Combat veteran Spitfire flies in UK

Supermarine Spitfire FRXIVe RM927 has made its first flight for 70 years
Richard Grace airborne in Spitfire XIV RM927 over Sywell during a test flight on 14 July, with power supplied by a newly overhauled Rolls-Royce Griffon 65.
Richard Grace airborne in Spitfire XIV RM927 over Sywell during a test flight on 14 July, with power supplied by a newly overhauled Rolls-Royce Griffon 65. TONY CLARKE

Supermarine Spitfire FRXIVe RM927/G-SXIV made its first flight for 70 years at Sywell on 6 July, with Richard Grace at the controls. Owned by the Paris-based W Aircollection, following completion of its test programme the combat veteran fighter will be flown to its new home at La Ferté-Alais, south of Paris. The Spitfire last flew with the Belgian Air Force during June 1952, and over the past half-century has passed through the hands of many owners and restoration houses, until the project was finally seen through to completion by Richard Grace’s Air Leasing company.

Built during November 1944, on 6 January 1945 it was delivered to No 83 General Service Unit of the 2nd Tactical Air Force — a holding unit for aircraft and pilots before they were sent to an operational squadron — at RAF Westhampnett near Chichester, West Sussex, now the home of the Goodwood aerodrome and racing circuit. Three weeks later it went to No 430 (City of Sudbury) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force at Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and was coded G9-X.

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