The Making of the film:
Spitfire Mk.PRXIX PS915
Engine: Griffon 66
Sqdn – code: 541-WY-, 151RU, 2-OI-, THUM (Temperature and Humidity Flight), BBMF
Role in film: Static, Currently: airworthy
This aircraft is another of the cancelled batch of 200 Spitefuls, 79 of which were completed as PR.19’s at Southampton. Delivered to No.6 MU Brize Norton on 17th April 1945 it was issued nine days later to RAF Benson, and here it remained until allocated to No.541 squadron on 21st June. It was allocated to No.1 Pilots Pool, Benson on 29th December 1945 and its next recorded unit was the PR Development Unit, also at Benson, on 22nd July 1946. It is believed to have remained at Benson until 10th October, when it was issued to No.151 RU (Recovery Unit?), with which it was to stay until 8th July 1948, when it joined No.2 squadron. An accident evidently befell it early the following year and it was recategorized as Cat.3R (repair beyond unit capability) on 30th April and again on 6th August, being presumably repaired, as 22 months later – on 4th June 1954 – it was issued to the THUM Flight at Woodvale, with which unit it served until retired in 1957. It was flown to Biggin Hill on 13th June.
Unlike its two companions, PM631 and PS853, 915 was almost immediately retired from flying, and on 31st August 1957 was allocated to West Malling for display purposes as 7548M, a serial already allocated to PS853 at West Raynham, so 7711M was quickly substituted, although neither serial was ever carried. From here it was transferred to Leuchars, again as a gate guardian, until taken to Henlow for use in the Battle of Britain and finally issued to RAF Brawdy as a gate guardian. Following a spell with the BBMF for Griffon 57 installation trials it was returned to RAF Brawdy, via St Athan, but in 1984 it was chosen for restoration to flying condition on the power of a Shackleton Griffon 57.
British Aerospace, Warton, took delivery in June 1984 and they have taken on design authority for the conversion to Griffon 57 power, the work being assigned to the apprentice training school at Samlesbury. A first flight following rebuild was scheduled for 1986 and PS915 was restored in PR blue like its sister aircraft PS853, which undertook the same modifications in the hands of the BBMF at Coningsby.
To BBMF March 24th 1987 where it still remains.
Current location BBMF, Coningsby, Lincs – airworthy.