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PL983 at Duxford

PL983 at Duxford during filming[1]

PL983 was a Supermarine Spitfire PR.XI used for the filming of Piece of Cake[2]

HistoryEdit

World War 2Edit

Built by Vickers-Armstrong at Reading and delivered to 6 MU, then to No 1 Pilots' Pool, Benson on November 24th 1944. To 2nd TAF, 4 Sqn on February 1945, 2 Sqn on September 6th, back to MUs in UK.[3]

Post WarEdit

Loaned to US Air Attache in UK from January 27th 1948 as NC74138. Flown in air races by Lettice Curtice who broke women's national 100km closed-circuit record at 313-208mph. Returned to Vickers then to Shuttleworth as G-15-109 in 1950. Displayed with Sea Hurricane Z7015 and moved to Duxford on August 30th 1975 for rebuild. Sold to Roland Fraissinet, restored by Trent Aero, first flight by Cliff Rogers of Rolls-Royce at East Midlands on July 18th 1984 as G-PRXI. Sold at auction on October 1st 1987 to Doug Arnold for £300,000 and became part of the Warbirds of Great Britain (WGB) Collection. Photographed at Duxford in Early WW2 Paint Scheme during filming of Piece of Cake 1988. Left UK at time of Arnold's death in late 1992. Now back at North Weald. Crashed at a French Airshow at 1655hrs on Monday 4th June 2001. The pilot, Martin Sargeant, was tragically killed at Rouen Airfield, Normandy.[3] The aircraft developed mechanical problems causing smoke to pour out of the engine. While attempting to make an emergency landing, Mr. Sergeant realized the aircraft would go into the crowd and dove to the right, impacting 300-500 meteres short of the runway.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Flickr
  2. March 2000 issue of Aeroplane Magazine
  3. 3.0 3.1 Spitfire Survivor website
  4. Warbird Registry Website

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