Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I P9372 has entered the final stages of restoration with the Biggin Hill, Kent-based Spitfire Factory
The Mk.I – registered G-CLIH – was built by Supermarine’s Woolston factory and first flew on February 22, 1940. Delivered to 92 Squadron the following month, it was shot down on September 9 while being flown by P/O W C Watling. Abandoning the stricken fighter close to Biggin Hill, Watling survived, while the aircraft crashed near East Guildford.
The aircraft’s remains were later excavated from the site and displayed at the Tonbridge Battle of Britain Museum, before being acquired by renowned Spitfire historian and operator Peter Monk (owner and founder of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar) in 2016. Acquired by its current owner in 2019, the aircraft is expected to fly early this year.
The Biggin Hill company has also taken on another Spitfire project. Author and Spitfire enthusiast Greg Davis has acquired the wreckage of Spitfire Mk.IXe PT989 and has registered it with the CAA. Greg (pictured with PT989’s control column) is the founder of Facebook’s ‘The Two-Seat Spitfire Page’, and co-author of Two-Seat Spitfires – The Complete Story.
The fighter flew in Russia with the Murmansk Air Defence Force’s No.767 Fighter Aviation Regiment. Engaged in a practice dogfight on May 18, 1945, it collided with PT879 – both pilots successfully baled out. The remains of PT989 were discovered in 2014 and successfully excavated from frozen tundra. See this month’s FlyPast (published on Thursdaym, February 23) for much more on Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar and its Spitfire Factory.