The Making of the film:
Spitfire Mk.LFIX (Tr9) MJ627
Type: VS509 (Tr9)
Engine: Merlin 76
Serial No. /Reg. MJ627 (G-ASOZ) (G-BMSB)
Sqdn - code: 441-9G-P, IAC-158
Role in film: Stored not used spares for MH434, Currently: Airworthy
Yet another of the Spitfires built at Castle Bromwich against Contract No. B981687/39, MJ627 was an LFIX manufactured at the end of 1943 and delivered to No.9 MU at Cosford on 4th December. It seems to have been stored until August 1944 and on the 18th of that month appears to have been allocated to General Aircraft Ltd, a civilian servicing unit, followed by No.83 Group Support Unit the next day. It was awaiting collection on 1st September and five days later was again to be found with No.83 GSU. All of this was probably associated with preparation work required to get the aircraft up to operational condition, this being achieved on 28th September 1944, when it joined No.441 squadron. On 9th March 1945 it suffered a Cat.E (write-off) flying accident, but the damage was not that serious as it was reclassified as Cat.B on 11th September on allocation to Air Service Training Ltd. It was repaired and awaiting collection by 21st February 1946 and dispatched to the storage depot at No.29 MU High Ercall one week later, remaining there until July 1950, when it was declared non-effective stock and sold to Vickers Ltd.
Vickers converted the aircraft into a Tr.9 trainer and test flew it as G-15-171 prior to sale to the Irish Air Corps as IAC158, to which it was delivered in June 1951. Following retirement in 1960 it was used as an instructional airframe at Baldonnel until acquired by Film Aviation Services Ltd and shipped to Biggin Hill, where it arrived by road on 13th November 1963. It was offered for sale at £1500 in Flight International, but remained unsold and dismantled, being placed on the civil register the following February as G-ASOZ. It remained uncertificated and in September 1964 it was bought by Tim Davies, removed from the register and taken to Elstree, where it was placed in store as spares for G-ASJV (MH434). It was at the time of its collection from Biggin Hill that its wings were mistakenly exchanged with those from MJ772/IAC159.
The composite airframe remained at Elstree until 11th December 1967, when it was taken to Bossington House airstrip, Stockbridge, Hants. – the home of John Fairey – and placed in store once again, remaining there until sold to M S & P K Bayliss, who registered it as G-BMSB on 3rd May 1978 and restoration began to a flying condition at Kenilworth, Warwickshire. A Mosquito Merlin 76, No. 183741 is installed in the airframe.
It made its first post-restoration flight on November 8th 1993. Damaged in a wheels-up landing at Coventry Airport on 25.4.98 and being restored by a team of volunteers from BBMF. Repaired and test flown on 14th February 2002 - now based at the Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill and is available to fly in as a rear seat passenger.
Current location – Heritage Hangar, Biggin Hill, Kent - airworthy.