1943 Spitfire MK IX – LZ842
This MKIX Spitfires carries rare Mediterranean markings with a distinctive blue underside.
This is also the only Spitfire flying in the world with a Rolls Royce Merlin 63. Another unique feature is the fitment of a water tank for the pilot, something only fitted to Spitfires operating in hotter climates. It’s believed to be the second earliest MkIX Spitfire in an airworthy condition.
LZ has a unique history, flying with the Middle East Air Force and the RAF with stints in Malta and Sicilly before being transferred to South Africa where it was scrapped. Subsequent changes of ownership saw LZ move to Australia before coming to Biggin Hill for restoration.
The owner has specified an exceptional level of detail in the restoration resulting in a highly authentic spec aircraft.
- Built at Castle Bromwich April 1943.
- Delivered 17th April 1943, to 39 MU at Colerne for radio and armament fitting.
- 11th May 1943, Shipped to Casablanca for service with the Middle East Air Force aboard the SS Fort Jersey.
- LZ842 served in Malta and Sicily, with 93 Sqn and 232 Sqn, before joining 327 (free French) Squadron around October 1944.
- The aircraft suffered Cat B damage when making a forced landing at Mourmelon due to low fuel in foggy conditions. During the landing, LZ overturned after hitting a bomb crater and was dismantled at Lokeren, Belgium.
- Stored at the end of the war, it was selected as one of the 136 Spitfires transferred to South Africa. 80 were supplied free of charge and the remaining 56 were on repayment terms. 53 were flown from the UK, the rest were shipped including LZ842, arriving in Cape Town on 28th April 1948.
- Sold to the South African Metal and Machinery Co. in 1952 for scrapping.
- Survived as a hulk in the yard, transferred to the South African Air Force Museum in 1978 and placed in storage.
- In 1989 the remains were shipped to a UK buyer, before being traded again to a collector in Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia.
- Acquired by Peter Monk in 2003.
- First post restoration flight 2022 to flying condition.