Following years of restoration in the expert hands of Biggin Hill’s Spitfire Factory, Czech-marked Spitfire TE517 recently flew a sortie from Duxford
In April 5, 2023, seasoned warbird pilot Dan Griffith took an immaculate Spitfire, Mk.IX TE517, into the sky for its first flight following restoration at Biggin Hill. This svelte machine, owned, and now operated by, the warbird restoration company 517 Ltd, is the 15th of its type to have been returned to flight by The Spitfire Factory.
Many such projects are generated from parts recovered from crash sites or remains from a scrapyard, but there’s still a few that are based around substantially original airframes. TE517 is a fantastic example of this – it remained in one piece until rediscovered in an Israeli kibbutz in 1976. Nearly 50 years later, on April 29, 2023, it is gracing the skies over Duxford with company pilot Trevor Dugan at the controls.