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Leuchars Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIII - Edited



Leuchars Photo: a fantastic Leuchars Photograph Featuring Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIII - Edited

Photograph Taken On Saturday, September 10, 2005


The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XVIII (18), type 394, missed out on duty in the second world war; the first squadron to be equipped with this model was RAF 60 Squadron in January 1947. 60 Sqn, at the time, were based out of RAF Seletar in Singapore. The Mk. XVIII was very similar in performance to the earlier Mk. XIV; it was capable of carrying more fuel, and had a reinforced wing structure to allow for this. Fighter and fighter/reconnaissance versions were built. It was powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon 65, a massive 37 litre supercharged V12 aero engine, which produced 2,050 horsepower at 8,000ft, and was capable of pushing the Spitfire to speeds of up to 446 MPH. EDIT: Found some interesting info about this aircraft. It was built at Chattis Hill in 1945, and delivered to the Royal Air Force under registration SM845. It was shipped to Karachi in February 1946. It was then delivered to the Indian Air Force in late 1947 and re-registered as HS687, remaining in active service until the late 1950s. It was used as part of an airfield decoy at Kalaikunda Air Base during the early 1970s, before being recovered in 1977 and gradually restored over a 23 year period. It was re-registered as G-BUOS and was owned by Historic Flying Ltd between 1997 and 2009, with its first post-restoration flight taking place in 2000. It was during Historic Flying Ltd's ownership that I saw and photographed it. The aircraft was transferred to Biltema Sweden Holding AB in Angleholm, Sweden, and re-registered as SE-BIN, who operated it between 2009 and 2010. Sadly, the aircraft crashed during landing in Tynset, Norway, on 21st August 2010, resulting in severe injuries for the pilot (68-year-old Bertil Gerhardt), who sadly died. Bertil was an extremely experienced pilot with over 31,000 flight hours logged during a 30+ year career, across a wide variety of modern and vintage aircraft. Since this time, the aircraft has once again been restored to flightworthy status, again by Historic Flying Ltd. It has been re-registered as G-BUOS, taking to the skies again in December 2013. It is now based in Humberside Airport in England and owned by Spitfire Ltd. -- This photo was taken at the RAF Leuchars airshow in September 2005 using my last bridge camera, a Fuji FinePix S5500. This camera had a very small sensor, and really didn't cope well with poor weather environments. As such, basically every photo I took with it on that day was *extremely* grainy, so I've had to spend a long time trying to clean these up without losing too much image quality - with varying degrees of success. These aren't as clean as my more recent photos due to the quality of the equipment - but please try to enjoy them nonetheless. Hopefully we'll get out to the airshow at East Fortune Airfield this July and I'll get some better quality shots with my modern DSLR :)View image on Flickr

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