TE311 - Supermarine Spitfire XVIe, RIAT 2015 ©Nigel Key
Supermarine Spitfire TE311 is a low-back/bubble-canopy Mk XVI with 'clipped' wingtips and was built at Castle Bromwich just after the end of the War and delivered to 39 Maintenance Unit, at Colerne, where it was placed in storage.
TE311 was flown by the Handling Squadron of the Empire Central Flying School (ECFS) at Hullavington from October 1945 to February 1946.
It was then stored at 33 Maintenance Unit until May 1951 when it was issued to No 1689 Ferry Pilot Training Flight at Aston Down.
TE311 was then allocated Ferry Training Unit at RAF Benson and remained with them until September 1953.
She was returned to 33 Maintenance Unit at Lyneham and served briefly with No 2 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit at Norfolk early in 1954 and then returned to the Maintenance Unit on 23rd February 1954.
On the 13th December 1954, TE311 was grounded and transferred to non-effective stock and consequently issued to RAF Tangmere as gate-guardian for 12 years, painted silver.
In 1968, TE311 was temporarily modified with a false rear fuselage to resemble a Mk I Spitfire and then used during filming of ground sequences for the movie ‘Battle of Britain.
For over 30 years, TE311 was used as a static display exhibit at many air shows, as part of the RAF Exhibition Flight.
A restoration to airworthiness began in October 2001 and after 11 years of a painstaking re-build by BBMF technicians TE311 took to the skies again on the 19th October 2012.
TE311 is painted as Spitfire XVI TB675 '4D-V', the aircraft of Squadron Leader Tony Reeves DFC, who was the Commanding Officer of No 74 Squadron in 1945.
For the 2017 season, TE311 was painted to represent ‘low-back’, ‘clipped-wing’ Spitfire Mk XVI TD240. This was the personal aircraft of the Commanding Officer of No 131 Wing, Group Captain Aleksander Gabszewicz VM KW DSO DFC, from 1945.
|Length - 31ft 4in (9.55m)|
|Wingspan - 32ft 10in (10.0m)|
|Height - 12ft 7.75in (3.85m)|
|Engine - Rolls Royce Merlin|
|Power - 1,315 Hp|
|Max. Speed - 405 mph (652 km/h)|
|Range - 434 mile (699 km)|
|Cannon - 2 x 20mm Hispano|
|Machine Guns - 2 x 0.5" Browning|