Header image: BBMF Spitfire MK356 in its current desert camouflage scheme. (Photo: Rich Cooper)
Spitfire MK356 was part of a batch of Mk IX Spitfires built at the Castle Bromwich factory in early 1944. It was fitted with full-span wingtips and a Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 engine with a two-speed, two-stage supercharger optimised for low altitudes, making it a L.F. (Low Flying) Mk IXe. On 4th February 1944 MK356 was delivered to the RAF, being flown from Castle Bromwich to No 9 Maintenance Unit at Cosford, where it was fitted with operational equipment. This remarkable and beautiful Spitfire has, therefore, just passed its 75th birthday.