Aeroplane Monthly - May 2014

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On August 15 last year I visited the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Coningsby. While I was talking to Operations Officer Flt Lt Antony Parkinson MBE, the telephone rang. It was a call from the Flight’s Visitors Centre, informing them that a gentleman on the next hangar tour had flown Supermarine Spitfire IIa P7350 during the filming of the classic Battle of Britain in 1968. Parky suggested we should go and talk to him. It turned that his name was Ron Lloyd, a former RAF pilot who was seconded to fly Spitfires for the film, and his regular aircraft was “P7”. Parky offered to let Ron sit in the Spitfire, and it transpired that he had flown it four times on that very date in 1968. Ron then invited us to go over to his car, in which he had photographs from the period and his logbooks. The opportunity was not to be missed, so I asked Ron if he would mind writing down some of his memories of this time, which I am delighted to include for you in this issue. I do hope you enjoying reading the article and looking at the pictures as much as I did. Over the past several years I have admired how Action Stations’ Stephen Burt has been organising flights where enthusiasts get the opportunity to fly alongside a Spitfire or a Hurricane, and sometimes both! Steve recently called me to let me know that he is introducing a new opportunity, and one which I expect will prove extremely popular! Another aircraft which appeared in the Battle of Britain is the Aircraft Restoration Company’s Hispano Ha-112-M1L Buchón “Yellow 10”, which is painted in the exact scheme that it wore for the film. In May this representative “Bf 109” will fly together with the Boultbee Flight Academy’s two-seat Spitfire Tr.IX SM520 alongside one of Lyddair’s Piper Chieftains with enthusiasts on board.