View Full Version : Uxbridge/Northolt Spitfire?

25th Feb 2004, 06:20
Does anyone know where this machine went to? I believe it may have been made flyable but cannot find any reference.
It was on the gate at Uxbridge for many years with a M???? serial and then went to Northolt around 1961/62.
I was sent to Uxbridge with Jim Dell to dismantle it and load it on a Queen Mary. We got caught when the boss came by and asked if we knew anything about Spitfires, to which the reply was "of course we do" thinking we were on to a good thing!!
The day was extremly foggy and we worked away to a chorus of NCO's yelling at the Queens Colour Squad with a bit of help from Jim until the fog cleared?? The aircraft was in good shape with all the bolts and screws well greased and we had it done by lunch. The engine was just a frame to mount a prop hub on.
I seem to remember that it carried two serial numbers on various panels and one of them was possibly PS110?
In later years I believe it was used in the Battle of Britain film as a prop and then another one went to Northolt but I could be wrong?
Anyway I am assured that the pprune guys know everything so I await your response.
Thanks in advance.

PPRuNe Radar
25th Feb 2004, 06:32
Could be Spitfire F22 PK624 whose history is shown thus:

RAF Uxbridge, 1960-1963

- Displayed there as WP916 (which is a Chipmunk serial !!).

RAF Northholt, 1963-1968 (correct serial re applied).

Now under rebuild at Duxford with the Fighter Collection I think.

25th Feb 2004, 16:54
Thank you PPRuNe Radar,
I knew someone on here would know the answer.
You have jogged my dim memory and the aircraft was indeed PK624 but a lot of the inspection panels had PK110 stencilled on them.
Back when we took it apart there was hardly any corrosion so it should make a good restoration and I look forward to seeing it fly again.

Halcyon Days
27th Feb 2004, 12:30
I have a fairly good quality colour photograph of it taken there in the late 60s. Mail me if you should want a scanned copy and I will be happy to e mail a copy back.

27th Feb 2004, 16:46
Halcyon Days

Please check your PM.



1st Mar 2004, 02:56
Speedbird 48,

The 'gate guardian' Spitfire at RAF Northolt was sold about 1994/5 and replaced with a plastic one. I came across it some years later being restored to flying condition at Booker.

If you would like, I can get better info since I am near to both locations.


Boss Raptor
2nd Mar 2004, 00:58
Yep recall the last Northolt Spit well as went past it to school on the A40 everyday in the 70's...my memory says the real Northolt Spit was taken away late 80's and shortly after the plastic one appeared...and I recall it was going to put back into flying condition...


I remember a much later mark Spit at Uxbridge around the same time but dont know that much about it, might have been the same one as my memory is a bit vague

2nd Mar 2004, 05:48
The Northolt/Abingdon MK22 PK624 is indeed with TFC at Duxford and was stripped down for restoration a few years ago, but I don't think has progressed much as the major effort is focused on the P-51C, Beaufighter and Sea Fury.

Northolt then had Mk XVI TE476 which is the aeroplane restored by Tony Bianchi for Kermit Weekes and now flies from Polk City.

The Uxbridge Mk XVI was RW382 which went to David Tallichet. It was destroyed in a fatal accident in the US in 1998.

2nd Mar 2004, 07:52
I knew I would get the information flushed out by you guys although I have a problem with the bit about Northolt/Abingdon, PK624.
PK624 was the one that I took apart at Uxbridge around 1961/62 and it was transported to Northolt. It was stripped and painted before going to the South side gate alongside the A40.
After that time it may have gone elsewhere and Uxbridge may have got another one but PK624 with bits of PK110 attached to it was the one that Jim Dell and I moved from Uxbridge.
It is good to see that it has survived and may one day make it back into the air.
Thanks Guys.

PPRuNe Radar
2nd Mar 2004, 08:02
From the Fighter Collection website ....

PK624 was built at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory, near Birmingham, in the UK during 1945. She was given the constructors number CBAF189 and, on completion, was allocated to No33 MU who were based at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, on the 12th of December '45.

The aircraft was to spend the first year of her existence in storage with 33MU, not being transferred to the Vickers Armstrongs South Marston works for modification work until the 5th of December the following year.

Details of the work carried out are not available at the moment, but the machine remained with Vickers until the 29th of May 1947 before passing back into storage, this time with No 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton who recorded her arrival seven days after the completion of the mods at South Marston.

PK624 was to remain in storage with 6MU for a total of fourteen months before an allocation to No 614 (County of Glamorgan) RAuxAF Squadron took her to RAF Llandow in Wales, where she arrived on the 25th of August, 1948.

Her duties, as yet unknown, with 614 sqn lasted for over two years, until she was removed from operational service and again placed in storage with her previous allocation, No 6 MU at RAF Brize Norton, where she arrived on the 31st of October 1950.

Her stay was to be a short one this time as she staged through 9 MU at RAF Cosford before being recorded as being with Air Service Training (AST) at Gatwick from the 17th of January 1951 under a Vickers refurbishment contract which could have seen her become one of the number of Mk22 Spitfires to pass to the Syrian military authorities at about this time.

The refurbishment work was completed, the sale to Syria was not, and PK624 found her way back to No 9 MU at RAF Cosford, arriving there on the 24th of July 1952.

Her days with the RAF were numbered however, when the aircraft was declared non-effective on the 16th of June 1953, and then sold back to Vickers Armstrongs on the 4th of February 1954.

Quite what Vickers did with the aircraft after buying her back from the RAF isn't clear, but it was to be early 1957 before she re-appeared again, this time on the strength of the Station Flight at RAF North Weald, home of No 604 RAuxAF squadron.

It is likely that she was privately owned by a member of 604 Sqn at this time and that she was operating unofficially in military markings. When 604 Sqn were disbanded in November of 1964, the aircraft, without its Griffon engine, was displayed on the gate of the station for a time.

It was moved to the gate at RAF Uxbridge during 1960 and repainted, somehow being given the Chipmunk serial WP916 in the process.

In 1963 she was removed from Uxbridge, her correct serial was restored to her, and she was transferred to the gate at RAF Northolt where she was to remain, apart from some renovation work which took place in 1968, until the 23rd of July 1970.

RAF Abingdon was to be her new home from that point onwards, she guarded the gate in her newly applied 614 Sqn colours, which she still actually wears today despite being allocated the maintenance code 8072M at that time, at Abingdon until the great Spitfire shuffle of 1988 & 89 took her, and a number of other historic gate guardian aircraft, to RAF St Athan in south Wales and some sort of protection from the elements. She arrived at St Athan on the 1st of August 1989.

In October of 1994, successful negotiations having been completed between The Fighter Collection and the MoD for her disposal, a small party from Duxford dismantled the aeroplane and transported the bits back to Cambridgeshire, arriving late in the afternoon of the 11th.

Once unpacked, the aeroplane was placed in TFC's extensive store and left until sufficient amounts time, money and manpower coincided. In mid May 1997, the fuselage and wings were removed from store and, under the direction of two TFC Volunteers, the process of stripping the fuselage of both paint and its fixtures began.

No date will be offered for her first post restoration flight until very much nearer the time, but fly she will, being the first Spitfire Mk Twenty-something to have done so since Jack Malloch lost his life in his Mk22 in South Africa in the late 1970's.

In May 1997 she was pulled out of storage at The Fighter Collection and moved across to the restoration side of the T2 hangar at Duxford where the process of stripping the fuselage began.

The first job was to remove the tail unit, and begin work on the area of the cockpit. As the summer of 1997 has continued, so the entire fuselage has been stripped of all its internal components, which have been stored for further attention, and the whole fuselage has been de-greased and cleaned to allow a closer inspection of the metalwork underneath the paint and grime of the last 40 years. When its reasdy the whole thing will be sent away for bead blasting and a proper clean up.