PS853 - Supermarine Spitfire PR XIX, RIAT 2015 ©Nigel Key
Supermarine Spitfire PS853 was built at Southampton and delivered to the central Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at Benson on January 13th 1945.
She was then transferred to 16 Squadron of 34 Wing and on to 268 Squadron and then re-formed with 16 Squadron at Celle on September 18th 1945.
PS853 was back in UK by March 1946, issued to 29 Maintenance Unit.
She was involved in a flying accident on January 17th 1949 and then sent back to the makers for repairs on the 9th March 1949.
Left South Marston February 28th 1950 and delivered to 6 Maintenance Unit.
Converted for Photo Reconnaissance PS853 joined Short Brothers Meteorological Research Flight in July 1950, remaining with the unit until its retirement after its final flight on the 9th of June 1957.
PS853 was then despatched to join the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) on the 14th June 1957 until 8th November 1957.
She was then delivered to 32 Maintenance Unit on the 8th November and then allocated to Biggin Hill's Station Flight on the 20th December 1957.
PS853 was transferred to Station Flight, North Weald on March 1st 1958 and then to Central Fighter Establishment on the 14th April 1958.
Struck off charge on May 1st, she became West Raynham's gate guardian as 7548M until 1961.
Restored to airworthy condition PS853 was regularly flown by Group Captain Crowley-Milling and Flight Lieutenant Sollit at West Raynham, during 1962.
PS853 was relocated to RAF Binbrook in October 1962 where it was actively maintained and continued to fly during 1962-63.
She returned to West Raynham and transferred to BBMF on April 14th 1964 and took part in 'The Battle of Britain' film in 1968.
Sold to Euan English early in 1995, but unfortunately back up for sale following English's death in a flying accident on March 4th 1995.
Sold to Rolls Royce PLC, Corporate Heritage Department, Bristol-Filton during September 1996.
Now based in a dedicated hangar at East Midlands Airport, underwent a major overhaul with the Aircraft Restoration Company at Duxford and then flown on the 9th October 2012.
On 7th January 2013 the undercarriage collapsed after it made a landing at East Midlands Airport, the pilot was unhurt.
|SPECIFICATION (PR XIX)|
|Length - 32ft 8in (3.86m)|
|Wingspan - 36ft 10in (11.23m)|
|Height - 12ft 8in (3.86m)|
|Engine - Rolls Royce Griffon 66|
|Power - 1,540 Hp|
|Max. Speed - 445 mph (717 km/h)|
|Range - mile (km)|
|Fuel Capacity - 254 Imp Gal(1,154 L)|