Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Pïerre Taquet - Tranlation: Marc Arys
© sbap 2018
 

To conclude her 2018 season, the Shuttleworth Collection got into the habit of organizing an event, blending flying machines and terrestrial units.
True to its tradition, the closing show, baptized "Race Day" gathered at Old Warden real jewels in each category, once again proving the love for these matters by the people of Her Majesty, for their history and their great creations.
The morning was dedicated to admire dozens of cars, of which some wrote glorious pages of the automobile competitions of the past. Number of them was restored with love and were in a pristine state, showing of the gleaming radiance of their chromes. Others were "as lived" offering images of racing cars allowing us to imagine them thundering through the races, as they used to do.
And then, of course, the flying machines, all having, from near or far, a bond with the various aerial competitions.
The morning walk through the hangars of the Collection allowed us also to have a closer look to the new tenant, the replica of the Albatros D.Va, which was just reassembled and made its first test flight later on. This replica, built in New Zealand, belongs to the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust and will be based at Old Warden. Surely to be seen during the events of the 2019 season. Not to be missed!
The nice October weather offered a great airshow. Of course, there were some known "birds" from the Collection, but we never get bored to see them in the air. But also some new, rarely seen aircraft, as you will find out in our photographic report.

The airshow brought us back into the past, as during every event of the Shuttleworth Collection. It would be bothersome and unpalatable to describe all these demonstrations, the pictures speaking for themselves.
But all along the afternoon of this closing session, some displays caused, as we call it, a crush !
For me, there were four of them, starting with the speed handicapped race, taking us back to the great race mixing different types of splendid aircraft. A superb duet of a Sea Hurricane and a Mustang, bringing the King's Cup Air Race and the Reno Air Races in the United States back to mind; followed by the beautiful display of the Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI, in the capable hands of John Romain and finally a wink to the Schneider Trophy.
Unfortunately, this last display was not a Supermarine S.6B, but the salute was given by a Seaplane duo, made up of a Christen A-1 Husky and a Reims Cessna FR172F Rocket, accompanied by the Collection's Spitfire Mk Vb (AR501).
This surprising display, representing the famous Schneider Trophy, was also a salute to Sir R.J. Mitchell, the inspired designer of the Vickers Supermarine company.
So on to the pictural tour, made possible thanks to the dedication of the dynamic team of the Shuttleworth Collection and mostly Mrs Ciara Harper, media team manager, who we would like to thank warmly for the granted facilities during our stay, and also her support to our team all along the 2018 season.
And now…Ready ?... Here we go !

   
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Ford Model T racer 1911
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Studebaker Boatail 1927
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Vauxhall
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Bentley
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Class 15 Swift Anzani Special
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Simply amazing
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Norton Model 18 1928
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Graeme Hardy imitating the actor George Formby and the Speed Demon
(Pierre Taquet©)
Albatros D.Va
(Serge Van Heertum©)



The coming season star!
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Sopwith Tabloid
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Miles M2L Hawk Speed Six
(Serge Van Heertum©)
The dynamic Shuttleworth collection team preparing the show   (Pierre Taquet©)
From Titch…
(Serge Van Heertum©)
…to Titch
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Fighter Tail Story
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Wolseley Hornet Special 1934
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Austin Seven "Boulogne" Racer 1923
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Roadster Riley 12/4 1936
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Napier-Railton 1933
(Pierre Taquet©)
Class 15 Swift Anzani Special 1929
(Serge Van Heertum©)

Graeme Hardy alias "George Formby" in action
(Pierre Taquet©)
Graeme Hardy the pilot & a so cute little British couple
#1 (Pierre Taquet©) - #2 (Serge Van Heertum©)
  
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Glider race: 
Slingsby Falcon 1 - Slingsby T.13 Petrel - Slingsby Kirby Kite
 
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) The post flight explanations
(Pierre Taquet©)
 
Speed handicap race:
de Havilland DH.60X Moth (G-EBWD) - de Havilland DH.60 Moth (G-EBLV) - Chilton DW1A (G-JUJU)
Blackburn B2 (G-AEBJ) - Miles M.14A Magister N3788 (G-AKPF) - Spartan 7W Executive (NC17633)
 
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
High speed race:
LeVier Cosmic Wind (G-ARUL) - Taylor JT.2 Titch (G-AYZH) - Midget Mustang (G-AWIR)
 


(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Kings cup and Reno duo:
North American TF51D Mustang "Contrary Mary" (G-TFSI) - Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk Ib Z7015 (G-BKTH)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Second speed handicap race:
Desoutter 1 (G-AAPZ) - de Havilland DH.60 Moth (G-EBLV) - de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth II K2585 (G-ANKT)
Druine D.31 Turbulent (G-ARLZ) - de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk (G-BNZC)
Scottish Aviation Bulldog 122 (G-BCUS) - Miles M.38 Messenger 2A (G-AKIN)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) 
 
1930's races:
de Havilland DH.88 Comet (G-ACSS) - Miles M2L Hawk Speed Six (G-ADGP) - Percival Mew Gull (G-AEXF)
 
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Pierre Taquet©)
 
Pitts Special speed race:
Vans RV-4 (G-BVUN) Safety Plane
Pitts S-1S Special (G-VOOM) - Pitts S-1S Special (G-FLIK) - Pitts S-1S Special (G-SWON)
Pitts S-2A Special (G-BOEM) - Pitts S-2A Special (G-ITII) - Pitts S-2AE Special (G-STUI)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)

(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Comper Swift race:
Comper CLA7 Swift (G-LCGL) - Comper CLA7 Swift (G-ECTF) - Comper CLA7 Swift (G-ACTF)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Morning flight...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
...sadly not in the formation during the show
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
 
The early years:
Sopwith Camel F.1 (G-BZSC) - Bristol M1C (G-BWJM)
 
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
 
Vickers Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI (PL983)
 
 (Serge Van Heertum©)
  

Aircraft type: Vickers Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XI
Built by: Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Eastleigh
Year of Manufacture: 1944
Serial number: PL983 (6S/533723)
Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin 70
Current operator: Aircraft Restoration Co.
Civil registration: G-PRXI
Colour scheme: Royal Air Force N° 4 Recce Squadron

The latest aircraft to emerge from the workshop of Historic Flying Ltd (HFL) at Duxford, is Spitfire PRXI PL983/G-PRXI. It wears the wartime Photo reconnaissance Blue livery of its time serving in Europe with 4 squadron before it later passed to 2 squadron in post war occupied Germany. The aircraft was subsequently placed on Contract loan to Vickers-Armstrong who supplied it to the American Air Attaché as a personal transport and high speed courrier.
Ferried by Lettice Curtis from Eastleigh to Hendon, the plane was officially handed over to the US Embassy on January 27th , 1948. Frequently flown in and out of Hendon by Lettice Curtis when not required by the Embassy. When not required PL983 was based at Boscombe Down.
The aircraft was entered by Livingstone Satterthwaite in Air Race of Wiltshire Flying Club from Thruxton on August 15th, 1948 and flown by Lettice Curtis. The PL983 finished first.
Afterward the PL983 entered into the High Speed Handicap, part of the Lympne International Air Races, Lympne, Kent on August 28th, 1948. Flown again by Lettice Curtis, PL983 ended fifth. She broke the National 100km close-circuit speed record at 313.208 mph (505.045 km/h).
After this air races period, PL983 moved to the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden, who placed it on external static display. A restoration to flying condition was started by a volunteer team, but the collection sold the unfinished aeroplane at auction in April 1983. Purchased by wartime French pilot Roland Frassinet, it became the first Spitfire to be restored by Trent Aero Engineering and made its first flight in July 1984 at East Midlands Airport. Sold to collector, Doug Arnold, it featured in the TV series "Piece of Cake" but saw little air display use. Following Arnold's death in November 1992, PL983 was placed in dismantled storage until being re-assembled at North Weald prior to sale to Justin Fleming in 1999. Operated by Martin Sargeant, it was overhauled and re-flown, but sadly met with a fatal accident at Rouen in France June 2001.
It would appear that G-PRXI had been operating with one magneto which was performing
adequately and one which was performing poorly and intermittently. It is not known why this was not detected by the pilot during his pre-flight "magneto drop" checks. It would then appear that, during the accident flight, the tracking developed in the right magneto, disabling it completely. The left magneto, whilst just able to keep the engine running, but with significant power loss, was possibly only able to do so in the mid-RPM range (if it performed with the behaviour shown on the test rig). The puff of black smoke and reduction in propeller RPM, seen immediately before the right wing dropped, was probably due to an attempt by the pilot to increase power, which had the opposite effect due to a "rich cut".
Following the conclusion of the accident investigation board, the severely damaged Spitfire was purchased by Aircraft Restoration Company and moved to Duxford in 2003. A rebuild to flying condition has been ongoing for a number of years at Duxford with the fuselage being reconstructed at Airframe Assemblies on the Isle of Wight. Also the correct to type Rolls Royce Merlin 70 has been obtained and overhauled. A correct wrap around clear view windscreen has been fitted to replace the incorrect fighter type assembly latterly fitted. Following the pioneering fitment of a mock camera installation on the Rolls Royce Spitfire PS853, HFL have incorporated the same lens assembly fitment into the side camera hatch on PL983.

Dates and facts:

- Built at Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Eastleigh, 1944.
- 6 MU (Maintenance Unit), RAF Brize Norton on October 31st, 1944
- No. 1 Pilots Pool (PR HQ at RAF Benson) on November 24th, 1944 for delivery to 34 Wing, arriving on January 5th , 1945.
- N° 4 Squadron at Gilze-Rijen, The Netherlands February 22nd, 1945
- N° 2 Squadron at Hustedt, Germany September 6th, 1945 and moved with this unit to Celle, Germany on September 17th , 1945.
- January 12th, 1946 back to 6MU
RAF Brize Norton
- To 39 MU RAF Colerne on July 15th, 1946 for equipment removal
- To 6 MU on July 29th, 1946.
- To 33 MU, RAF Lyneham (No date) for disposal.
- On loan to Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Eastleigh, July 22nd , 1947 in preparation for US Embassy service.
- Loaned US Embassy, Civil Air Attache Mr Livingstone Satterthwaite. Registered as NC74138. (high speed courier).
- Back to Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Eastleigh, 1949.
- Shuttleworth Trust, Old Warden, 1950-1983. (Static display, 1950-1975). Registered G-15-109
- Moved to Duxford for rebuild to fly, August 30th , 1975.
- Sold to Roland Fraissinet, Marseilles, France, April 14th , 1983. Based at East Midlands Airport, UK, between 1983 and 1987. 
- Registered as G-PRXI. First flight, East Midlands, July 18th , 1984.
- Doug Arnold/Warbirds of GB Ltd, Biggin Hill, October 1st , 1987 until 1992. Star in the TV series "Piece of Cake" 1988.
- David Arnold/Flying A Services, North Weald, 1992-1999.
- Wfu, stored dismantled, 1992-1998.
- Juston V. Fleming, Goudhurst, Kent, 1999-2001. First flight, June 8th , 2000 as PL983/JV-F.
- Crashed during airshow, Rouen, France on June 4th , 2001. Pilot Martin Sergeant fatally injured.
- Purchased by Aircraft Restoration Company and moved to Duxford in 2003. First post restoration flight May 18th , 2018.

 

22 OTU "LT" code and during her US Embassy career
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
 
Lettice Curtis in action
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
 
During 25 years in static display...
(Coll Serge Van Heertum)
 
...at Old Warden airfield
(Coll Serge Van Heertum)
 
When the plane was owned by Roland Fressinet
(Coll Denis Eusicom)
 
(Coll Denis Eusicom) 

Martin Sergeant, the unlucky pilot
(DR Web) 
Flying near the white cliff and a dramatic view of the fatal crash
(Coll Denis Eusicom) & (DR Video extract)
 
The iconic warbirds pilot...
(Serge Van Heertum©)
...John Romain
(Serge Van Heertum©)
Soon 75 years old and always so dashing the Spitfire
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)

(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
  
Schneider Trophy:
Christen A-1 Husky (G-WATR) - Reims-Cessna FR172F Rocket (G-DRAM)
Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vc AR501 (G-AWII)
Cessna 182-R (G-ESSL) Visitor
 
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
 
The great final:
de Havilland DH.88 Comet (G-ACSS) - Percival Mew Gull (G-AEXF) - Percival Mew Gull (G-HEKL)
Travel Air Type R "Mystery Ship" (G-TATR)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Pierre Taquet©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
(Pierre Taquet©)
 
Departures:
Druine D.31 Turbulent (G-ARLZ) - Taylor JT.2 Titch (G-BFID) - Mudry CAP 10B (G-DAVM)
 
(Serge Van Heertum©) (Serge Van Heertum©)
The 2012 Schneider Trophy Winner !
(Serge Van Heertum©)
 
Shuttleworth Collection season 2018 is over; it was again a great one!
Rendez-vous in 2019 at Old Warden...

(Serge Van Heertum©)
 

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