Battle of Briatin Film


The survivors home


The Making of the film:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

The survivors

Spitfire Mk.FIa AR213

Squadrons: No crests.

Type: VS300

Engine: Merlin 35

Serial No. /Reg. AR213,(G-AIST)

Sqdn – code: 57OTU-(Operational Training Unit), 53OTU-(Operational Training Unit)

Role in film: Flew, Currently: Restoration.


AR213 Fuselage No. WASP/20/2 was the second of a batch of 300 assorted marks I – V built by Westland at Yeovil against Contract No. 124305/40 and delivered to the aircraft storage depot of 12 MU Kirkbride on July 24th 1941. By this stage of the war a Mk.I was not up to scratch in terms of operational capability and as such its first unit was 57 OTU Hawarden to which it went on July 31st. The aircraft remained here until it was transferred to 53 OTU Llandow on February 20th 1943. During its service here it suffered a Cat.Ac flying accident on 19th April. It was despatched for repairs on 22nd April and returned to the unit, by this time at Kirton-in-Lindsay, on 12th May, but suffered a similar accident on 12th November, being despatched for repairs on 24th November and returning to Kirton-in-Lindsay on 10th December 1943. The remainder of its life was uneventful until it was transferred to No.8 MU Little Rissington for storage on August 17th 1944 until struck off charge on November 30th 1945. Sold to Allen Wheeler on March 10th 1947 and registered G-AIST

AR213 was placed in storage at Old Warden and later at Abingdon until 1967 when it was surveyed and found to be in excellent condition apart from a damaged centre section spar, it was quickly brought to flying condition with the help of a spar from TB863 for 'The Battle of Britain' film. After being based at Duxford it was flown to its new home at Booker where it was restored to wartime markings “QG-A”. Then flown by Wheeler for several years before being sold to The Hon Patrick Lindsay in 1978.

 Following Lindsay's death on January 9th 1986, AR213 was sold in April 1989 to Victor Gauntlett, PPS at Booker. Victor Gauntlett died in 2003 and AR213 is undergoing a major overhaul and reconstruction at Booker, High Wycombe and operated by Sheringham Aviation. Its flying permit expired in 2002 and it was decided to completely rebuild AR213 to give it another 20 years of airworthy life. Current location – Sheringham Aviation, Wycombe Air Park, Bucks – Restoration.

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AR213, AR501

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