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AB910 - Engine Runs at Duxford!

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  • R6915
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jan 2013
    • 148

    I first saw AB910 at the Wisley RaES Garden Party on July 15th 1956 when Jeffrey Quill flew it 'against' Bill Bedford in Hawker’s Last of the Many Hurricane from their heritage collection. It was unrehearsed – as Bill Bedford told me some years later and he also thought possibly it was the first of many occasions they did so.

    My late father then worked for Vickers Armstrongs at Wisley where AB910 was then kept handy for JKQ who was then working four miles away at Brooklands. Later that afternoon Dad introduced me to Arthur Luscombe who had been tasked with rectifing the accident damage and largely on his own rebuilt it for Vickers at Supermarine's Long Marston works. My father was then, apparently, the last Vickers Wisley & Brooklands employee to then have a current, fabric covered surface 'inspection ticket' to check and confirm the airworthiness of the surfaces hence previous contacts with Arthur.

    I recall Arthur saying to us that the work he did at Long Marston was frustrating. He couldn't find a correct mark of Merlin anywhere and nor could the manufacturer, a three bladed propeller was impossible. Quite a number of other details including replacement exhaust manifolds were difficult and the ones he found constantly burned through! Everything had to be “worked around”. Remember this was 1954 -1955. The Directors had also insisted that it should be in a camouflaged livery but as “Spitfire Survivors Vol. 1 rightly says it was crude and in fact was made much worse because it was a very high gloss finish “to assist with the maintenance”.

    Arthur previously had been the Ground Engineer at Chilbolton in charge of Vickers fleet of ferry aircraft and he was invited to move to Long Marston for this job. I also have a note that the Long Marston Works Inspector a Mr. I D Ashley did the necessary on AB 910 That it did ever fly again was a tribute to Arthur and his perseverance and he also said he had much unofficial help from many other colleagues in Supermarines at Long Marston who were keen to seen any Spitfire take to the air again.


    • WZ862
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Dec 2012
      • 129

      Re post 42

      Do you mean Long Marston or South Marston? I ask for the benefit of those not absolutely au fait with dispersed Supermarine aircraft production in WW2? I suspect South Marston.


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