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An image taken at the Farnbourgh 2006 Airshow. I would like to know if this is a Spitfire, or a Hurrican.
PLEASE VIEW LARGE
It's a Spit Terry.
As Laurel said,
Spitfire (supermarine), I think I may have seen the same one at an Airshow near to us last year (south of England). Love the old war birds, cracking shot,I wish I could have taken this.
Superb shot of a Spitfire, But not just any old Spitfire, This is probably a Mk19 Recon Spitfire, It's the much later and more powerfull version, Identity is given away by the 5 blade prop, the air intakes, the larger enginge cowling with the bulges just above the exhaust ports, The bigger rudder & rear fin to cope with the extra power, And here's the bit that makes it a high level photo recon bird, JUST behind the pilot in the first white stripe is a circular port, THIS is where the camera is mounted, The pilot banks the aircraft to port so he can see the ground, AT this point the camera is pointing in the same direction, Press shutter remote in the cockpit, Hey presto he takes a pic.
Oh and the other major give away is the colour, At high altitude this colour makes the Recon Spit almost invisible from the ground, When they where in action for real, They did not have the Black & White Invasion stripes painted on them.
So there you are the full story as best as I can remember it.
I spoke to the owner/pilot just today at Northweald aerodrome regarding some photography of his collection.
Supermarine Spitfire MK XI serial number PL 965 left the Aldermaston factory in mid 1944. Built as a MK XI photo reconnaissance aircraft, she was designed to operate at high altitudes (over 30,000 ft) and at high speeds of over 400 mph and as such was the fastest of all the Merlin powered Spitfires. She was allocated to No.9 MU Cosford on 1st October 1944 and then ferried to No 34 wing and thence allocated to16 Squadron, which at the time, was a forward squadron, based at Melsbroek airfield, near Brussels in Belgium as part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. She proudly wore the identifying code "R" for Robert.
16 Squadron was commanded by Sq Ldr. Tony Davis DFC and his Spitfires were called upon to provide photographs of enemy territory for bomb damage assessment, to monitor airfields harbouring jet and rocket propelled aircraft and to build up the vital photographic mosaic maps which were used by the bomber groups for "pin point" bombing accuracy. The Blue painted Spitfire operated at low and high altitudes always flying alone.
Over the next year or so, PL 965 flew in excess of 40 operational missions over Germany, France and Holland . Squadron and pilot records illustrate, such destinations as Osnabruck, Bremen, Dortmund, Hanover, Hamburg , Kiel, and Berlin itself. Several distinguished pilots were entrusted with her safety on these long and dangerous sorties. Pilots such as Norman Godfrey DFC Croix de Guerre, Willy Willshaw DFC, Group Captain Richard Bowen DFC, to name but a few.
With such missions being conducted at both high and low altitudes, she encountered AA fire and was often intercepted and strafed by German fighters including the new jet powered ME 262, one of the few aircraft that had the speed to catch her.
At the end of hostilities, PL965 returned to the UK for a short time but was then flown to Buckeburg near Minden Germany and served with 2nd TAF Communications Wing. The story then continues, as she was "retired" and sold for the Princely sum of £25.0s.0d to the Royal Netherlands Airforce and on the 10th July 1947 flown to Deelen in Holland, where she was used as a ground technical instruction aircraft.
As one of the lucky wartime survivors, by 1960 she was an exhibit at the Dutch War Museum at Overloon. Here she remained for 27 years, eventually returning to the UK in 1987, for restoration to airworthy status in the hands of the late Nick Grace. Prior to his tragic death, Nick had arranged for the rebuild to be carried out at Rochester by MAPS Ltd. and over the next 5 years she was lovingly and painstakingly restored by this highly experienced and dedicated team.
Returning to the skies in December 1992, flown by the late and sadly missed Mark Hanna. Since then, PL 965 has been a well-loved participant on the air show scene both here and in the USA from where she had recently returned in summer 2004.
In September 2004 PL 965 made the move from her old home at Breighton in Yorkshire, to North Weald in Essex and now proudly forms part of the Hangar 11 collection.
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