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About Spitfire ML295 (G-CLXB)

SpitfireT9 ML295 Rect.png


ML295, CBAF-8381, rolled out from the Castle Bromwich factory in early 1944. The aircraft was first allocated to No. 39 MU (Maintenance Unit) at RAF Colerne in Wiltshire, this on 13th April 1944. Shortly after it was sent to No. 411 (Grizzly Bear) Squadron, part of 126 Wing of the Royal Canadian Airforce. On 2nd June 1944 the first mission in ML295 was flown by pilot 'Thomas 'Tommy' Wheeler , a 'Ramrod', the code name for a bomber escort mission over occupied France. On 22nd June 1944 411 Sqn moved from England to Beny-sur-Mer in France. Commanded by Squadron Leader R K Hayward DSO DFC with the main duties of the unit being Rhubarbs - freelance flights over enemy territory in weather conditions such as low cloud and poor visibility. The 30th July 1944 was ML295’s final wartime flight being flown by Flying Officer H W Kramer on a reconnaissance mission when he encountered heavy flak over the Caen area. ML295 was hit and other pilots watched as he fell out of formation and out of sight. Kramer was reported as 'missing in action' however he had survived the crash landing and with the help of local French civilians he managed to evade immediate capture. In return he joined the French Resistance and helped with acts of defiance against the Germans. On 20th August 1944 Kramer and others were captured by enemy troops and taken to a local POW camp. Managing to escape Flying Officer Kramer reached the advancing 1st Polish Armoured Division and was able to return to England on 28th August 1944 and eventually got back to Canada.

In total ML295 completed 67 sorties between 2nd June 1944 and 30th July 1944, mostly over German occupied areas of Northern France including dogfights, train attacks, bomber escorts and dive bombing. The aircraft was flown by 11 pilots, 4 of whom received the DFC.

In 1989 wreck of ML295 was recovered Jeann-Pierre Bernamou and a  restoration started. It subsequently moved to Biggin Hill where it underwent further restoration and conversion to a two seat configuration. ML295’s first post restoration flight was undertaken n 14th January 2022 at Biggin Hill.

ML295 will be based predominantly at Leeds East, the former RAF Church Fenton, where will offer flights in the North of England and Scotland.  



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31 ft 5 in (9.58m)

36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)

12 ft 8 in (3.86m)

6001lbs (2,722kg)

8250lbs (3,742kg)

Rolls-Royce Merlin 266

400mph (644km/h)

200mph (322km/h)

450miles (724 km)



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.


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