To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain last year, local experience days business IntoTheBlue.co.uk teamed up with Biggin Hill based aviation historian Robin Brooks to produce a video piece on the iconic Supermarine Spitfire.
Presented by Brooks – the author of Kent and the Battle of Britain – the 5 minute production details the aircrafts initial inception from creator RJ Mitchell, its production at Castle Bromwich, and the role it played in the Battle of Britain. Specifically it highlights the significance the aircraft had for the defence of Biggin Hill Airport and the protection it offered the community that surrounds it. Of particular focus is the Spitfire’s head to head battle with the German Messerschmitt 109s, and the superior engineering that gave the RAF key advantages over the Luftwaffe. As Brooks eloquently puts, the battle between the two fighter planes was ‘quite possibly the Spitfires finest hour’.
After delving into the aircrafts rich history, the narrative begins to focus on the return of the Spitfire to the skies in more recent times, and also its rise in popularity. This includes the hard work and dedication of restoration enthusiasts based in, among other places, Biggin Hill – who have brought back to life both one and two seat Spitfires.
Interviewed in the film is two seater Spitfire Pilot Don Signournay, who explains that the credit for this belongs to ‘the enthusiast that have kept these planes flying, and in the air where they should really be’. The success in restoring these historic planes, and the change in the Civil Aviation Authority regulations, has allowed the public to experience the aircraft both in its natural habitat in the air and in the form of hangar tours. Aviation aficionado Andrew Porter, whose spitfire experience features in the film, says of his flight in the aircraft: ‘I am choked up…it’s amazing to think they flew off to war, and some of them didn’t come back.’
The video is available for viewing using the below link.