Battle of Briatin Film


The survivors home


The Making of the film:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

The survivors

Spitfire Mk.LFXVIe TB382


Type: VS361

Engine: Packard Merlin 266

Serial/Reg. TB382

Sqdn – code: 602-LO-Z, FCCF (Fighter Command Communications Flight), BBMF

Role in film: Taxy, Currently: stored


TB382 was built at Castle Bromwich late in 1944 and taken on charge by the Air Ministry on 17th January 1945, being flown to No.6 MU Brize Norton two days later. It joined its first unit, No.602 (County of Glasgow) squadron RAuxAF at Ludham, Norfolk on 21st February, receiving the code “LO-Z” and was used for dive bombing and armed recce missions, flying 20 ops before sustaining Cat.AcFB damage on 12th March. Repairs were effected on site by a team from Vickers Armstrongs and the aircraft rejoined its unit on 27th April and moved to Coltishall. With the end of the European war TB382 was retired to No.29 MU High Ercall on 22nd July 1945 and remained in store until 28th October 1948, when it was dispatched to No.6 MU Brize Norton for refurbishing and issued, on 27th January 1949 to the Fighter Command Communications Flight at Northolt.

It served with this unit until 31st May 1951, when it sustained Cat.3R damage in a flying accident, repairs being started immediately and continuing until 4th October but on 31st October the aircraft was returned to No.29 MU for storage. It remained here and was transferred to non-effective stock on 16th December 1954, being allocated to RAF Thornaby for display use as 7244M in 1955. At Thornaby it was painted silver and it was at this time that the port wing was exchanged for one of the “C” type.

On 8th August 1956 the aircraft was at Middleton St George, but the following month was displayed at Thornaby for Battle of Britain Day, still in silver but with No.608 squadrons badge on the cowlings. It was then returned to Middleton and repainted in camouflage with the serial M7244, this being changed to TB382 and the code “LO-X” added some time later possibly in 1961. By the mid 1960’s the aircraft had been transferred to the RAF hospital at Ely, from where it was transported to Henlow on 18th February 1967 for use in the Battle of Britain.

TB382 was restored to taxying condition for the film with a replacement Merlin 266, wingtips, rudder and radio. Its four bladed propeller was removed and installed on AR213 – it is still fitted to that aircraft- and a three bladed unit from Hurricane Z7015 was installed for taxying sequences shot at North Weald and Duxford. It was finally returned to Henlow in September 1968 and restored to normal configuration, a replacement four bladed prop being donated by EP120, which had acquired it from Mk.XVI TD135 during an earlier rebuild. By October the transformation was complete and TB 382 was placed in store at Henlow, being allocated to the RAF Museum the following year but placed on charge with the Exhibition Flight at Abingdon for use as a touring exhibit in place of one of the Flights Mk.I aircraft.

The aircraft was stored at RAF Coningsby 1999. It is being used by the BBMF for spare parts to keep the Flights fleet of Spitfires flying. With the restoration of TE311 to flying condition it was decided to strike the aircraft from charge. I have heard a rumour that the identity of this aircraft may now be with Airframe assemblies in exchange for airframe parts for TE311. So will we see TB382 return to the skies?

Current location BBMF, Coningsby, Lincs – stored.

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