One of the newest completed Spitfire restorations, a Mk. XVIe RW386 NG-D had its debut last month at the airshow circuit in Sweden, its new home country. The aircraft was purchased in May by the Swedish company Biltema and is currently based at Ängelholm alongside with Biltema’s other warbird, P-51D Mustang. RW386 is currently the only flying Spitfire based in Sweden.
Built Castle Bromwich in 1945 just after the and of hostilities in Europe, this Mk. XVI served initially with No. 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron as NG-D. In 1952 it was relegated to the role of instructional airframe at No.1 School of Technical Training at RAF Halton, still carrying its 604 Sqn markings. It remained at Halton until 1982 when it was moved to RAF Hendon Museum. Restoration to airworthiness began at Audley End in 1992 but wasn’t completed due to lack of finance and the aircraft remained in storage at North Weald until 2002. Acquired by Historic Flying Ltd, new restoration commenced in 2002. It had its first post-restoration flight at Duxford in March 2007. Sold to Biltema, it arrived in Sweden on 30 May 2007. Its public debut in Sweden took place on 10 September at Borås air show.
The number of airworthy Spitfires in the world is steadily increasing. The Biltema Spitfire and the recent Mk. V flown in New Zealand brings the total number of airworthy Spitfires restored since the Battle of Britain movie to around 70.
RW386 can bew viewed through the following links:
- Added today in our own video section, there’s a clip showing Biltema Spitfire’s appearance at the Borås Airshow
- Additonal photos can be found at Swedish sites here, here and here.