THE TWO SEATER!
About the Spitfire BS410
BS410 was ordered from Vickers Armstrong (Supermarine) on 24 October 1940 as one of 1,100 F.I aircraft but was eventually built at Salisbury as a Merlin 61-powered F.IX in he batch BS383-411; final assembly was at Chattis Hill, from where it made its first flight on 28 October 1942.
The Spitfire was allocated to No. 315 (Deblin) Polish Squadron, based at RAF Northolt on 6 November 1942. Between November 1942 and early April 1943 BS410 carried the squadron code letters PK-E but these were changed to PK-A by mid-April. In March 1943 BS410 was sent to Air Service Training at Hamble for fitting of the camera gun in the starboard wing root, before re-joining No. 315 Squadron at Northolt.
BS410 flew 35 operational sorties with 315 Squadron including Ramrods, Rodeos, Circus, and escort sorties. She was also flown by a number of well known Polish Battle of Britain pilots and aces. Her other claim to fame came on the 27 Feb 1943, when Pilot Officer Blok of 315, took BS410 on a patrol over Wembley stadium for the England vs. Wales football match.
On 13th May 1943, pilot Piotr Kuryllowicz was forced to abandon BS410 after her cooling system was damaged during combat. 62 years later, she was excavated by Association Somme Aviation 39-45 during 2005 from her final resting place and was subsequently purchased by Martin Phillips of Exeter. Her restoration has spanned 15 years where BS410 has been meticulously restored to flight whilst being converted to the two seat 'Tr9' variant. Now operated by Spitfires.com, BS410 flies alongside her sister aircraft to provide guest experiences and pilot training.
Max take-off weight:
31 ft 5 in (9.58m)
36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
12 ft 8 in (3.86m)
Rolls-Royce Merlin 66
450miles (724 km)
BACKGROUND OF THE SPITFIRE TR9
Wartime conversions of the Spitfire into a two-seat trainer included the one-off modification of a Mk VC by RAF no. 261 Squadron and a Mk IX converted for use as a trainer by the Soviets, however the two-seat Spitfire trainer was primarily a postwar program. In 1946, a Mk VIII (MT818) was the first Vickers-built trainer built as a demonstrator, but in 1948, 10 Spitfire T Mk IXs, were exported to India. In 1951, a further six TR9 trainers were converted from the standard Mk IX to train pilots for the Irish Air Corps (IAC) Seafire fleet. The Spitfires provided transition training that included gunnery practice since the type was equipped with four .303 Browning machine guns, Most of the TR9 aircraft passed to the ground technical training school at Baldonnel where they were used as instructional airframes for the training of aircraft engineers for the Air Corps. Four of the IAC aircraft survived.