The Making of the film:
Spitfire Mk.F21 LA198
Engine: Griffon 61
Serial No. /Reg. LA198
Sqdn - code: 1-JX-C, 602-RAI-G
Role in film: Static, Currently: Display
Originally ordered as part of a batch of 300 F21’s to be built at South Marston under Contract No. Air/1951/CB.23(c) in 1942, the contract was amended and LA198 did eventually appear from South Marston as part of the batch LA188 – LA332 with a constructors number in the range SMAF/4333 – 4453. No.33 MU took delivery at Lyneham on 2nd October 1944 and here it remained until allocated to No.1 squadron at Manston on 3rd May 1945, with code “JX-C”. After this very brief spell of wartime service its next move was to N.9 MU Cosford on 4th October 1946, where it was stored until issued to No.602 (City of Glasgow) squadron RAuxAF on 12th May the following year. It remained with this unit for the next four years coded “RAI-G”.
A Cat.A flying accident was sustained on 25th October 1947 and it was not until 11th May 1948 that repairs had been completed by No.63 MU Carluke. On 22nd July 1949 Cat. B damage was inflicted and on 9th August the aircraft was dispatched to Vickers at South Marston, who completed their work on 21st July the following year, No.33 MU collecting it on 27th July and placing it in store for the next fourteen months. Its next unit was No.3 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit, based at Exeter, to which it was allocated on 19th September 1951, and with which it was used for target practice duties until 19th November 1953, when it was dispatched to Vickers with a view to possible resale. This never came about and on 19th February 1954 LA198 was presented to No.187 squadron ATC at Worcester and allocated the serial 7118M.
The Spitfire was well looked after by the unit and in 1967 it joined the set of The Battle of Britain, being transferred to RAF Locking for renovation and gate guardian duties in 1970. In 1973 its Griffon 61 engine was removed and replaced with an incomplete unit in an effort to maintain the PR19’s of the BBMF in flying condition. LA198 was displayed in striking pose, restored in its No.1 squadron codes of 1945 until removed on 25th March 1986 and transferred to RAF Leuchars, Fife as a replacement for TB252 which had been reallocated to RAF Bentley Priory. LA198 underwent an extensive overhaul at Leuchars from which it emerged restored in the markings of No.602 (City of Glasgow) squadron as “RAI-G” in June 1986. On 12th April 1989 the aircraft was moved from R.A.F. Leuchars to R.A.F. St. Athan for storage. Then in 1996 moved to the RAF Museum store at Cardington. 1997 saw the aircraft gifted to the City of Glasgow and on the 4th March 1998 it was delivered to the Museum of Flight, East Fortune for restoration. In July 2003 the aircraft arrived and was assembled at the Museum of Transport, Glasgow.
Current location – Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland – awaiting display.