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Rolls Royce Spitfire Video

Posted by bdk on Mon Mar 01, 2004 08:19:47 PM

Company Spitfire
The Corporate Heritage Office manages the Company's Mk XIX Spitfire through an M5 licensed engineer, John Hart.

The Mk XIX was the final unarmed reconnaissance version for the R.A.F. and some 225 were supplied to squadrons shortly after the war. It was basically a Mk XIV airframe with modified Mk VC wings and had a universal camera installation. It was a P.R. 19 (PS888) that had the distinction of making the last R.A.F. operational sortie by a front-line Spitfire, in Malaysia, 1st April 1954.

PS853 was one of 79 Mk XIXs built at Supermarine, Southhampton. On 13th January 1945 it was delivered to the Central Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at R.A.F. Benson before being transferred, less than two months later, to the 2nd T.A.F's 34 Wing and No. 16 Squadron R.A.F at Melbroek, and later Eindhoven, in Holland. With the code 'C' it flew some nine operations against Germany V-weapons sites. In September 1945 PS853 was transferred to No. 268 Squadron and with the end of the war returned to the U.K. and 29 M.U. at High Ercall.

In 1950, Short Brothers & Harland were contracted to form a meteorological Flight and PS853 was selected to be a part, transferring to 13 M.U. for conversion in July of that year. It was delivered to Hooton Park soon afterwards and when the flight moved to Woodvale, PS853 went with them, serving in this role until 1957. It made its last operational Temperature and Humidity Monitoring (TTHUM) flight on 10th June. On 14th July 1957, it was delivered to R.A.F. Biggin Hill by Group Captain Johnnie Johnson, where it was to be a founder member of the memorial fight. In November of that year the aircraft passed for a short time to 32 M.U. later returning to Biggin Hill to serve with the station flight. In March 1958 '853 moved to North Weald and then the Central Fighter Establishment at West Raynham the following month. It was then struck off charge before being moved to the gate and being allocated the ground instructional airframe number 7548M. In 1961 it was surveyed with a view to being restored to flying condition, finally being allocated to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

From 1987 to 1989, '853 was grounded and, following extensive work, a modified ex-Shackleton Griffon Mk 58M RG30SMS was installed and she flew once more on 20th July 1989. This gives the aircraft a top speed of 439mph and a ceiling of 45,000ft. The aircraft is currently painted as 'C' of No. 16 P.R. Squadron, 2nd T.A.F.

At 14th October 1994, hours were given as: Engine 235.30, Airframe 1912.45, Propeller 248.30. PS853 was purchased by Rolls-Royce plc on 12th September 1996.

The Rolls-Royce Spitfire video

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