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The Spitfire Spares Mk IX Spitfire


For details of our Spitfire for hire please see our dedicated website Hire a Spitfire

Welcome to the Spitfire Spares Full scale  replica page

Follow these pages to see EN398 being built with video

1 2 3 4 5

Hurricane also now available link

Latest events attended by EN398 click for info and pictures.

THIS IS THE STAR OF DOCTOR WHO Destroyer of the Daleks ship


En 398 at the Wedding and Matt and Beccy Buddle picture by Mike Mayson www.mmayson.co.uk

See the video click here

Here is a unique opportunity to hire this full scale MK IX Replica Spitfire. It has recently been completed after ten years work and is the only full scale replica in the world with a complete original cockpit and a running Merlin/meteor engine. We will attend any event, Weddings, Birthday parties etc.


  We require plenty of room and good access so please  email   to ensure that we can access your location.

You will have full access to the Cockpit and will be able to start and run the engine, please be aware this is a Rolls Royce 27 Ltr V12 it is very loud and uses around a gallon a minute, if running time is required we make a charge to cover the fuel consumed. 

We have most dates available through the year but please email  to check that the date you require is available. 

Our Spitfire with members of the Essex regiment at Hylands House Chelmsford


Our Spitfire is a Replica of EN 398

Spitfire Mk IX EN398 took its maiden flight without problems on 13th February, 1943.  On 18th February the aircraft was delivered to No 402 (Canadian) Squadron at RAF Kenley.  There Ian Keltie took possession of it and used EN398 (then coded AE*I) exclusively until mid March (by now coded AE*B), when 402 moved.  Keltie's last mission in EN398 occurred on March 13.  When 402 moved however, EN398 was left for their replacement squadron, also Canadian, No 416 Squadron.

Our Spitfire with Fighter Pilots and ground crew of the  Essex regiment at Hylands House Chelmsford

Black and white Photos taken of  Our Replica at Hylands House Chelmsford by Ian Porter our kind thanks go to Ian for these excellent pictures.

RAF Kenley housed four RCAF squadrons - Nos 403 and 416 with Spitfire Mk IXs, and 411and 421 with Spitfire Mk Vs.  On 16 March the then Wg Cdr 'Johnnie' Johnson arrived to lead the wing.  Surprisingly, it seems EN398 was still undergoing acceptance checks (26 days after delivery? - and several operations!) when it caught the eye of the new Wing Leader.  He related their first meeting in his book "Wing Leader":

'I found the engineer officer and together we had a look at her, gleaming and bright in a new spring coat of camouflage paint. Later I took her up for a few aerobatics to get the feel of her, for this was the first time I had flown a Mk IX. She seemed very fast, the engine was sweet and she responded to the controls as only a thoroughbred can.  I decided that she should be mine, and I never had occasion to regret that choice.'

It is interesting to note that Johnson remained convinced, almost until his death, that EN398 was unused at this time, and the clean fresh paint was factory applied.  However, the reason the paint was fresh had more to do with the removal of the "Popeye" nose art and other maintenance.  Johnson was also convinced that the Maple Leaf painted on the side just below the windshield was green rather than red.  Johnson's next step was to have his initials painted on the fuselage to establish the aircraft as his own.  Before he took the Spitfire into action Johnson demanded two more changes.  EN398's guns were set to a standard harmonization pattern designed to spread the rounds evenly over a circle a few feet across so as to give the average pilot a better chance of scoring hits.  However, Johnson's shooting skills were far above the average. To concentrate all the destructive power at his command he had his aircraft's weapons harmonized to a single point.  In addition, Johnson had the Gyroscopic gun site removed and his older style one from his MkV installed in it's place as he preferred it.  Johnson found that his aircraft had one idiosyncrasy that defied all attempts to correct:

"The aeroplane always flew with the turn needle a little bit to one side, even when flying straight and level on an even keel. Changing the turn and bank instrument did not cure it. 1 even took the aircraft to Eastleigh for Jeffrey Quill to fly, but they could not cure the problem." 

He decided that he could live with it.

By the end of May, 1943, Johnson had added six victories and one shared victory to his score, whilst flying EN398.  On 1 June he shared in the destruction of a Me 109, on the 15 June he destroyed two FW 190s, with one more on 17 June.  Although EN398 was the Wing Leader's personal aircraft, and he was normally the only pilot to fly it, there was occasionally a need for the aircraft to make up the numbers during his absence.  On 20 June Sqn Ldr Robert McNair (OC 421 Sqn.) flew EN398 in action and was credited with the destruction of one FW 190.

On 24 June, Johnson destroyed a FW 190 and damaged a Me 109.  Another FW 190 fell to his guns three days later.  On 15 July to he led the Wing on a fighter sweep which added a Me 109 to his score.  Another one was added on 25 July, one damaged on 29 July, and a share in the destruction of one more on 30 July.  Success continued throughout August.  He shared in the destruction of a Me 109 plus another one damaged on 12 August.  On 17 August the Wing escorted B-17s on their way, and return from, the ball-bearing factory at Schweinfurt.  During the action Johnson shared in the destruction of a Me 110.  A further Me 109 was destroyed on 23 August.  While EN398 went off to Air Service Training at Hamble for an engine change, Johnson, in a borrowed aircraft, shot down another FW 190 on 4 September.  Back with EN398 he damaged a Me 109. That was to be his last claim before relinquishing his command of the Wing a few days later.

During his six months flying EN398, Johnson had shot down 12 enemy aircraft and shared in the destruction of five more.  Also, he had inflicted damage on a further six enemy aircraft, plus a share in one more.  During that time EN398 had also destroyed a FW 190 whilst being flown by Robert McNair.  Remarkably, EN398 never broke off a mission early through technical failure, and never suffered a scratch due to enemy action.

After Johnson moved on to No 11 Group Headquarters, EN398 went to No. 421 Squadron for a couple of weeks before sustaining damage necessitating its return to Hamble for repairs.  The aircraft never returned to operations (new aircraft were being delivered to units faster than they could be repaired by that time).  EN398 remained in store for the remainder of the war in Europe.

EN398 was retrieved in May 1946 to go to No. 80 Operational Training Unit, RAF Morpeth and Ouston, in Northumberland.  There, it was used in the training of young French pilots.  That unit was disbanded in March 1949, and EN398 took off for the final time to go to No. 29 Maintenance Unit, High Ercal, in Shropshire.  There she remained in long-term storage for three-and-a-half years. In October, 1952  Spitfire Mk IXc, serial number EN398, was sold to H. Bath & Son Ltd for scrap and was cut up soon thereafter.

To read and see pictures and video of our Spitfires creation click here


Our MK IX EN398 Spitfire at Upminster Essex August 8th and 9th of August 2009



Members of the Essex Regiments Night Fighter Pilots, Chief and Regulars













Night Fighter Pilots discuss the nights work with their Crew Chiefs





With the Veterans





Veteran Fighter Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Tea Bag




Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill Visits the Wing






EN396 the Wing Commander and Flight Lieutenant Tea Bag with the Prime Minister






Latest events in 2010 and 2011 attended by EN398 click for info and pictures.




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