1944 Spitfire T.9

Spitfire TE308

• Built by Vickers-Armstrong at Castle Bromwich, TE308 was one of a combined build of 1,942 Spitfire HFIX/LFIX and LFIXs being unusual in that it was built as a single seat low back Mk 1Xe.

 

• Rolled out of the factory on April 19, 1944 it was initially issued to No. 39 MU stationed at RAF Colerne on June 9, 1945. It stayed for five years before being issued to No. 29 MU at RAF High Ercall in Shropshire.

 

• Sold back to Vickers Armstrong in 1950, it was converted to a two-seat configuration for the Irish Air Corps.

 

• Delivered to them along with five other Spitfires, on July 10, 1951 it took the number IAC163 and commenced bombing missions.

 

• Relegated to a group instruction airframe in 1961, TE308 remained in Ireland till 1968 when it was sold to a private buyer.

 

• Passing through several other hands it starred in the film ‘Battle of Britain’ after which it was sold to an American, was crated up and sent to Arizona.

 

• From 1983 till 2006 it was registered and flown as TE308/RJ-M returning to the UK and to the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar in 2019 where it joins MJ627, MJ772 and MT818 for passenger flights