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Restored Spitfire ready for new Battle of Britain Memorial Flight display season

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 09, 2013

The newly-restored MK XVI Spitfire

Comments (6)

A Spitfire is back in the air for the new Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) display season – 58 years after it last flew.

The rebuilding of Spitfire TE311, a Mk XVI with clipped wingtips, began in 2001 by a small team of RAF BBMF technicians.

Squadron Leader Duncan Mason, who commands the memorial flight, said: "We will be proud to display Spitfire TE311 alongside the RAF BBMF's Lancaster as a flying memorial to the bravery of our RAF forefathers.

"Their legacy of precision and tenacity shows today in our team who achieved the goal of getting TE311 back into the air.

"She is just brilliant to fly and I can't wait to display her at some of the events we have planned for this special season – people are very keen to see her in flight after they have followed the rebuild so closely."

The aircraft was chiefly used for training after the war, before becoming the gate guardian at Tangmere and then a static display at air shows.

TE311 is painted as Spitfire XVI TB675 '4D-V', the aircraft of Squadron Leader Tony Reeves DFC, who was the commanding officer of 74 Squadron in 1945. The restoration was backed Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association.

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  • steveburnley  |  February 11 2013, 1:56PM

    It's a memorial flight, and the fact that people take the time and effort to keep these old war birds flying is as good for me now, as it was when I was a nipper. Going to the Airshow at RAF Waddington, it's clear that many generations care greatly about our aviation history. I get that many associate the Battle of Britain with the elipse wing of the Spitfire, I'm also proud of my father who was part of the V-Force team. So whatever the aircraft, I'm greatful of my past, which allows me to live in their vision of the future.

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  • gsx1100  |  February 10 2013, 4:42PM

    You don't have to be an expert Armyoldsweat. Although most of what I posted is common knowledge to anyone who likes aircraft, all the facts are available on the BBMF website.

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  • Armyoldsweat  |  February 10 2013, 4:17PM

    It must be nice to be an expert at something. Ah well...I did ask for it so I've only myself to blame.

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  • gsx1100  |  February 10 2013, 3:59PM

    Sorry, typo.It should be P7350, not 735.

  • gsx1100  |  February 10 2013, 3:46PM

    Spitfire P7350, of the BBMF, is the only flying Spitfire which fought in the battle of Britain. So that means the other Spitfires and the Hurricanes, which are 1944 models, are also flying under the same "false implication, as is the Lancaster, which didn't see active service. The Dakota belonged to the Canadians until 1971, and as for the 1950's Chipmunks! So, Armyoldsweat, with your pernicketiness, what would you propose? flying just Spitfire P735.

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  • Armyoldsweat  |  February 10 2013, 12:47PM

    Congratulations and credit due to the BBMF MKXV1 'Spitfire' restoration project after it last flew in 1954 eight years after WW2 ended. I sincerely have no wish to be unkind but it has little resemblance to the Spitfire as it is known and has no real association with the 'Battle of Britain' Memorial Flight other than to give the false implication it also was 'one of the few'. OK, I'm perhaps a disagreable old devil and there will be a heck of a lot of folk to tell me so.

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