|Spitfire PRIV AA810|
The Making of the film:
The survivors - potential airworthy examples
Spitfire Mk.PRIV AA810
Squadron: No1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit
Engine: Merlin 45
HistoryThis aircraft was built under the fourth order as part of contract No. B19713/39 for 500 Spitfire Mk1's in the serial range AA718 to AB536 dated 19th July 1940 t the William Vincent Coachworks near Reading (a Supermrine dispersal Unit). Built between August 1941 and February 1942 as MkVb/Vc/VI/PRIV with the following serials built as PRIV - AA781-AA815, AB118-AB132, AB300-AB319, AB421-AB319 and AB466.
First flew on 17th October 1941 it was delivered to No1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit at RAF Benson on 19th October 1941 for the fitment of cameras. The aircraft flew 14 long range sorties with the unit achieving 49hrs 47mins flight time. All the PR flights were undertaken from RAF Wick on the north-east coast of Scotland, the aircraft few at least two sorties a day under Admiralty orders over the Trondheim area to monitor the Tirpitz.
On the 5th March 1942 the aircraft took off from Wick at 08:07 with Flt Lt Alastair 'Sandy' Gunn at the controls for a 7 hour sortie. Unfortunately he was engaged by two Messerscmitt Me109E's of the maritime protection sub-unit Jagdgruppe Losigkeit a part of Jagdgeshwader 1, flown by Hptm Heinz Knoke and Lt Dieter Gerhardt. Flt Lt Gunn baled out and laded in the hills around Baeverdalen.
The aircraft wreckage was spread of the hills above Nordmarka, north of Oslo. It was recovered in July 2018 by Tony Hoskins and returned to the UK. It is planned to restore the aircraft to flight by 2022.
Current location UK - UNDER RESTORATION www.spitfireaa810.co.uk/