Nice. I wonder if that was a 2-seater originally, or they modified it into a 2-seater when they restored it so they can take people on rides? I don't remember any of the Spitfires being 2 seats during the war, but they could've been used for training I guess.
Many Thanks. I tried to find the answer and found the following revealing details.Nice. I wonder if that was a 2-seater originally, or they modified it into a 2-seater when they restored it so they can take people on rides? I don't remember any of the Spitfires being 2 seats during the war, but they could've been used for training I guess.
That's terrific. How about the Russians being the first to add the 2nd seat to a Spitfire and what's amazing about that is I had no idea the Brits were selling the Spitfire to the Russians! lol, Some very neat history in that one aircraft there.Many Thanks. I tried to find the answer and found the following revealing details.
The central reason given for this, was that they wanted efforts to be concentrated on producing single seat Spitfires; due to the shortage being experienced by the RAF. As a result of this the company shelved the plans until 1944, when eventually Supermarine modified a Mark V, namely ES127. This two seat prototype was then issued to No. 261 Squadron operating in the Middle East theatre. This aircraft did not have dual controls, and so was only used as a ‘squadron hack’ – it did however provoke thought.
Whilst this idea was being considered in the UK , it fell to the Russians to become the first to actually produce the two seat Spitfire for operational purposes. They had already converted some of their own front line fighters to accomodate another seat, and with the acquisition of the Spitfire did the same. Very little is known regarding this conversion, but it was widely assumed that several Spitfires were subject to this treatment.
It wasn’t until Supermarine embarked on a private venture in 1946, that we saw the first true two seat Spitfire in the UK. This was a Mark VIII serialised MT818 and bearing the civil registration G-AIDN. Early in 1947 this aircraft went to Boscombe Down for handling trials, the results which were very favourable. There were, however, no orders forthcoming from the Ministry of Defence due to the fact that the RAF were turning their attention to jet powered aircraft. The conversion at this time was mainly used by Vickers Armstrong (who had incorporated the Supermarine Company within their group) for demonstration and promotion purposes. It was later to compete in air races including the 1950 ‘King’s Cup’, before being privately purchased and transported to the USA in 1985. It would later return to the UK, and into the hands of the Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill.