| ||On March 17, Supermarine Spitfire Tr.IX MJ772/D-FMKN flew at Bremgarten, south-west Germany, with Achim Meier at the controls. The fighter trainer, which last flew more than 25 years ago, has been restored over the past 15 months at Meier Motors by a team led by crew chief Felix Olhoff.|
Once test flying has been completed, it will be delivered to its owners, the Air Fighter Academy GmbH at Herringsdorf on the Island of Usedom in the Baltic.
Originally delivered to 341 (Alsace) Sqn at Perranporth, Cornwall, in January 1944, MJ772 moved to Merston, Sussex, on April 14, that year and had flown 50 sorties by June 18, when it lost its tailwheel on landing. After repairs it went to 340 (Ile de France) Sqn at Funtington, Sussex, and continued to fly “ops” over the Normandy area. It went into storage in January 1946, and after sale to Vickers-Armstrongs in July 1950 was converted to a two-seater and delivered to the Irish Air Corps at Baldonnel in June 1951.
Withdrawn from use in 1960, three years later it was acquired by Film Aviation Services, and later went to Samuelson’s Film Services. It was leased to Spitfire Productions for use in the Battle of Britain film, and on May 14, 1968, escorted 17 Hispano Buchons over the Channel on their journey from Spain into Manston, Kent (see pages 50-55 June 2012).
On July 9, 1968, American pilot Wilson “Connie” Edwards made a wheels-up emergency landing in MJ772 at Little Staughton Airfield, Bedfordshire, following engine failure. Two years later the Spitfire was acquired by Sir William Roberts and became a founder airframe of the Strathallan Collection. Sold to Doug Champlin in December 1974, it was displayed at his fighter museum at Mesa, Arizona, and last flew in the mid-1980s. It was displayed at the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from 2004-2010 before being shipped to Germany. (Aeroplane Tuesday, 24 April 2012)