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Published on Jun 8, 2007
This is a great clip of an engine startup of the former Planes of Fame Museum's (Chino, California) Spitfire PR. XIX. I took this JUST before this Spit was shipped off to the new owner in France, Christophe Jacquard. Steve Hinton is at the controls. This aircraft was originally a gift from King Bhumibol of Thailand to The Museum back in 1962. It was not returned to flight status until Steve Hinton and crew fitted a mighty Rolls-Royce Griffon engine and contra-rotating prop combination obtained for the very reasonable price of US$10,000. This really gave the final impetus for the completion of the restoration. The Griffon and prop were from a four-engined Avro Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft. I understand one of the major hurdles was to manufacture the huge prop spinner! The original clipped wingtips were also changed to the eliptical shape that was common to most Spitfires.
It appeared to me that Steve was further developing some flight performance data for the new owner on this flight (i.e. very slow flight at altitude, stalls, etc.).
We're sorry to see this gorgeous beast leave the USA, but I am happy to hear that the new owner is very generous in displaying and flying the aircraft at European airshows. But don't worry, the Planes of Fame Museum still has two flyable Spitfires in stock :).
If you'd like, also check out my other warbird videos. Thanks!