Battle of Britain Memorial Flight News

Spitfire TE311 painted in new scheme

BBMF Spitfire Mk XVI TE311 has been undergoing a ‘Major’ servicing with The Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd since May 2022. The original planned output date for the aircraft was delayed when damage affecting the wings spars was discovered and, as a result, the Spitfire’s wings had to be completely overhauled, with new wing spars being fitted. As can be seen from the picture above, the wings are now refitted to the Spitfire and TE311 has been painted into its new colour scheme which represents Spitfire TD322 ‘3W-M’ of 322 (Dutch) Squadron.

BBMF Spitfire Mk XVI TE311 in the RAS paint shop at Biggin Hill on 18th October. It is now painted as ‘3W-M’ of 322 (Dutch) Sqn, here with stencils and details still to be applied and the control surfaces, painted separately, to be refitted.  (Photo: via Andy March)

The Spitfire’s engine cowlings are still in the paint shop and the nose art showing the 322 Squadron mascot, ‘Polly Grey’, a red-tailed parrot, is yet to be hand painted. The aircraft underwent post-Major ground engine runs in late November and needs its Military Airworthiness Review (MAR) – similar to an annual MOT on a car – completed by the MilCAM MAR team before it can fly. The weather can be problematic for a Spitfire air test at this time of year, but it is possible that TE311 may be air tested and returned to Coningsby before Christmas. It will certainly be available for the 2024 display season.

Spitfire TE311 back in The Spitfire Company’s workshop on 17th November, with the control surfaces refitted and its Packard Merlin 266 engine on show. The top fuel tank, on trestles by the tail, was in the process of being fitted. The Spitfire’s ‘Major’ is now almost complete.  (Photo: Andy March)Caption

Meanwhile, the ‘Major’ servicing on BBMF Spitfire Mk Vb AB910 has commenced at Biggin Hill, with the first stage being to strip off all of its paint, back to bare metal. Unless the engineering survey uncovers unexpected problems, AB910 is scheduled to be flying again by the end of July 2024.

BBMF Spitfire Mk Vb AB910, just back from the paint shop at Biggin Hill on 17th November, stripped of paint and temporarily a silver Spitfire in bare metal.  It will eventually be repainted into the markings it actually wore on D-Day as ‘AE-H’ with 402 Sqn RCAF. (Photo: Andy March)


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