Not only was the Spitfire one of the most famous British aircraft of the 20th century it was also one of the most significant aircraft of the Second World War. The Spitfire was continuously improved during WW2 and the Spitfire Mk.IXe entered service in the Summer of 1944. It featured a Merlin 70 engine which gave it a maximum speed of 404mph. It could climb to a maximum altitude of 42,500 feet using an incredible 1720hp and a 4745 feet per minute rate of climb.
Prestige Flying Models is thrilled to introduce you to this accurate scale flying balsa model of Spitfire TD314, a perfect example of the formidable WW2 fighter which is now in the care of Aero Legends, based, in the summer months, at Headcorn Aerodrome.
The iconic Spitfire Mk.IX TD314 was built at Castle Bromwich in 1944 and, as a high altitude fighter, was fitted with a Merlin 70 engine. After various moves, it ended up with 234 Squadron, Bentwaters, on the 26th July 1945, ready for service in this squadron’s colours and with the squadron codes of FX-P. Flying with 234 Squadron it is quite possible that TD314 took part in the 1945 Battle of Britain flypast over London.
When the 234 converted to Meteors, TD314 was transferred, on the 27th February 1946, to 29 Maintenance Unit at High Ercall for disposal. However, in early 1948 she was selected as one of the 136 Spitfire Mk.IXs to be sold to the South African Air Force and she arrived in Cape Town on the 12th May 1948. Details of her use with South African Air Force is not know but she was sold for scrapping to the South African Metal & Machinery Co sometime during 1954. She remained in the scrap yard until recovered by Larry Barnett of Johannesburg in 1969. From there she passed through the hands of several owners before arriving in the UK via Canada in 2009. Acquired by Aero Legends in 2011, restoration commenced at Biggin Hill culminating in a first flight on the 7th December 2013. Spitfire Mk.IX TD314 is heavily featured in the Haynes manual on Spitfire restoration having its pride of place on the front cover. She has been named ‘St. George’ which is prominently displayed on her fuselage.