Lovely Spitfire PR Mk XI at GVFWE

Of the many marks of Spitfires produced, the earlier Merlin-engined PR versions were amongst the most beautiful. Here you can see the deeper nose contours, compared to the fighter marks, to accommodate the larger oil tank which was needed on the longer, deep-penetration missions; this Spitfire is currently powered by a Parkard-built Merlin 266 . This particular example (PL 965) is wearing the black and white ‘invasion stripes’, used after D-Day, and is in the markings of  ‘R for Robert’ of  No 19 (PR) Sqn, 34 Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Force, RAF, based out of Melsbroek, Belgium. PL965 made over 40 sorties over enemy objectives during the period 1944 – 45.
After residing in Florida for a while, and then being with the Real Aeroplane Company at Beighton, the aircraft is now being lovingly cared for by ‘Hangar 11’ at North Weald, and flown primarily by Peter Teichman. To say that this organisation does a splendid job with their collection  of classic World War Two fighters is putting it mildly.
One piece of exciting news is that the Hangar 11 team plan to re-unite this airframe with the actually Rolls-Royce Merlin 70 engine used to perform its last 20 or so war-time missions; this will make it one of the most authentic flying Spitfires, anywhere!

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