The Spitfire Spares Mk IX Spitfire
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
Hurricane also now available
Latest events attended by
EN398 click for info
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
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
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
We have most dates
available through the year but please
email to check that the date you require is available.
Spitfire with members of the Essex regiment at Hylands House Chelmsford
Spitfire is a Replica of EN 398
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.
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":
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.'
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:
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.
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
To read and see pictures
and video of our Spitfires creation
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