Following its first post-restoration public appearance last week, Spitfire Mk FR.XVIIIe SM845 (G-BUOS) made its first flight from IWM Duxford on 17 December 2013. Photographs courtesy of David Whitworth.
On Tuesday, 17 December 2013, Richard Lake’s Spitfire Mk FR.XVIIIe SM845 took to the skies for the first time since summer 2010, following its rebuild to flying condition by Historic Flying Limited (HFL) at IWM Duxford in conjunction with Airframe Assemblies Ltd on the Isle of Wight. Both have been responsible for several high-profile Spitfire restorations in recent years, with their projects now flying in the UK, Europe and USA.
Piloting SM845 on her first flight was the Aircraft Restoration Company’s Spitfire guru, John Romain, a man who has flown a plethora of vintage aircraft and warbirds, including such diverse types as the Storch, Beaver, Lysander, Blenheim, Hurricane, Spitfires Mk.I to Mk PR.XIX, Buchón, Kingcobra, Wildcat, Thunderbolt, Corsair, Fennec and Mitchell!
Powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon 65 engine, Spitfire SM845 is one of several Griffon engine Spitfires currently airworthy in Europe, the others being The Fighter Collection’s Mk.XIV, another IWM Duxford resident; Rolls Royce’s Mk PR.XIX at East Midlands Airport; the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights two Mk PRXIXs at RAF Coningsby, and Christophe Jacquard’s Mk PRXIX, based at Dijon in France.
This Spitfire will join Richard Lake’s Spitfire Mk.XVI TD248 and desert Hispano Aviación HA-1112-M1L Buchón at Humberside Airport, and will hopefully enjoy a busy airshow season in 2014.
Congratulations to Historic Flying Limited, Richard Lake and all those who have worked hard to get this beautiful machine back where it belongs. With thanks to David Whitworth.