***** Bray Aircraft Profile Day 6 – Spitfire & Seafire *****
Day 6 of our #BrayAirDisplay aircraft profile is the iconic Supermarine Spitfire, which will fly with the navel version of the Spitfire, the Supermarine Seafire.
The Spitfire is one of the most iconic aircraft’s in existence having served in World War II. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter to be in continuous production throughout the war.
The Spitfire played a major part in achieving ultimate victory in World War Two and truly deserves its place as probably the most successful fighter design ever, and certainly as the most famous and charismatic of all time.
In total 20,351 Spitfires were built and at the time cost 12,604 per Spitfire.
This particular Spitfire that will be at Bray is making a special homecoming to Ireland, as she was formally Irish Air Corps 162. And is now known as the ‘Grace Spitfire’ and had a conversion in 1950 to the two seat configuration for the Irish Air Corps as an advanced trainer.
ML407 changed to 162 and flew to Baldonnel. Flying a further 762 flights with the IAC the aircraft was put into storage and offered for sale in 1968. Sir William Roberts eventually bought the aircraft for his museum in Strathallan.
The Grace Spitfire is based at Bentwaters in Suffolk and during the summer months can be found at its other base at Duxford in Cambridgeshire and is maintained by our own Team of Engineers including Richard Grace who has been working on the Grace Spitfire since he was 14.
The Seafire which will also fly with the Grace Spitfire is a navel variant of the Spitfire designed for operation from aircraft carriers and have foldable wings. In total 2,334 Seafires were built and only 2 remain in flight worthy condition in the UK.
The Spitfire & Seafire will fly as a team at Bray, and this will be the first time ever in Ireland the pair have flown together.
Check back on Monday when we profile another aircraft at the #Bray Air Display.
(Photos from Daisy Burge and Grace Spitfire website, and info from Wikipedia and Grace Spitfire website) Note – We are unsure which of the 2 Seafires it is that will be at Bray and are using this one for illustration purposes)