Mr Rob Chambers, a professional photographer from the North East contributed with this series of photos of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Rob used to visit the BBMF day at RAF Coningsby. The following photo set was created during such event in 2010.
The BBMF operates several Spitfires. The oldest one, P7350, is a Mk.IIa, which originally flew in the Battle of Britain in 1940, with Nos. 266 and 603 Squadrons.
The Mk Vb Spitfire, AB910, escorted convoys in the Battle of the Atlantic, flew escort patrols during bombing raids on Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, then, as part of No. 133 squadron, fought in the Dieppe Raid. Capping this long career, as part of No. 402 Squadron RCAF, she flew cover patrols over the Normandy beachheads on D-Day and in the subsequent weeks – as did another of the Flight’s Spitfires, with No. 443 Squadron RCAF.
The Mk LFIXe Spitfire, MK356, was built in March 1944 with clipped wings optimised for low level flight, and fitted with a Merlin 66 engine. Allocated to the Canadian Air force, No. 144 Canadian wing, based in various locations around southern England. She took part in the Rodeo fighter sweep over occupied France in the weeks leading up to D-Day. After the war she served as a gate guardian at Hawkinge and Locking, and was later recovered and refurbished in 1992 for the BBMF.
There are also two MkXIX Spitfires both built in 1945 with Griffon 66 engines. PM631 was too late to see operational services in World War II and carried out civilian duties until 11 July 1957 when she became part of the Historic Aircraft Flight; she is the longest serving aircraft in the BBMF. PS915 performed various reconnaissance duties at Wunsdorf in Germany. She returned to the UK in 1954, and was retired to gate guarding duties. In 1987 she was modified with a Griffon 58 engine and refurbished to flying condition by British Aerospace.
There is also a Spitfire Mark XVI, TE311, acquired in 2002 and initially allocated for spares but was officially added to the BBMF collection in 2007.