An ultra-rare Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia has been reflown at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, UK, following a ground-breaking reconstruction lasting three years.
As reported in our last news section, the magnificent Spitfire 1a, P9374 was close to flying, and we are pleased to report this milestone has now been achieved.
Le 1er septembre dernier, a Duxford, pres de Cambridge en Grande-Bretagne, le Supermarine "Spitfire" Mk I matricule P9374, immatricule G-MKIA, a fait son premier vol apres restauration aux mains de John Romain, directeur de la societe Historic Flying Limited qui l'a restaure.
An ultra-rare Supermarine Spitfire Mk1a has been reflown at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, following a ground breaking reconstruction lasting three years. The aircraft was shot down in combat on 24th May 1940 whilst being flown on the strength of No 92 Squadron based at RAF Hornchurch, by Pilot Officer Peter Cazenove and made a wheels up crash landing on the beach near Calais, France. P/O Cazenove was taken prisoner and the Spitfire was left abandoned after some initial interest by the German forces. Gradually it was covered over by tidal movement of the sands and was forgotten about.
The order came through on May 23, 1940 for Flight Officer Peter Cazenove to head for RAF Hornchurch, Essex in his aircraft for a briefing before heading for France to intercept German bombers. His flight into enemy territory, however, didn't last long. He was shot down 55 minutes after taking off from Hornchurch, and crash-landed on a beach near Calais. Forty years later, his Supermarine Spitfire P9374 re-emerged from the muddy coastline, and now it has been painstakingly rebuilt by the Aircraft Restoration Company.
Simon Marsh and Thomas Kaplan of "Spitfire Partners" have recently acquired the remains of Spitfire Mk 1A P9374 from a french enthusiast and are now in the process of setting up an operational team to undertake a full reconstruction to flying condition. The airframe was recovered from the beach at Calais, France in 1980, and despite the ravages of the English Channel and being buried in shifting sand for forty years, many of the components are in a remarkable good condition.