойка" в частном пользовании
The first Spitfire to take up British registration was this Mk II example, G-AHZI/P8727. Civil conversion was carried out by Marshalls of Cambridge during 1946 for M.L.Bramson, a pre-war Savage Skywriting S.E.5 pilot. Named Josephine, ’ZI was based at Elstree for a year from 1946 but was destroyed during a take-off accident from Kastrup, Copenhagen on April 15, 1947.
Spitfire VB G-AISU, formerly AB910, was built in 1942 and was civilianised for Air Commodore Allen Wheeler in 1947. In May 1950 ’SU was fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin 55M engine and 15 years later the aircraft was presented to what was then the Coltishall Historic Aircraft Flight. It is still airworthy today and flies with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby.
In 1967-68 surviving Spitfires were rounded up for use in the film Battle of Britain. One is the subject of our plate and was photographed by RICHARD RIDING at Bovingdon in September 1968. Most of the Spitfires changed their film identities and the Spitfire was masquerading as N3314, actually a Defiant, and the code letters AI-E were suitably employed in the film as the squadron was unknown during World War Two.
The photograph, taken in June 1964 by Richard Riding, shows Tim Davies' Spitfire IX, G-ASJV/MH434, shortly after he purchased it from COGEA in Belgium, where it flew as OO-ARA. In 1968 'JV was sold to Grp Capt Hamish Mahaddie and featured in the film Battle of Britain. Today this Spitfire is owned by Adrian Swire and is based at Wycombe Air Park.
Beverley Snook taking off from Panshangar, Herts in June 1961 in Spitfire IX OO-ARE at the start of the London-Cardiff Air Race. An hour later the Spitfire was damaged at Exeter when fuel vapour trapped in the starboard wing leading edge ignited and exploded. OO-ARE previously operated with the Belgian COGEA company. Note the clipped wings.
Supermarine Type 509 Spitfire Trainer 8 G-AVAV/MJ772 seen taking off from Elstree in August 1967. Initially a single seater with the RAF, MJ772 was converted into a trainer and served with the Irish Air Corps, as No 158, before being sold to Tony Samuelson at Elstree in 1966. After an extensive rebuild, G-AVAV remained at Elstree in company with the owner's Hurricane G-AWLW. Both flew for the Battle of Britain film and were subsequently sold to Sir William Roberts to form the nucleus of the Strathallan Collection.
Former Irish Air Corps Tr.9 G-AVAV was one of the two-seaters used for the filming of Battle of Britain. Flying a two-seat Spitfire from the rear seat was not ideal in terms of the pilot’s field of view, but certainly possible in the hands of an experienced pilot. This aircraft also still survives today with the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.
Spitfire Trainer 8, G-AIDN began life as the single seat Mk VIII MT818 and became the prototype Type 502 Trainer 8 in 1947. 'DN is seen here at Yeovilton in June 1974 during joint ownership with Tim Davies and John Fairey.
Spitfire PR XI PL983 was built in 1944 and after the war, in 1947, it was on contract loan to Vickers at Eastleigh for loan to the United States Air Attache. In January 1948 the Spitfire was handed over to Mr Livingstone Satterthwaite, then the American Civil Air Attache, and took up the American registration N74138. During this period the Spitfire was raced by Miss Lettice Curtis, seen here at Lympne on August 28, 1948 where she broke the 100km closed-circuit record with a speed of 313 m.p.h. The Spitfire was presented to the Shuttleworth Trust in 1950 where it became a familiar landmark until August 1975 when it was removed to Duxford for restoration to airworthy condition.
Spitfire FR.Mk XIVE TZ138 was sent to Canada during 1945-46 for prolonged winterisation trials. In 1948 it was sold to the Imperial Oil Company of Edmonton, Alberta, registered CF-GMZ and used extensively for air racing. It was later sold in America where it was registered N20E but subsequently became N5505A.
Spitfire 14 G-ALGT, formerly RM689, was civilianised by Rolls-Royce at Hucknall for use as an engine test bed in 1950. It forsook its civilian decor for military marks in 1968 when it too appeared in the Battle of Britain film. Today G-ALGT flies as RM619 and is still owned by Rolls-Royce.