STARS OF THE BIG SCREEN: Battle of Britain pilot

For a dozen RAF flying instructors, it was the opportunity of a lifetime: to be seconded during the summer of 1968 to the Battle of Britain film unit, flying the then-huge assembly of Spitfires brought together for the movie. John Preece was among them — and took full advantage of the chance to sample the other aircraft types involved, too 

With MkIX MH415 in the lead — note the ‘smoke pots’ under the exhausts — a vic of Battle of Britain film Spitfires proceeds across the English countryside on 12 June 1968. John Preece is in the aircraft coded CD‐F, MkIX MH434; the rest are MkIX MK297/CD-A, MkVb AB910/CD-K and two-seat MkIXT MJ772, all flying from Debden.
VIA JOHN PREECE
Then-Flt Lt John Preece in the cockpit of a Spitfire on the Duxford apron.
VIA JOHN PREECE

“In those days you got a certain amount of kudos for being an RAF pilot, but being a Battle of Britain film pilot, everyone wanted to talk to you. We got a bit precious, probably…”

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.