BBMF – Aircraft Histories – Current aircraft. – Updated 7th October 2018.
PA474 – Taken at RAF Coningsby 25th April 2011.
BBMF – History.
To mark the 60th year of the BBMF I have put together a page on the history of the unit and it’s fleet of very unique aircraft.The histories of all the BBMF fleet are being added to all the time, If you can add or amend the data please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com
The early days.
Mid 1957 the Biggin Hill station commander Wg Cdr Peter Thompson DFC had one of the last Hawker Hurricanes left in the RAF based with the station flight, he asked if he could keep the Hawker Hurricane IIc LF363 to form a flight so the right aircraft types used in the Battle of Britain could be represented in flypasts and displays, Permission was granted but the servicing had to be done on a voluntary basis at no cost. the unit was to be called the Memorial Flight.
13th June 1957 three ex Thum Flight Spitfire PR XIXe were delivered to RAF Biggin Hill from RAF Woodvale for use by the new flight, of the three Spitfires only one PM631 would be retained,PS915 was wfu and sent to RAF West Malling on gate guard duty, PS853 was used to guard the gate at RAF West Raynham.The flight replaced 2 of it’s three PR XIX Spitfires with three Spitfire F.XVI’s TE330,TE476 and SL574
Over the years the flight has had it’s up’s and downs with the Spitfire LF XVIe’s proving to be problematic they were retired, TE330 was presented to the USAF Academy in exchange for a P-51D Mustang , The second TE476 went to the gate at RAF West Raynham and the third SL574 was sent to guard the gate at RAF Bentley Priory. This left the flight at this time with just two aircraft Spitfire PR XIX PM631 and the Hurricane IIc LF363.
April 1964 Spitfire PR XIXe PS853 re -joined after being returned to flight.
1965 Spitfire Vc AB910 which was donated by Vickers Armstrong.
September 1968 following the end of filming the movie “Battle of Britain ” in 1968 Spitfire IIa P7350 was donated to the flight, This Spitfire flew in the real battle of Britain.
March 1969 the flight was renamed as Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
29th March 1972 marked the arrival of Hurricane IIc PZ865 the last Hurricane built,this was donated by Hawker’s.
November 1973 Lancaster BI PA474 was added after being flown by 44Sqn at Waddington with the aircraft being coded KM-B.
1976 – BBMF moved to RAF Coningsby the flight established themselves for life in South Lincs.
April 1983 – Chipmunk T10’s WK518 and WP855 arrived for training pilots on the art of flying tail Draggers before they get there hands on a Hurricane or Spitfire,
April 1985 The unit aquired DH104 Devon C2 VP981 in the April of 1985 as a support aircraft to operate when aircraft were operated away from Coningsby.
April 1987 Spitfire PR XIXe PS915 re-joined the fold after being returned to airworthy status by BAe at Salmesbury.
September 1991– A major blow to the flight was the crash landing of Hurricane IIc LF363 at Wittering in while en route to the Channel Islands. The Hurricane was severely damaged by the pursuing fire,
April 1993 a Douglas Dakota III was transferred from Boscombe Down to replace the DH104 Devon which was later sold. The Dakota was sent to Air Atlanique’s base at Coventry and had it’s “Raspberry Ripple” paint scheme replaced with WW II marks and coded YS-DM/248Sqn. The Dakota is used to train the Lancaster Crew and is also used to display at many airshows, The Dakota is also used for para dropping and support of the flight, the codes were changed to YS-H then ‘AI ‘/267Sqn marks. The currant Sqn marks on the Dakota are of UK/233Sqn.
17th February 1995 – Spitfire PR XIX PS853 was sold to Euan English at North Weald to raise the funds needed to rebuild the Hurricane IIc LF363.
1995 Chipmunk T10 WG486 arrived in an all white scheme from service with RAF Germany, this replaced WP855 .
1997 saw the arrival of another Spitfire this time a clipped winged LF IXe MK356 a WWII veteran with a good pedigree. this wore it’s 441(Hornet)Sqn RCAF marks that it wore when based at RAF Digby in April 1944. This was fitted with the clipped wings from Spitfire SL674.
October 2001 marked the arrival of two Spitfires XIV’s TE311 and TB382 for reduction to spare parts, Only TB382 became spare parts while TE311 has spent eleven years being rebuilt before it’s first flight , This is the same Mk LF XVIe type of Spitfire that flew in the early days of the BBMF at Biggen Hill in 1957.
2007 – 50th Anniversary season – the original four aircraft, LF363,PM631,PS853 & PS915 flew again together.
October 2007 MK356 was sent for overhaul to ARC at Duxford, The clipped wings were returned to standard elliptical shape during this time and the Spitfire was painted to represent “MJ250” in the Silver scheme of 601(County of London) when it operated in Italy in 1943 coded UF-Q.
29th October 2012 – TE311 had an eventful first flight after 11 year rebuild when being flown by OC BBMF Sqn Ldr Smith could not get it’s undercarriage down , after a fair few passes it eventually retracted and landed in one piece.
The loan of a T-6 Havard is also used to train pilots just as it did in World War 2.
Bases used 1957 – Current.
RAF Biggin Hill July 1957 – March 1958
RAF North Weald March 1958 – May 1958
RAF Martlesham May 1958 – November 1961
RAF Horsham St Faith November 1961 – April 1963
RAF Coltishall April 1963 – March 1976
Barkston Heath Based between 2002 – 2004 when RAF Coningsby runway was being rebuilt. Regular Chipmunk flights using the grass runway as the Admin stayed at Coningsby.
RAF Coningsby March 1976 – Current.
The BBMF for the 2017 season have a very special display with the Lancaster and four Spitfire and the Lancaster with two Spitfire and two Hurricane, First flown on the 10th July it is a fitting tribute to the crews that paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Lest we forget.
PZ865,TE311,LF363,P7350 & AB910 line up outside on the BBMF ramp. – June 2017.
2018 season is the 100 year anniversary of the Royal Air Force, The BBMF have put a new flying program together as the Trenchard formation with the Lancaster, Dakota and as many as five fighters flying in close formation.
This display has been a big hit with the public at both RAF Cosford in June and the RIAT at RAF Fairford in July. The end of season brings the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association event at the end of September, this is normally on a Sunday but due to the cancellation of the event due to bad weather it has been moved to Saturday 29th this year, This was the last display for the OC Sqn leader Andy “Milli” Millikin and he chose AB910 to do it. The Lancaster , two Hurricane’s and two Spitfire’s were used in good sunny weather. Sqn leader Mark “Disco” Discombe AFC has become the new OC of BBMF.
LLA day 2018.
Lancaster B1 PA474.
Hurricane IIc LF363 & Hurricane IIC PZ865
Spitfire Vb AB910 & Spitfire LF IXe MK356
Hawker Hurricane IIc : LF363
C/N : 41H/469290
Status : Airworthy
First Flight, January 1, 1944.
Delivered to RAF, January 28, 1944– Accepted by 5 MU at RAF Kemble.
Allocated to 63Sqn Based at RAF Turnhouse Scotland. 30th March – 23rd May 1944
Allocated to 309 (Polish)Sqn/WC-F Based at RAF Dram in Scotland. 23rd May 1944
Allocated to 63Sqn Based at RAF Turnhouse Scotland. 2nd November 1944
Allocated to 26 Sqn. Based at RAF Trangmere. – August 1944 – December 1944.
Allocated to 62 OTU Based at RAF Ouston December 1944 – 20th August 1945
Allocated to 146Sqn renamed 63Sqn Based at RAF Middle Wallop – 20th August 1945 – 21st June 1947
August 1947 – Allocated to Fighter Command Communications Sqn Based at RAF Northolt – Wore a silver scheme with red spinner.
6th February 1948 – Allocated to RAF Thorney Island Stn flt .
15th September 1948 – Air Vice Marshall Sir Stanley Vincent DFC AFC led the Queens birthday flypast over London on loosing a panel he landed at RAF West Malling for temporarily repairs before returning to Thorney island.
29th October 1948 – Flown to Hawkers at Langley for overhaul.
20th April 1949 – On delivery back to Thorney Island from Langley LF363 made a wheels up landing, the repairs were done at Thorney Island.
13th June 1949 – Re -allocated to RAF Thorney Island Stn flt
27th June 1949 – LF363 was painted Blue with a Red spinner for use as the personal mount of Air Vice Marshall Sir Stanley Vincent with his crest and 11 Fighter group badge on the side.
September 1949 – LF363 lead the Battle of Britain flypast over London flown by Air Com Stanley Vincent.
28th November 1949 – LF363 was flown to Hawkers at Langley for storage.
August 1950 – Hawker’s returned LF363 back to flight status.
1st September 1950 – Allocated to RAF Waterbeach Stn flt,
May 1951 – Flown to 19MU at St Athan for servicing, This found LF363 was needing mods and remove the cannon tubes in the wings..
Flown to Hawkers at Langley for mods and painted in Camo markings with a water based paint.
July 1951 – Flown to RAF Kenley Stn flt for use in the movie “Angel One Five” marked as P2615 coded US-B.
18th September 1951 – Returned to Hawkers for re-fitting of the Cannon tubes and return to Blue marks.
Allocated to RAF Biggin Hill Stn flt
6th November 1951 delivered to RAF Waterbeach Stn flt.
1955 – Appeared in a BBC television series – The War In the Air.
August 1955 – Returned to RAF Kenley Station Flight for use in the movie Reach for the Sky.
September 1955 – LF363 was returned to Hawkers at Langley for a major overhaul and repaint to overall silver marking..
10th June 1957- Allocated to RAF Biggin Hill Stn flt.
Transferred to the Battle of Britain Flight as it’s founder member, It’s first BoB duty was 15th September 1957 leading the Battle of Britain flypast over London.
Allocated Camo marking with a red spinner. 1957 – 1968
1957 – Flown to RAF Northolt for use in the filming of “The one that got away”.
1968 – Appeared in movie “Battle of Britain Film” ,marks used in the film codes were F, MI-A, MI-D, MI-H, KV-C and serials H3420, H3421, H3422.
1968 – Returned to the Battle of Britain flight
Allocated marks 242Sqn/LE-D (thin) – Gp Cpt D.R.S Bader marks – 1969 – 1972.
Allocated marks 242Sqn/LE-D (Thick) – Gp Cpt D.R.S Bader marks – 1973 – 1978.
Allocated marks 249(gold coast)Sqn/GN-F Gp Cpt J.B.Nicolson’s V.C marks 1979 – 1982.
Allocated marks 85Sqn/VY-X Black marks 1983 – 1986. ( Slide taken at Coningsby 23/3/83 )
Allocated marks 79Sqn/NV-L 1987 – 1989.
Allocated marks 249Sqn/GN-A 1989 – 1991. ( Slide taken Fairford 7/90 )
Crashed and burned at RAF Wittering after engine failure, September 11, 1991.
Remains stored at Coningsby 1991 – 1994
Rebuilt to airworthy by Historic Flying Ltd – 1994-1998.
RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight September 29, 1998.
Allocated marks 56Sqn/US-C 1998 – 2005 ( Slide taken at Coningsby 7/01 )
Allocated marks 17Sqn/YB-W 2006 – 2013
Fabric recovered at BBMF Coningsby – Painted in silver undercoat – Photo taken – May – 2014
Allocated marks 1(F)Sqn/JX-B – 2014 – 2017
LF363 1(F)Sqn/JX-B with the prop and blue spinner loaned from PZ865- 4th May 2017 – 12th May 2017.
Reverted back to Black spinner 13/5/17, this was taken 28/5/17.
LF363 Allocated dual marks late May 2017 – starboard GN-F/249Sqn & Port SD-A/501Sqn – marks f/f 3/6/17 2017 – current.
Hawker Hurricane IIc : PZ865
Last Hurricane built.
First flight, Langley, July 22, 1944.
Hawker Aircraft Ltd, Langley August 1944-1946 used for trails.
Hawker Aircraft Ltd, Langley Open stored 1946 – 1950.
Hawker Aircraft Ltd, Dunsfold, May 1 1950-1972.
Registered as G-AMAU. Blue and gold marks : Race No.41.
Flew in movie Battle of Britain in 1968 using the codes . H, MI-CMI-D, MI-G, KV-A, KV-M, and the serials
H3421, H3423, H3424 and OK-I.
Allocated Camo “Last of the many” 1968 – 1972
RAF Battle Of Britain Flight – March 29 1972- Current
Allocated marks 257Sqn/DT-A 1972 – 1977
Allocated marks 111Sqn/JU-Q 1978 – 1981
Allocated Camo “Last of the many” 1982 – 1988 ( Slide taken at Wyton 16/7/83 )
Allocated marks 303(Polish)Sqn/RF-U 1989 – 1992. ( Slide taken at Mildenhall Show 92)
Allocated marks 261Sqn/ J -Desert Camo 1993 – 1998 (Slide taken at Duxford UK1-30-212A)
Allocated marks 5Sqn/Q SEAC marks 1999 – 2004 ( Slide taken Coningsby 5/00 )
Allocated marks 1Sqn/JX-E 2005 – 2010 (Slide taken Coningsby 4/05 )
To ARCO Duxford for Major overhaul – 15 November 2010 – 2012
Allocated 34Sqn/EG-S SEAC marks 2012 – Current.
Spitfire F IIa : P7350
C/n : CBAF.14
UK Civil Registered : G-AWIJ 29/2/1968 – 29/2/1984
Status : Airworthy.
April 12, 1938 – Ordered as part of contract B981687/39,
1940- Built by Supermarine at the Castle Bromwich factory Birmingham. 14th Spitfire built here.
Rolls-Royce Merlin XII Engine -fitted. f/f 9th August 1940.
13th August 1940 – Delivered to Royal Air Force as P7350 – To 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton by Alex Henshaw.
6th September 1940 Allocated to 266 (Rhodesia) Sqn/UO-T : Based at RAF Wittering, The 266 Sqn moved to Matlesham Heath then to Collyweston
17th Oct 1940 – Allocated to 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn/XT-W ? : Based at RAF Hornchurch, .
25th Oct 1940 –Force landing near Hastings after combat damage from a Bf109. Repairs to Cannon holes still in evidence until major service in 2008.
31st October 1940 Sent to 1 CRU for repair at Cowley Oxon,
December 7 1940 Allocated to 37 MU at RAF Burtonwood for storage .
March 18 1941 Allocated to 616 (South Yorkshire) Sqn RAF Tangmere.
April 10 1941 Allocated to 64 Sqn : based at RAF Hornchurch .
August 1941 – Damaged in a Landing accident .
August 5 1941 – To Scottish Aviation at Prestwick for overhaul & repair.
January 29 1942 Allocated to 37 MU at RAF Burtonwood,
Spitfire IIA was withdrawn from front line operational flying.
April 27 1942 Allocated to Central Gunnery School Based at RAF Sutton Bridge.
Suffered- Cat B damage in landing accident at Sutton Bridge.,
February 4, 1943 –Sent to AST at RAF Hamble for repairs
March 20, 1943 -Repaired and ready for collection at Hamble.
March 23 1943 – Allocated to 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton, .
March 31 1943 – Allocated to 57 OTU Based at RAF Eshott, –
April 22, 1944.CAT B damaged when another Spitfire taxied into P7350 at RAF Eshott
April 30 1944 – Sent to AST at Hamble for repairs.
July 13 1944 – Repaired and awaiting collection from Hamble.
July 24 1944 – Delivered to 39 MU RAF Colerne. Stored.
July 8 1948 – Declared non-effective stock and sold for £25 as scrap to John Dale & Sons Ltd.
At this stage P7 had a lot of luck and was donated to RAF Colerne Collection by Dales.
RAF Colerne Collection – Static display.
March 3, 1967 –To RAF Henlow by road for restoration to airworthy condition,
April 25, 1968 – Registered as G-AWIJ to Spitfire Productions Ltd but the Ministry Of Defence retained ownership.
May 20 1968 – Flown to Duxford and appeared in the Film ‘Battle of Britain’ ,During the film P7350 wore the
serials N3310,N3312,N3317 & N3321 during the film with codes AI-A,AI-E,BO-H,CD-C & CD-M.
When the filming was finished P7350 was returned to RAF..
October 1968 –Allocated to the Battle of Britain Flight Based at RAF Coltishall.
November 5 1968 – Delivered to RAF Coltishall.
January 1 1969 – Name change to Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Allocated marks of 266 Sqn/ZH-T from 1969 until 1972.
Allocated marks of 266 Sqn/UO-T from 1972 until 1977.
March 1 1976 The Flight moved to RAF Coningsby.
Allocated marks of 19 Sqn/QV-B from 1978 until 1981.
Allocated marks of 64Sqn/SH-D from 1982 until 1984.( Slide taken at Wyton 6/83 )
Allocated marks of 41 Sqn/EB-Z from 1985 until 1988. ( Slide taken at Mildenhall 6/86 )
Allocated marks of 266Sqn/UO-T from 1989 until 1990.
Allocated marks of 65 Sqn/YT-F from 1991 until 1993.
July 29 1992 – Damaged on take-off, RAF Chivenor,
Allocated marks of 72 Sqn/RN-S from 1993 until 1997 ( Slide taken at Duxford 1996 )
Allocated marks of 277 (Air Sea Rescue) Sqn/BA-Y from 1997 to Sept 2000.
To RAF St. Athan for major overhaul, September 25, 2000.
Delivered back to BBMF RAF Coningsby. – June 6, 2001.
Allocated marks of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn/XT-D from 2001 until 2006 ( Slide taken at Coningsby 6/2001 )
Allocated marks of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn/XT-W from 2006 until 2007
Allocated marks of 603(City of Edinburgh) Sqn/XT-L from 2007 until 2008.
September 29 2008 – To the Aircraft Restoration Company, Duxford for major service,
First test flight September 16, 2009.
Delivered back to BBMF RAF Coningsby, September 2009
Allocated marks 92 Sqn/QJ-K, 2009 – 2011
Allocated marks 41 Sqn/EB-G the aircraft flown by Ace Flt Lt Eric Lock. – from 2011 – 2017
Allocated dual marks starboard side 92Sqn/QJ-G and Port side 19Sqn/QV-E marks f/f 3/6/17 – from 2017 .
To Biggin Hill 21st November 2017 for overhaul by the Spitfire Company c/s “Spitfire 90”.
Spitfire LF Vb : AB910
C/n : CBAF.1061
UK civil registered : G-AISU – 25th Oct 1946 – 22nd Aug 1955.
Status . Airworthy
History :Built by Supermarine at the Castle Bromwich factory Birmingham, 1941.
1941 – Delivered to Royal Air Force as AB910.
August 22 – 1941 Allocated to 222(Natal) Squadron/ZD-C codes based at North Weald.
Damaged in combat at the end of August 1941 in made a forced landing a Lympne.
Repaired at AST Hamble it was flown to 37MU at RAF Burtonwood.
Allocated to 130(Punjab)Sqn PJ- codes at RAF Perranporth Cornwall and flew 12 missions, Damaged in combat .
15th January 1942 – To Westland Aircraft Company at Yeovil for repair.
June 1942 – Allocated to 133 (Eagle) Sqn/MD-E at RAF Biggin Hill it flew 29 missions.
September 1942 – Allocated to 242Sqn/LE- H at Turnhouse in Scotland.
November 1942 – Delivered to 12MU at RAF Kirkbride in Scotland.
July 1943 – January 1944 Allocated to 416(RCAF) Sqn Based at RAF Trangmere.
Allocated to No. 3501 Support Unit based at Middle Wallop,
Allocated to 402(RCAF) Sqn/AE- codes based at RAF Digby.
Allocated to 53 OTU at RAF Hibalstow.
Allocated to 527Sqn at RAF Hibalstow.
Allocated to Radio Warfare Establishment at RAF Digby.
May 30, 1945- To storage at 29 MU RAF High Ercall. .
October 25th 1946. Declared non-effective stock and sold to Group Captain Allan H Weeler.
UK civil Registered as G-AISU 25th October 1955
Group Captain Weeler used the Spitfire for Air racing- Flew as race #82, After a heavy landing at the 1953 Kings cup air race AB910 went sent to Vickers Armstrong for overhaul.
19th May 1955 Transferred to Vickers Armstrong at Bristol.
22nd August 1955 reverted back to Military serial AB910, It was flown by Test pilot Jeffery Quill at Displays on a regular basis.
September 1965 Vickers-Armstrong Ltd., Weybridge, May 1955-1965.
Donated to RAF – RAF Battle Of Britain Flight, September 15 1965- To date.
Allocated marks 92Sqn/QJ-J(thin) 1965 – 1968.
Flew in Battle of Britain Movie made in 1968.
Flew with serials N3312,N3313,N3315,N3318,N3319,N3321 & N3322 with codes AI-C,AI-D,AI-F,AI-H,AI-J,AI-H,
AI-M, AI-N, CD-D, CD-F, CD-K, DO-M.
Returned to the RAF after the Film.
Allocated marks 145Sqn/SO-T 1 969 – 1972.
Allocated marks 92Sqn/QJ-J (Thick) 1973 – 1978.
Damaged during landing at Duxford, June 1976.
Badly damaged in ground collision with Harvard, Bex, Switzerland, August 21, 1978.
Rebuilt at RAF Abingdon using parts from MK732 1978 – 1981
Rebuilt and returned to Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight, October 26, 1981.
Allocated marks 603(City of Edinburgh)Sqn/XT-M 1981 – 1985. ( Slide taken Coningsy 3/83 )
To Cranfield for Servicing 1985.
Allocated marks 457Sqn/BP-O 1986 – 1989 ( Slide taken at Waddington 7/88 )
Allocated marks 41Sqn/EB-J “The Guinne Pig Club” 1990
Allocated marks 133(Eagle)Sqn/MD-E 1991 – 1993
Allocated marks 402(RCAF)Sqn/AE-H. 1994 – 1998. Invasion Stripes ( Slide taken Duxford 6/96)
Restored to airworthy, Audley End.
Allocated marks 133(Eagle)Sqn/XR-A. – First flight, March 3, 1997 in marks.
Airfreighted to Nellis AFB, NV for airshow, April 1997.
Reverted to 402(RCAF)Sqn/AE-H marks 1997 – 1998
Allocated marks 222(Natal)Sqn/ZD-C 1999 – 2002 (Slide taken at Coningsby 10/01 )
Restored at Duxford, UK, 2002-2003.
Allocated marks 244 Group/IR-G Dessert marks. 2003 – 2006 ( Slide taken at Coningsby 9/04 )
Allocated marks 303(Polish)Sqn/RF-D, 2007 – 2009
Sill marked 303(Polish)Sqn/RF-D 2010 – 2013
Allocated marks 133(Eagle)Sqn/MD-E 2013 – 2014
Restoration by Aircraft Restoration Company, Duxford, circa 2014-2015.
Allocated marks 64Sqn/SH-F 2015– current
Spitfire LF IXc : MK356
C/n : CBAF.1561
Status . Airworthy
Built under Contract No. B981687/39
Built by Supermarine at the Castle Bromwich factory Birmingham early 1944
Fitted with a Rolls Royce Merlin 66 Engine.
4th February 1944 – Delivered to 9MU at Cosford.
11thMarch 1944 – Allocated to 443(RCAF)Sqn B flight /21-V at RAF Digby.
18th March 1944 – 443(RCAF)Sqn B flight /21-V moved to Holmsey Marsh.
27th March 1944 – 443(RCAF)Sqn B flight /21-V moved to Hutton Cranswick
9th April 1944 – 443(RCAF)Sqn B flight /21-V moved to RAF Cosford.
14th April 1944 – MK356 flew it’s first Operation sortie over Paris.
23rd April 1944 – 443(RCAF)Sqn B flight /21-V moved to RAF Funtingdon.
14th May 1944 – 443(RCAF)Sqn B flight /21-V moved to RAF Ford.
While with this unit it flew 60 sorties, Was damaged in combat 3 times.
Credited with a half kill on Bf 109.
On June 13, 1944, while flown by F/O Gordon Monroe it lost a main wheel on take-off. On
return from patrol F/O Gordon Monroe made a wheels up landing.
Transferred to 84GSU at Bognor Regis for repairs (not completed) when unit moved to France.
2nd October 1945. 1951 1 SOTT at RAF Halton as a instructional airframe and issued 5690M,
1953-1958 RAF Hawkinge, – Displayed as gate guard as M5690 in a Silver scheme.
1958-1961 RAF Hawkinge, – Displayed as gate guard as M5690 then later MK356 in a Camo scheme.
1962 -1966 RAF Bicester – MK356 was overhauled and recoded 2J-
1966-1967 -RAF Locking – Pole mounted still coded 2J-
1967-1968 – Moved to RAF Henlow and converted to look like a Spitfire I for use in movie “Battle Of Briatin” in static scenes as N3328/ coded AI-R & N3317 coded BO- used in filming at North Weald & Duxford.
August 1968 – Returned to RAF Henlow and converted back to Spitfire MkIX standard then Stored until the 18th Aug 1969.
1969-1997.RAF Museum, RAF St. Athan, August 18 1969,
1991-1997 – Restored to airworthy, RAF St. Athan fitted with clipped wings from SL674.
November 7 1997 – First flight.
November 14 1997 –Delivered to the BBMF at RAF Coningsby.
Allotted marks 443 (RCAF)Sqn/21-V 1997 – 2006
To Duxford for overhaul and wings modified to regular shaped wings. October 2007 – 2008
Allocated marks all silver scheme of No 601 (County of London) Sqn/UF-Q 2008 – 2012.
To Duxford for servicing and repaint. 2012 – 2013.
17th October 2013 – Returned to BBMF in 126Sqn marks with the wrong coloured Spinner.
2013 – 2017 Allocated marks 126Sqn marks/5J-K “KAY”.
1/3/17 – To Biggin Hill for overhaul and repaint.
Delivered back to Coningsby 8/11/17 in Desert Camo 92Sqn/QJ-3 markings.
First flight of the 2018 season was on the 20th April.
MK356 displaying at the LLA day 29th September 2018.
PM631 : Spitfire PR XIXe
C/n : 6S-683528
Status : Airworthy
History : Built by Vickers-Armstrong at Reading, UK, late 1945.
Engine: fitted with a Rolls Royce Griffon 66.
6th November 1945 – Delivered to 6MU at RAF Brize Norton.
6th May 1949 – 13th January 1950 – Delivered to 203 Advanced Flying School at RAF Driffield.
13th January 1950 Delivered to 9MU at RAF Cosford –
Spent a short time at Buckeburg Air Base in Germany before returning back to 9MU at RAF Cosford.
2nd July 1951 – Delivered to Short Brothers at Hooten Park, – Assigned to Meteorological Research Flight.
July 13th 1951 – Meteorological Research Flight moved to Woodvale, – Used for temperature and humidity flights
until June 1957.
Delivered on June 14 1957 –Memorial Flight at RAF Biggin Hill.
Allocated marks Camo with no unit marks 1957 – 1966
PM631 was loaned to Central Fighter Establishment in 1964 at RAF Binbrook for use against BAC Lightnings to train pilots that might come up again P-51D mustangs in Indonisia.
Allocated marks Camo 11Sqn/AD-C 1967 – 1968
1968 -Flown to RAF Henlow and loaned to Spitfire Productions for conversion to look like a Spitfire Mk 1 for the film Battle of Britain.
Flown in movie Battle of Britain in 1968 with serials N3317, N3320, N3329 and codes AI-S, BO-S & DO-N.
August 1968 – Returned to RAF Henlow and converted back to Spitfire PR XIXe standard.
Returned to BBMF
Allocated marks Camo 11Sqn/AD-C 1968 – 1983
Allocated marks Camo 91Sqn/DL-E 1984 – 1989 (Slide taken at Brize Norton 7/86 )
Overhauled at College of Technology at Cranfield winter 1989 – 1990 ( Slide bare metal Cranfield 4/90 )
Allocated marks Camo 11Sqn/N SEAC 1990 – 1995 ( slide taken at RIAT 7/95)
Allocated marks Blue 681Sqn/S 1996 – 2001 ( Slide taken at Coningsby 6/99 )
Allocated marks Blue 541Sqn 2002 – 2003 (Slide taken Cby 7/03 )
Allocated marks Blue 81Sqn/Invasion stripes
Allocated marks PR blue 81Sqn with Invasion stripes,
PM631 stored awaiting an engine – (Stored since 2015)
21st July 2018 – the new Griffon engine is in place.
Another update September 7th 2018.
PS853 : Spitfire PR XIXe
UK civil Registered – G-RRGN 23 December 1996 – Current.
Rolls Royce Griffon 58 engine fitted.
January 13, 1945 – Delivered to Central Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at RAF Benson.
February 1945 -Delivered to 16Sqn at Melsbroek Belgium.
Delivered to 268Sqn this Sqn was then renumbered to 16Sqn on the 18th December 1945.
18th September 1945– 16Sqn at Crelle France.
March 1946 – Delivered to 29MU at High Ercall for storage.
17th January 1949 – Cat B damaged in a flying accident.
9th March – Delivered to Vickers at Southampton for repairs.
February 29 1950 – Delivered to 6 MU at RAF Quedgeley.
July 1950 – Delivered to Short Brothers at Hooten Park.
Assigned to Meteorological Research Flight.- Final flight June 9, 1957.
June 14th 1957 – Delivered to Memorial Flight at Biggin Hill –
November 8 1957 – Delivered to 32 MU at RAF St Athan .
December 20 1957– Delivered to Biggin Hill Station flight.
March 1 1958– Delivered to North Weald Station flight.
April 14th 1958 – Delivered to Central Fighter Establishment at Binbrook to fly against BAe Lightning as the Lightning may come up against P-51 Mustangs in Indonisia.
May 1st, 1958. SOC
Delivered to RAF West Raynham as a Gate Guardian as 7548M 1958-1961
Delivered to 19 MU at St Athan – Restored to flying condition.
Delivered to RAF West Raynham November 1962-1964.
April 14 1964 -Transferred to BBMF at RAF Colishall , 1964 – 1968.
Flown in movie Battle of Britain with Serials N3314, N3316, N3319,N3321 codes worn – AI-E, AI-G, AI-M, CD-C, EI-K .
Returned to the BBMF September 1968.
Allocated as 16Sqn/C PR Blue 1968 -1995 ( Slide taken Fairford 1990 )
Sold to Euan English, North Weald February 17, 1995-1996.
Sold to Rolls Royce PLC, Corporate Heritage Dept, Bristol-Filton, 1996- Current.
PS853 departing Coningsby on the 3rd July 2008.
Registered as G-RRGN, December 23 1996. – Flown in blue RAF scheme as PS853/C in 16Sqn marks. Based at East Midlands Airport.
PS915 : Spitfire PR XIXe
Built at Southampton April 1945
17th April 1945 – Delivered to 6MU at RAF Brize Norton
26th April 1945 – Delivered to RAF Benson
21stJune 1945 – Delivered to 541Sqn at RAF Benson on 1 it was issued nine days later to RAF Benson.
29th December 1945 – Delivered to No.1 Pilots Pool at RAF Benson.
22nd July 1946 – Delivered to PR Development Unit at RAF Benson.
10th October – Delivered to No.151 Repair Unit Wevelgem Belgium.
8th July 1948 – Delivered to No.2(AC) Sqn at RAF
Damaged declared Cat.3R on 30th April and again on 6th August 1952. Took 22 Months to Repair.
4th June 1954 – Delivered to the THUM Flight at Woodvale, 1954 – 1957.
13th June 1957 – Delivered to Historic Flight at RAF Biggin Hill and WFU.
31st August 1957 – Delivered to RAF West Malling as a Gate guard as 7711M 1957 – 1960.
RAF Leuchars – Gate Guard 1961 – 1967.
1967 Delivered to RAF Henlow and converted to look like a Spitfire F 1 for the Film Battle of Britain.
1968 Loaned to Spitfire productions , Used as a static Spitfire in the Film Battle of Britain.
September 1968 – Returned to RAF Henlow reconverted to PR XIX.
Returned to RAF Leuchars as Gate guard 1968 to 1975
To RAF Brawdy for assessment to be made airworthy. 1975
Delivered to BBMF at RAF Coningsby and used as engine test bed. 1975 – 1980.
RAF Brawdy Gate guard. Camo no Sqn marks 1980 – 1984 – (Slide taken Brawdy 2/7/83 )
Joined the BBMF at Coningsby. June 1984 –
Delivered to BAe, Salmesbury for conversion to Griffon 57 power, the work being assigned to the apprentice. training school at Samlesbury. June 1984 –
f/f following rebuild to Airworthy at BAe Samlesbury. November 20th 1986
Delivered to Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby. March 24th 1987
Allocated marks – PR Blue no Sqn marks. 1987 – 1991 (Slide taken at Fairford 1990 )
Flew as “JF319” Prototype XIX marks with yellow P on the side.. 1992 – 1997
Allocated marks 152Sqn/UM-G – Camo. 1998 – 2003 (Slide taken at Coningsby 6/99)
Allocated marks 81Sqn “The Last” 2004 – 2015
Delivered to Duxford for Overhaul by ARC and repaint.
Returned to BBMF at Coningsby 20/8/16
Allocated 81Sqn Silver markings 2016 – Currant
TE311 was delivered to Coningsby to be broken to spares but had a 12 years restoration to full air worthiness by the BBMF.
TE311 : Spitfire LF XVIe
C/N : CBAF
Built at Castle Bromwich in 1945 and taken on charge by the Air ministry on 8th June 1945,
Delivered to No.39 MU Colerne on 16th June 1945 and placed in store.
Allocated to the ECFS (Empire Central Flying School) Handling Sqn at Hullavington on 5th October 1945 and served until 17th February 1946,
Allocated to No.33 MU Lyneham for storage. Here it remained until 1951.
Allocated to No.1689 FPT Flt at RAF Ashton Down on 31st May 1951.
Cat.4R damage in a flying accident on 21st June 1951
To Vickers Armstrong for repairs 19th July 1951
Repairs were completed by Vickers Armstrong – 13th December 1951.
Delivered back to to No.1689 FPT Flight at RAF Ashton Down on 31st December 1951.
The aircraft was transferred to the Flying Training Command on 31st July 1952
Allocated to the Ferry Training Unit at RAF Benson on 9th April 1953.
It was returned to No.33 MU at RAF Lyneham on 23rd September that year
and delivered to No.2 CAACU at Langham, Norfolk on 12th January 1954,
Returned to No.33 MU at RAF Lyneham shortly after on 23rd February 1954
and transferred to non-effective stock on 13th December 1954 .
Issued with Maintenance serial 7241M on 8th August 1955,
Placed on the main gate at RAF Tangmere 11th August 1955 – 1967 in Silver scheme.
Loaned to Spitfire Productions Ltd for The Battle of Britain and delivered by road to Henlow in 1967.
It was restored to Taxying condition and modified with false rear fuselage to resemble a Mk I.
It was used at both North Weald and Duxford during 1968 and used serial N3321 & N3324 and codes AI-C, AI-M, DO-H.
11th August 1968 – To RAF Henlow and returned to LF XVIe standard for display at RAF Benson.
September 1968 – it was exhibited at the Battle of Britain Display on 20th September 1968.
Allocated to Abingdon as part of the RAF Exhibition Flight.
During its time here it was loaned to SERCO in Wolverhampton.
Loaned to the Bayeux Museum in France where it flew as MK178/66Sqn/LZ-V.
October 1999 – The aircraft was transferred to the BBMF dismantled for spares along with TB382.
In 2004 restoration work began on TE311 .
After 12 years of painstaking restoration TE311 made its first post restoration flight on 19th October 2012.
Allocated marks 74Sqn/4D-V, of Sqn Ldr Tony Reeves DFC, the OC of No 74 Sqn in 1945.
For the 2015 season invasion stripes were added as a reserve aircraft for 70th Anniversary of D Day season.
Feb 2017 – TE311 had it’s paint removed and was painted in a black undercoat.
29th April 2017 – TE311 was test flown still in matt black undercoat, The undercoat will remain for the 2017 season.
TE311 started the 2017 display season still in black undercoat, Coningsby 24/6/17.
Repainted at RAF Coningsby March 2018 and returned to BBMF Hangar.
Allocated marks : 131(Polish) Wing /SZ-G flown by Group Capt Aleksander Gabszewicz between April 1945 – June 1945. Taken on engine test 13/4/18.
TE311 in full marks.
Picture taken at the LLA day 29th September 2018.
PA474 : Lancaster B1
C/N : VACH 0052 /D29
History : Rolled off the Production line 31/5/45 at Vickers Armstrong at Broughton Chester.
First flown August 1945 – Converted to Mk.VII FE (Far East) for Tiger Force.
Delivered to 38 MU at Llandow .
26/4/46 -Delivered Vickers Armstrong at Bagington for conversion to Mk 1 (PR),This included the removal of the Gun turrets,, Solid metal roof to the Cockpit, Fitting of 2 K17 Cameras, Provision for Radar, A second Pilot station was also added and The Lancaster was stripped back to bare metal.
8/48 – Returned to 38MU at Llandow.
9/48 – Allocated to 82Sqn/M and delivered to RAF Benson for and was used in South & East Africa on Photo Survey work operating from Takoradi West Africa.
2/52 – Returned to the United Kingdom with over 2000 hours on the frame PA474 had a major service then returned to 82Sqn.
8/52 PA474 was loaned out to Flight Refuelling Ltd at Tarrant Rushton as a Pilotless drone but was not used, They used a Avro Lincoln instead.
10/52 – Delivered to Royal College of Aeronautics for Handley Page Laminar Flow wing trials, The trial wings were mounted on the top rear of the Fuselage. The Lancaster was later replaced by an Avro Lincoln RF342.
April 1964 – PA474 was adopted by the Air Historical Branch (AHB) for future display in the RAF Museum at Hendon, After removal of all the Test equipment at Cranfield she departed to Woughton.
Delivered to 15MU at Wroughton for restoration and repaint back to WW II camo.
1964 – PA474 was used in the filming of The Guns of Navarone.
1964 – PA474 was used in the filming of Operation Crossbow.
1964 – Flown to RAF Henlow in preparation for display at RAF Museum Hendon.
1965 – The CO of 44Sqn based at Waddington asked the AHB in 44Sqn if the Lancaster could be transferred to RAF Waddington, After inspection PA474 was granted permission for a delivery flight from Henlow to Waddington 18th August 1965.
Between 1966 and 1967 a restoration programme for PA474 commenced and would take about two years to complete.
1967 – With both front and rear gun turrets in place PA474 was made airworthy and was flown on a regular basis by 44Sqn , Restoration continued.
Allocated marks 44Sqn/KM-B. This was the first Sqauodron to receive Avro Lancaster’s.
November 1973 – PA474 joined the Battle of Britain Flight at RAF Coltishall , This prompted a change of the Unit’s name to the ‘Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’. Restoration has been on going ever since.
In 1975 a Mid upper turret was found in Argentina and shipped back to the UK in HMS Hampshire, This was installed into PA474 the same year. PA474 was adopted by the City of Lincoln and their coat of arms were added to the front on the port front side.
1st March 1976 – The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight moved from RAF Coltishall to RAF Coningsby, It’s present Home.
September 1979 – PA474 was flown to RAF Lynham for repaint.
Allocated marks 617Sqn/AJ-G ,The marks of Wg Cdr Guy Gibson on the Dams raid. 1979- 1983. ( Sllide taken at Mildenhall 5/83 )
Major service was done at Kemble over the Winter of 1983 – 1984
Allocated marks 101Sqn/SR-D – 1984 – 1987 ( Slide taken at Coningsby 7/87 )
Major service was undertaken by West County Air Services at Exeter Airport.
Allocated marks 103Sqn/PM-M2 – 1987 – 1993 ( Slide taken RIAT June/82)
Major Service undertaken at St Athan over the Winter of 1993 -1994
Allocated marks 9Sqn WS -J “Jonny Walker” “Still going strong”. 1994 – 1999 ( slide taken at Coningsby 9/99 )
During the Winter of 1995 a new main spar was fitted.
Major Service undertaken at St Athan over the Winter of 1999 – 2000
Allocated marks 61Sqn/QR-M “Micky the Moocher” 2000 – 2006 ( Slide taken Coningsby 7/00 )
BBMF added four Poppy symbols to the Lancaster to denote the four Poppy drops made.
1st – 50th Anniversary of VE-day.
2nd -50th Anniversary of VJ-Day.
3rd – 60th Anniversary of D-Day.
4th – 60th Anniversary of the end of WW II.
The poppy symbols have been worn ever since no matter what the marks carried.
Major Service undertaken by Air Atlantique at Coventry over the Winter of 2006 – 2007.
Allocated marks for the first time was different on each side . 2007 – 2012
PA474 taken on a rare sunset landing at Coningsby on 8th June 2008
Port side – 100Sqn/HR-W “Phantom of the Ruhr “
Starboard side – 550Sqn/BQ-B
27/6/12 – A fifth Poppy drop was made to commemorate the 55,573 Bomber command lives lost in WWII, The Queen lead the ceremony at Green Park London over the Bomber Command Statue
The Lancaster went to Humberside Airport to have new marks applied arriving back at Coningsby 7/9/12
Allocated marks 617Sqn/KC-A 2012 – 2017
August/Sept 2014 – PA474 & FM214 CWH flight flew together at events around the UK.
FM214 arrived at Coningsby to a big welcome on a rainy day.
PA474 was parked behind.
The first flight together at Coningsby.
Towards the end of the CWH Lancaster tour I was able to visit both Lancaster’s on 18th September while in the BBMF Hangar.
The cockpit of FM214.
The Cockpit of PA474
FM214 taken from the bomb aimers station in PA474.
Thumper III showing it’s five poppy drops under the City of Lincoln coat of arms.
7th May 2015 The Lancaster developed a fire in No.4 engine while performing a display practice with a Spitfire and Hurricane at RAF Coningsby , She was landed safely and the crew exited the burning plane. RAF fire service put out the fire . The Lancaster did not fly again until 14th October.
Just after the Lancaster landed and switched off the engines, You can see the crew are exiting from the hatch at the front under the nose and the Navigator left by the rear door, He is standing on the right . This was just before the Fire tenders arrived.
4th October 2015 the Lancaster was on the Static for the LLA Day, The People’s Lancaster.
6th October 2015 – first engine runs.
14th October 1915 – f/f since the fire , PA474 did a flypast over the Bomber Command Memorial at Lincoln.
This young lady looks lost in the Lancaster cockpit.
Major servicing over the winter by Arco at Duxford , New fire walls have been fitted to No.1, No.2 and No. 3 engine bays as No. 4 engine had one fitted after the engine fire. 2016 – 2017
PA474 first flight was on 3rd July 2017 to RAF Brize Norton for rollers, Coningsby had high cross winds.
For the second time the Lancaster has been painted in two sets of marks.
Starboard side – 50Sqn/VN-T The marks OC Andy millikin’s grandfarthers Lancaster in WW II 2017 – Current.
Port side –460(RAAF)Sqn/AR-L “Leader” when based at RAF Binbrook.
PA474 was delivered back to RAF Coningsby on 4th July 2017.
Leader nose art taken at Coningsby on 16th July 2017.
First flight of 2018 took place on 29th April 2018 having had a sixth poppy symbol added over the winter servicing.
On a couple of occasions in 2018 the Lancaster has returned to Coningsby in the early evening as the sun began to set.
PA474 landing at Coningsby on May 4th 2018.
Again on the 17th May 2018 after a visit to Labybower with the last remaining Dambuster Jonny Johnson as part of the crew.
ZA947 – Douglas Dakota III
C/n : 10200
Status : Airworthy.
Built in March 1942 as C-47A – 60-DL 42-24338 at Long Beach California.
7/9/1943 – Delivered to the USAAF. This was short lived as it was transfired to RCAF under lend/lease.
16/9/1943 – On charge with the RCAF with the serial 661 .It flew in a Drag green scheme as a Dakota Mk III /3FP.
Allocated to 164(T)Sqn based at Monkton New Brunswick. 1943 – 1946.
Allocated to 435(T)Sqn Winnipeg Detachment 1946 – 1949
Allocated to 435(T)Sqn Edmonton Detachment – transferred 3/2/49
Allocated to the Photo wing – transferred Nov 1950
1969 661 was put up for sale as surplus to RCAF requirements.
April 1969 – 661 was purchased by Scottish Aviation on behalf of the RAE West Freugh. The Dakota was modified to drop small Sonar Bouys into the Sea off the coast of Port Patrick. The Dakota c3 was allocated serial KG661.
1979 – It flew as KG661 for 10 years until it was realised that KG661 was w/o in WW II so it was re-serialed as ZA947. The Dakota had a airliner style interior with ex DH Comet seats and could fit upto 28 passengers.
1980 – ZA947 was based at RAE Farnborough.
1984 – ZA947 was repainted in a Raspberry ripple scheme.
1988 – ZA947 was again based at RAE West Freugh named “Port Patrick Princess”.
1990 – Damaged in a accident at RAE Farnborough when the undercarriage was retracted by mistake while on the ground, The right wing was replaced by Air Atlantique then flown to Coventry for servicing.
April 1993 – Transferred to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
July 1996 – Repainted by Air Atlantique at Coventry Airport.
Allocated marks – 271Sqn/YS-DM Drab green. 1996 – 2004
– 271Sqn/YS-H Drab green
Allocated marks – 267(Pegasus)Sqn/AI Camo 2004 – 2012
Allocated marks – 233Sqn/UK “Kwicherbichion” Drab green/Invasion Stripes 2012 – Current
The Dakota has been restored back to a standard Para dropping configuration , This included a new floor fitted. The names of people that had worked on the Dakota were found on the fuselage when in RCAF service in WW II have been preserved as well.
The names preserved on the inside of the Fuselage.
A view from the Cockpit.
The Dakota is also used as a trainer for the Lancaster crew.
DHC – 1 Chipmunk T10 : WG486
C/n C1/0536 : Fuselage DHB f421
Status : Airworthy
Built at Broughton Chester.
Delivered to the RAF 3/1/1952
No.5 Basic flying training School Based at Desford. Feb 1952 – July 1953
No.9 Refresher Flying School Based at RAF Doncaster. July 1953 – 1955
No.2 Flight Training School – Based at RAF South Cerney. 1955
651Sqn Army Air Corps. Sept 1957
657Sqn Army Air Corps.
114Sqn Based Nicosia in Cyprus. Dec 1958 – Mar 1961
WG486 returned to the UK
Royal Air Force Collage : Based at RAF Cranwell.
Initail Training School : Based at RAF South Cerney then RAF Church Fenton.
No.1 Flight Training School : Based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
Liverpool University Air Sqn
Bristol University Air Sqn coded E : Based at Filton Grey/Dayglo scheme 1972 – 1973
Noted on the static at RAF Cottesmore 15/9/73 in Red/white scheme coded E.
3 Air Experience Flight : Based at Filton Red/white scheme.
Gatow Station Flight. Berlin white scheme 1987 – 1994
RAF Laarbruch Station Flight. 1994 – 1995
BBMF Based at RAF Coningsby 1995 – Current.
Marks – Gatow Station Flight – white scheme 1995 –
Marks allocated – BBMF/G Black scheme/White bands.
Repainted at Duxford in Bristol UAS marks coded E , delivered to Coningsby 6/3/18.
WG486 parked with big brother – Coningsby 13/4/18.
WK518 : Chipmunk T10
C/n C1/0555 : Fuselage DHB f443
Status : Airworthy
Build at Broughton Chester
Delivered to the RAF 29th Jan 1952 –
Allocated to RAF College Based at RAF Cranwell. Silver marks/Blue band. Jan 1952 –
Allocated to Liverpool UAS Based at RAF Woodvale. Silver/Dayglo Stripes
Allocated to Manchester UAS Based at RAF Woodvale. Silver/Dayglo Stripes
Allocated to RAF Cottesmore Station Flight Silver/Dayglo Stripes 1958
Allocated to Cambridge UAS Based at Teversham. Silver/Dayglo Stripes
Allocated to Hull UAS Based at Brough. Silver/Dayglo Stripes 18/5/1960 – 8/2/1966
Allocated to Leeds UAS Based at Church Fenton . Silver/Dayglo Stripes 29/7/1966 – 25/1/1969
Allocated to London UAS Based at White Waltham Light gey/white canopy 1969 – 1974
Allocated to No.1 AEF Based at RAF Manston. Red/White scheme 1974 – 1983
Allocated to BBMF Based at RAF Coningsby. Red/White scheme April 1983 – 1993
Allocated marks RAFC Based at RAF Cranwell Sliver marks/Blue band. 1994 – 2000
Allocated marks BBMF/K Based RAF Coningsby Black marks/White band. 2001 – 2011.
Allocated marks Hull UAS/C SQN LDR SMITH Silver/Dayglo/ marks 2012 – 2013
Allocated marks Hull UAS/C FLT LT PARKINGSON Silver/Dayglo/ marks 2013 – 2017.
Allocated marks Hull UAS/C FLT LT PREECE Silver/Dayglo / marks. 2018 –