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By: Darren Dray

Spitfire Origins – the Mk.I Spitfire

An early Mk1 spitfire with two bladed propeller

How many people today realise that this iconic aircraft, with a name that sounds like defiance and victory was originally slated to be called ‘Shrew’ or ‘Shrike’.

Fortunately, the chairman of Vickers Aviation had decided that something more warlike was required. It is rumoured that his daughter inspired the name. “She’s a little spitfire” he is meant to have said. Others have suggested that the name Spitfire itself added to its potency as a weapon and that without such an evocative name we could have lost the war.

Almost cancelled at birth
Consideration was given to cancelling the project early on in favour of a Gloster design due to fears that Supermarine, a manufacturer of seaplanes, had insufficient capacity to build aircraft in the large numbers required. Gloster and companies like Hawker were still caught up in wood and fabric methods of aircraft building, whereas Supermarine had experience of high-speed metal monoplanes in their successful Schneider Trophy racing aircraft designs.

The brief included all-metal construction with good visibility for the pilot, a top speed of 195mph and the ability to carry four .303 machine guns.

When the brief arrived on R.J. Mitchell’s desk, work started straight away. The tender document was back with the Air Ministry just over a hundred days later. From the companies that submitted designs, three were awarded contracts, including Supermarine’s new design which showed the highest performance potential of all. Trials proved disappointing, after whichSupermarine pursued their own vision of what a next generation fighter should be like, principally with eight guns, a much greater top speed and an enclosed cockpit.

I don’t want anything touched
The prototype K5054 was flown for the first time on 5th March 1936, the test pilot Mutt Summers famously saying “I don’t want anything touched” after landing. The jury is out as to what he meant by this. Some say that he was declaring the aeroplane perfect, others say that he wanted the aeroplane left as it was so that it provided a benchmark for subsequent flights.

After the first flight, a variable pitch propeller was fitted to allow exploration of the aeroplane’s performance and the undercarriage was unlocked. It had been prevented from retraction on its maiden flight for safety reasons. Eight.303 Browning machine guns were also fitted to the wings.

Cutting edge development with peas
Trials followed, including a unique experiment, involving a bag of split peas. K5054 had been built with all flush rivets on the outer skins, but these were time consuming to use in production. The solution was to glue split peas on the rivet heads to simulate dome-headed rivets which were quicker to use. By removing the peas from various areas of skin and conducting tests, the optimum balance was found, giving the best performance but with the minimum time required to build each Spitfire.

In 1937, performance was given a further enhancement with the addition of a triple ejector exhaust on each side of the aeroplane. This modification alone produced 70lbs of propulsive thrust, boosting the top speed to 360mph.

From the initial flights onwards, the prototype was gradually developed and modified until it basically represented the MKI that would go into production.

Finally, in September 1939, the prototype was involved in a fatal landing accident where it turned over onto its back, killing the pilot Flt. Lt. G.S White. This revealed a flaw in the pilot’s harness and the installation was redesigned, saving many lives in the conflict that was to follow.

SPITFIRE Mk.I
From the first squadron deliveries to the Battle of Britain

The Spitfire had a long and illustrious career, having been the sole fighter aircraft in the allied inventory that had been in front line service from before the Second World War to the very end, and beyond that in secondary roles. The first model to see service was, naturally the Mk.1 which grew out of the prototype’s constant testing and development.

First orders and doubts
310 Spitfires were ordered in 1936, before the prototype had even flown. Initial production was rather disappointing as the Supermarine Works was already fully engaged in building flying boats for the RAF. It wasn’t until August 1938 that the first MK.1 Spitfires were delivered to 19 Squadron at RAF Duxford, the unit to carry the honour of being the first to operate them. Even then the Air Ministry proposed that the programme should be abandoned altogether. They were persuaded otherwise by the management at Supermarine, with a promise to get production moving at a proper rate. By involving other factories, from 1938 to 1939 2, 160 aircraft were ordered, making it one of the largest orders in RAF history.

At this stage, the early Mk1s were powered by the Merlin II which produced 1,030 horsepower, with a fixed pitch, two-bladed propeller that allowed a maximum speed of 362mph and a maximum height of 31,900 feet. An external electric starter cart was required. A three bladed, two position propeller was fitted from the 78th aircraft onwards and later, a blown sided canopy replaced the early flat type, improving the pilot’s field of view, including, crucially, the view to the rear.

A major issue at higher altitudes, was the constant freezing of the guns due to condensation. Heating was installed early in the production run, which made the problem less common, warm air loss was minimised by covering the gun apertures with fabric patches that also prevented ingestion of dirt and debris. Fabric was also used to cover the rudder, elevator and initially, the ailerons, which later gained an aluminium skin instead, a feature not made standard until 1941.

Adding armour
Initially, the aircraft and its pilot were rather vulnerable even to small arms fire and shrapnel. Later in 1939, an armoured windscreen was added, giving much-needed protection for the pilot and a thicker aluminium cover for the fuel tank area immediately in front of the cockpit. The lower fuel tank itself was given a self-sealing rubber coating. From mid-1940 steel armour plate was added to further protect pilots. A quick-release canopy system was added to aid bailing out.

The two pitch propellers were converted to constant speed units, which improved the climb rate – a crucial advantage in an aerial battle, while also shortening the take off run at the cost of a slightly lower top speed. The availability of 100 octane petrol allowed the lost speed to be
regained for short periods, by advancing the throttle into emergency boost, breaking a wire guard that prevented accidental use and alerting the ground crew that this fact had to be entered in the engine’s logbook.

Outgunned
The Spitfire was on the face of it, outgunned by the Bf109 with its 20mm cannon armament. To remedy this, a number of Mk1 Spitfires were fitted with Hispano 20mm cannons themselves. Jamming was a problem and some pilots such as Douglas Bader refused to use Spitfires thus equipped, preferring the standard fit of 8 .303 machine guns. With the choice of armament, a new designation was made between them, the cannon version being the Mk1b and the original machine gun version being redesignated MK1a. The best mix was eventually proved as being two cannon and four machine guns.

Relative merits
In combat, the Spitfire had a serious issue. If required to make a negative G manoeuvre such as diving away, the engine would stutter due to the floattype carburettor becoming flooded, while the Bf109, with its fuel-injected engine, could dive away without loss of power. A Spitfire pilot in this situation had to roll the aeroplane on its back and pull to maintain positive G, losing time and temporarily losing sight of the enemy behind his nose. Both had their relative merits, the Spitfire could turn tighter, while the 109 had a better climb rate, but only a marginal difference existed. The outcome of an engagement often depended more on who saw the opponent first and had the element of surprise on their side than any technical aspects.

Spitfires with cameras
Reconnaissance versions of the Mk1 were created to exploit the small size and high speed of the aeroplane, to avoid interception that larger aircraft could easily suffer. In the conversion, all armament was removed, along with the radio equipment. The external finish was rubbed down, gun ports and panel lines filled to reduce drag and painted pale blue with a high gloss finish. These measures contributed to a top speed of 390mph for the MK 1 PR Type A. Provision was made for two cameras to be fitted with a heating system to prevent them freezing in cold conditions at high altitude.

Later versions had upgraded cameras and range was extended by increasing the fuel capacity, while the Merlin engine was upgraded to the Merlin XII. Armoured windscreens were removed and blown canopies were fitted with streamlined ‘blisters’ protruding from the sides that allowed better downward vision for the pilot.

Very long-range versions were produced by converting the wing leading edge ‘D-box’ structure to hold additional fuel. Aircraft so equipped were able to fly photo reconnaissance missions as far as Marseilles and Toulon.

Production of the Mk1 Spitfire carried on after the Battle of Britain into 1941, with a total run of 1,517 aircraft.

Check Our News Pages for upcoming articles detailing the SPITFIRE MK II and MKIII

LATEST NEWS


By: Darren Dray

HISPANO BUCHON ‘WHITE 9’ JOINS FLYASPITFIRE.COM FLEET AT BIGGIN HILL

The expanding range of warbirds based at the Biggin Hill Spitfire Factory grows again for 2023 with the acquisition of the Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon ‘White 9’ .

Powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin 500/45 instead of the Daimler Benz 605 found in the Messerschmitt manufactured 109 this aircraft served with the Spanish Air Force from 1958 to 1965.

The aircraft carries the colour scheme of ‘White 9’ ME109 flown by UFFZ Edmund Roβmann who flew with the Jadgeschwader 52 (Fighter wing) in the Battle of Britain before transferring to Russia.

The aircraft flew in the classic movie ‘Battle of Britain’ before being sold and stored in the USA. Returning to the UK its first post restoration flight took place in June 2018.
The aircraft will join the unique collection of WWII era aircraft based at Biggin Hill and ‘White 9 ‘ is expected to be available to accompany 2023 Two Seat Spitfire flights for formation tailchase experiences.

A Spitfire and ‘109’ pursuing each other over the fields of Kent will be an emotive sight.

Spitfire and ‘109’ Tailchase Experiences will be available at flyaspitfire.com soon.

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

P-51D Mustang to join the Biggin Hill Fleet

We’re extremely proud to announce that FlyaSpitfire.com have recently acquired North American P-51D Mustang G-CMDK and plan to be operating passenger flights in this stunning aircraft for the 2022 season.

Whilst our main focus will always be on Two Seat Spitfire flight Experiences we’re always looking for any opportunity to add other iconic warbirds to our fleet. This Mustang has a fine pedigree having served with the United States Army Air Corps 44-73877, Royal Canadian Air Force 9279 and the Scandanavian Historic Flight N167F, later carrying the registration G-SHWN.

We’re looking forward to seeing another emblematic WWII aircraft gracing the skies over Kent.

Booking Details will be released soon at www.flyaspitfire.com

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

Biggin Hill Spitfires Offset Carbon Emissions

Press Release 22nd September 2021

FlyaSpitfire.com selects ClimateCare to offset its carbon emissions through projects that cut carbon and improve lives

As part of FlyaSpitfire.com’s approach to take responsibility for its impact on the environment, they have partnered with climate and sustainable development experts ClimateCare to offset carbon emissions associated with Spitfire passenger flights operating from London Biggin Hill Airport.

Spitfire emissions will be offset through projects including two world-leading clean cooking projects in Bangladesh and Ghana. These clean cooking projects not only cut carbon emissions, helping tackle climate change, they improve lives by halving fuel bills for families and reducing exposure to toxic fumes. By cutting fuel requirements, the projects also reduce deforestation, protecting precious habitat.

“Maintaining these historic aircraft in airworthy condition is extremely important to us, but flying them also has a climate impact, which we need to take responsibility for. FlyaSpitfire.com has therefore committed to compensate for the CO2 emissions produced by flying Spitfires for every flight going forward. In addition, we have offset the CO2 emissions for every one of our Spitfire flights since 2014, when passenger flights in Spitfires were first authorised in the UK.

The emissions from these flights are offset through ClimateCare, who specialise in projects that not only tackle climate change but improve life for people around the world.

We are delighted to work with experts in this sector, ClimateCare. They have over 20 years’ experience running some of the most innovative and largest voluntary carbon offsetting programmes in the world. Working with them has allowed us to take full responsibility for our carbon footprint and integrate action to tackle climate change and improve people’s lives.”

Darren Dray – General Manager, FlyaSpitfire.com

ClimateCare’s Head of Client Services, Aude Duquesne, explains:

 “We work with forward-thinking organisations to turn their climate responsibilities into positive outcomes. Our trademark Climate+Care approach helps organisations take a smart approach to addressing their environmental impacts by offsetting their carbon emissions through projects which also support sustainable development”.

Notes

FlyaSpitfire.com operate the world’s largest fleet of airworthy Spitfire aircraft. Operating from the historic Biggin Hill fighter station in Kent, they provide members of the public the opportunity to fly in a Spitfire. They also restore and maintain historic warbirds to airworthy condition.

 

ClimateCare is dedicated to tackling climate change and improving lives. It aims to make our world a climate-neutral one – where everyone takes full responsibility for their carbon footprint.

ClimateCare helps organisations take responsibility for their climate impact by financing, developing and managing carbon reduction projects across the world. Based in Oxford and Nairobi, ClimateCare helped create the voluntary carbon market and pioneered carbon finance for community development projects. Some of the largest carbon offsetting programmes in the world are delivered by ClimateCare.

Leading organisations and governments trust ClimateCare to solve complex climate and sustainability issues. With ClimateCare by their side, they can be confident on their journey to Net Zero.

As an award-winning profit with purpose Certified B Corporation, ClimateCare is recognised as setting the highest standards. Values and integrity are at the heart of all it does – just as they have been since it was founded in 1997. These values are underpinned by strong environmental credentials, a commercial focus on risk management and a proud record of delivering outstanding results for clients.

Find out more at www.climatecare.org

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

ANOTHER RESTORATION UNDERWAY AT BIGGIN HILL – SPITFIRE IX MA764

Number three in the important restorations planned for 2021 is Spitfire IX MA764. Rolled out from Castle Bromwich in early 1943 being one of a total build of 650 with a serial number between LZ807 and MA906, it was fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin 63 engine.

On the 24th July 1943 it was issued to No. 33 Maintenance Unit (MU) at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire prior to being allocated to No. 122 (Bombay) Squadron then based at the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Brenzett on the Romney Marsh in Kent. Arriving on the 10th August the squadron was part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force tasked with ground attack and bomber escort missions. 1943 was a year of frequent moves by the squadrons and 122 Squadron was no exception when it moved to the Kingsnorth ALG on 16th September followed by another move to Ashford ALG three weeks later. After a brief sojourn at Weston Zoyland, the squadron and MA764 moved to a more permanent base at RAF Gravesend in Kent.

On the afternoon of 25th November 1943 the squadron was tasked with RAMROD 333, an escort sortie to a force of bombers attacking ground targets near Lille in France. With the bombers having completed their task, the formation was turning for home when they saw several other aircraft a distance away. Assuming them to be part of the bomber escort they flew towards them. At the same time the distant aircraft turned to be heading towards them as well and it was only when they were within a mile or so of each other that both realised that they were opposing sides. This resulted in a dogfight with several Bf109’s which culminated in Flight Sergeant D Bostock flying MA764 calling up to say his engine was registering high glycol temperature and he was going to attempt to land. Nothing further was heard and it was assumed that the Spitfire had crashed and that he had died in the impact. In fact he had bailed out and evaded capture by the enemy to be later taken in hand by the French Resistance who aided his eventual return to the UK via Spain and Gibraltar. Within four weeks he was back with his squadron.

MA764 lay in French soil till recovered by an aviation group. At some period during the operation a helmet was discovered with the initials DB on one side. This provoked the thought that the crash site was that of Douglas Bader. After further research however it was discovered it was that of Flight Sergeant D Bostock. At the conclusion of the recovery the aircraft was returned to Horam in East Sussex on January 26 2006 where it was re-assembled to allow an inspection. Acquired by Peter Monk and his Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd, MA764 then came into the ownership of Mark Collenette who commenced the restoration of the fuselage before it was moved to the heritage hangar in early February 2021 for a full restoration to flight over the coming year.

Robin J Brooks. PR-Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar

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By: flying-admin

Curtiss Tp-40n ‘kittyhawk’ To Join Biggin Hill Fleet

We are delighted to announce the addition of the Curtiss TP-40N ‘Kittyhawk’ to the flight experiences fleet at www.flyaspitfire.com Biggin Hill.

The aircraft is due to arrive in the coming weeks and subject to certification we plan to offer flights in this unique aircraft towards the end of the 2021 season.

The ‘Kittyhawk’ will join our three T9 Spitfires and the worlds only 2 seat Hurricane making Biggin Hill the ultimate destination for vintage warbird flight experiences.

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

Mk Xiv Spitfire Rm694 Arrives At Biggin Hill For Restoration

Rolled out from the Chattis Hill shadow factory in Hampshire on 22nd October, 1943 RM694 was built to contract No. 1877/c.23/(c) Req1/E11/43 from a build of 406 Spitfire XIV/XIX to batch No. RM670-713. Fitted with a Griffin 65 engine and a (C) type wing it flew to RAF Lyneham in July, 1944 for armament, radio etc to be fitted. Bearing the serial number 6S/432268 the aircraft was delivered to No. 91 (Nigeria) Squadron on the 18th July, 1944 which was then based at the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) of Deanland in Sussex.

Flying over 30 V1 interception missions, on Monday 7th August 1944 RM694 at 06.01hrs and flown by Flying Officer A R Elcock, shot down a VI Doodlebug. Watching it crash near Etchingham, Flg/Off Elcock reported:

“Owing to half light I was uncertain of my position when first sighted Diver. Attack was made from 150yds astern and Diver fell in open countryside ten miles north-north east of Etchingham with jet unit still functioning”. Shortly after this RM694 was transferred to No. 402 (Winnipeg Bear) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force based at RAF Hawkinge near Folkestone. From her it flew numerous bomber escort missions.

With the advance of the allies on the Continent the squadron was relocated to B.70/Deurne near Antwerp, Belgium on 30th September 1944. Flown by the CO of 402, Squadron Leader W G Dodd shortly after arrival, the Spitfire suffered an engine failure and was forced to land 1.5 miles north of Koksijde where it sustained Category.B damage (beyond repair on site but repairable at a maintenance unit or contractors works). RM694 was sent to an Air Service Training Ltd for repair, these being completed by 21st April1945.

It did not return to the squadron but was sent to No. 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton on 13th May 1945. Six months later the aircraft was allocated to the Central Fighter Establishment based at RAF West Raynham remaining with them till November 1948 when as the result of an accident, RM694 was grounded. It now began a new life as a ground instructional airframe at RAF Locking in Somerset in February 1949 where it bore the serial number 6640M. Used by No. 5 School of Technical Training, this was a brief sojourn before it arrived at RAF Hornchurch in May 1950 and was placed outside the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre as a guardian. It remained exposed to the elements for 15 years until the station closed in 1963 when it was ‘Struck off Charge’ and sent to RAF Dishforth for disposal.

The Spitfire now began a life of constant owners beginning with A H ‘Bunny’ Brooks, a garage owner who purchased the aircraft for £250! By agreement the wings were dismantled and were used to return a Belgian Spitfire, NH904, to display condition. In a further disposal the fuselage was sold to J D Kay of Manchester Tankers Ltd in 1966. At this time consideration was given to using 694 in the Battle of Britain film by Simpsons Aero Services at Elstree but upon inspection the airframe was rejected and returned to RAF Henlow until returned to Charnock Richards in March 1968.

Acquired by A W Francis in January 1969 the aircraft was moved to Southend Airport and placed in open storage before being passed through several owners, the first of which was Bill Francis. He sold 694 to John Lowe and Larry Mat of Chicago and the aircraft began a new life in the United States. In 1985 it was returned to the UK and into the hands of Doug Arnold and his Warbirds company. Sold four years later to an American, Don L Knapp in Florida it was later purchased by another American, Vern Schuppen also living in Florida. It was stored here for many years before once again returning to the UK and into storage at High Wycombe. In early 2021 the aircraft was transported to the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar and into the hands of the Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd for a full restoration back to flight.

RM694 has a remarkably complete fuselage with all the original cockpit controls and systems still in place and untouched. This is, without doubt, one of the most original fuselages left to be restored. With this in mind it is intended for this historically significant Spitfire to remain at Biggin Hill.

See the aircraft first hand on one of our Spitfire Hangar Tours, due to recommence 2021

Robin J Brooks – PR Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

Spitfire Te517 To Be Restored To Flying Condition At Biggin Hill

The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar and The Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd are gearing up for 2021 with a number of important restorations forthcoming over the next twelve months. Renowned for its quality of work and the fact that the More4 series ‘Inside the Spitfire Factory’ shown during 2020 gave the public the first real viewing of a Spitfire factory at work, many individuals have expressed an interest in owning one.

Such is the case for Spitfire Mark LF/IX TE517 which has returned to the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar for restoration to flight after a period of storage.

Built by Vickers-Armstrong at their Castle Bromwich factory TE517 was one of a Spitfire build totalling 1884 under the contract No. B 98168730. Fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 engine, it was rolled out from the factory in early spring, 1945 and was initially allocated to No. 33 Maintenance Unit based at RAF Lyneham.

After a brief period of storage the aircraft was allocated to No. 313 (Czech) Squadron on 25th July 1945 then based at RAF Manston in Kent. The end of the war saw the squadron transfer to Prague on 24th August as part of the Czechoslovakia contribution to the war effort. It remained in the country until its return to the UK where the squadron was disbanded and TE517 was ‘Struck off Charge’ (SOC).


© Copyright Peter Arnold Collection

Sold to the Israeli Air Force and serialised 20-46, the aircraft was ‘Bought on Charge’ (BOC) on 30th August 1945 and served with the IAF till ‘Struck off Charge’ nine years later. Languishing in a Kibbutz in Israel but still complete, the aircraft was recovered by aviation collector Robs Lamplough and bought back to the UK where it was given the reserved serial number G-BIXP. This was never taken up.


© Copyright Peter Arnold Collection

The restoration back to flying began in early 1980 at an unknown destination in Bristol. In August 1984 ownership passed to Charles Church with further restoration being undertaken by Charles Church (Spitfires) Ltd at Winchester from 9th April 1985 till 1992. Now registered as G-CCIX the restoration continued till the airframe was sold to Kermit Weeks of Tamiami, FL, Florida. The aircraft remained there from 1992 till 2002 when it was returned to the UK and to Booke-Wycombe Air Park. Currently the Spitfire is now with The Spitfire Company (BH) Ltd for a full restoration to flight.

Robin J Brooks. PR-Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

Images copyright Peter Arnold Collection

We’ll post updates on this and other 2021 restoration projects as they progress.

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

Fly A Spitfire Biggin Hill – Winners Of 2020 Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Award

Fly a Spitfire – Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Wins 2020 Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award.

Fly a Spitfire / Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Recognized Among Best in World , Based on Outstanding Visitor Reviews

Biggin Hill , Kent, England – October 10th, 2020 – Fly a Spitfire / Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar today announced it has been recognized as a 2020 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice award-winner . Based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic, award winners are known for consistently receiving great visitor feedback, placing them in the top 10% of attractions around the globe.

“Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers as the world begins to venture out again.”

To see visitor reviews and experiences available at Fly a Spitfire / Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar

What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

See Our New Tv Series – Inside The Spitfire Factory

Inside the Spitfire Factory is a new 6 part TV series filmed on location here at Biggin Hill over the past 18 months.

Get the inside story on restoration projects, engineering challenges and meet some of the Engineers, pilots, veterans and visitors at the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar.

The series premieres on Monday 28th September and then runs at 9pm weekly on More4

Watch Trailer

Watch episodes on Channel4

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

New ‘battle Of Britain’ Airfields Flight Route

With the upcoming 80th Anniversary of ‘Battle of Britain Day’ on 15th September we’ve added a special flight route that plots a course around some of the key stations of 11 Fighter Group in the South East of England.

Many of these locations are now either disused or have changed land use but their locations and history can still be honoured by flying over them in one of our 2 Seat T9 Spitfires.

Take off from RAF Biggin Hill and fly over the historic Battle of Britain airfields of Kent. Your Spitfire sortie will take in the old WWII stations at Kenley, West Malling, Hawkinge, Manston, Eastchurch, Detling and Gravesend. You will be flying in the same historic airspace that the Battle of Britain was fought.

See this and all our other flight routes at Flights

LATEST NEWS


By: flying-admin

Spitfire Flypast Planned For Captain Tom Moore

The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar team are currently working with MP’s, London Biggin Hill Airport and the CAA to try and gain permission for a Spitfire flypast to celebrate the 100th birthday of NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore.

Mk IX Spitfire ‘Spirit of Kent’ TA805 is being prepared with special NHS logos in honour of Cpt Moore and all the NHS workers currently saving lives across the UK.

The flypast over Captain Moore’s home in Marston Moretain, Bedfordshire is a small gesture to celebrate his achievement. The Fly a Spitfire team have also invited Tom to visit Kent once the current COVID 19 Pandemic has passed so he can take a ride in one of the Two Seat Spitfires based there.

Fundraising currently stands at over £28 Million and we’re hoping to see this figure exceed £30 Million climb even higher by the time we reach Cpt Tom’s Birthday on the 30th April.

With General aviation currently on lockdown to prevent the Spread of the Virus we’re hopeful that the flypast can be approved and delivered in a way that celebrates this monumental achievement but also keeps everyone safe.

Updates on the 100th Birthday flypast can be found at The Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Facebook Page