back to article '95% original' film star Spitfire could be yours for a mere £4.5m (or 0.05 Pogbas)

Fancy buying an almost-original and flyable Second World War Supermarine Spitfire? If you've got £4.5m gathering dust in the bank, today might be your lucky day. Spitfire LF Mk.IXB MH415 is up for sale, with various news outlets reporting its sale price as around £4.5m. Built in 1943, the veteran of two wars and several …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

    "0.05 Pogbas"

    But can the Spitfire dab?

    1. AnotherName

      It's got better taste than that...

  2. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge
    Happy

    If anyone's feeling generous

    It's my birthday next week. Hint hint hint.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: If anyone's feeling generous

      Well I know what I'm getting me for your birthday!

  3. DoctorPaul

    One of the best 5 minutes of my life

    In 2017 I went up in a dual-seat Spitfire (thanks Aero Legends), only finding out just before take-off that I would get to actually fly the plane.

    Without a doubt, the BEST two and a half grand I have ever spent!!

    The only problem is - when the first plane you've flown is a Spitfire, where the hell do you go after that? (Answer, start saving up for another trip)

    1. Zenubi

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      With Space X

      1. DoctorPaul
        Joke

        Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

        Wow, do they let you fly that if you go up in it?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

          Yes. But it costs a lot more. Inspiration4 Mission

    2. Hawkeye Pierce

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      As the saying goes, you don't get in a Spitfire, you strap it on!

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

        So true!

        After the physical experience of flying it, I had almost-physical flashbacks for a few months while dreaming - anyone else who has skied had "skiing dreams" like I used to?

        I like to think that there's a little bit of that physical feedback still hiding away in my spinal column somewhere.

      2. Woodnag

        Strap on plane

        An early 50's MIG would be interesting. It's a jet engine with vestigial wings attached, and really tiny.

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Strap on plane

          I think there's still a South African company with a two seater EE Lightning you can buy flights in. That's basically two jet engines with vestigial wings ;)

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      "The only problem is - when the first plane you've flown is a Spitfire, where the hell do you go after that?"

      A Vulcan? Maybe one will eventually be restored enough to do more than just taxi down the runway someday.

      1. gerdesj Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

        Wot? A 40s era fighter -> 60s - 80s V bomber.

        I'm a fan of the "back room boys" but I'm not too sure how you go from single prop engined local air defence fighter to eight jet engined long range nuclear nasty delivery platform.

        I suggest the Lightning instead if you are going for that era - the one that was a couple of fireworks ... er engines ... with a pilot strapped on as an afterthought, rather than the modern funky thang.

        I sort of grew up in the era of muscle strike aircraft, in West Germany (I'm a Brit). As a child I watched say two flights of four Phantoms on full afterburners playing silly buggers just after take off, because they could. I was in a playgound at the time. I saw Star Fighters, Jaguars and other exotic beasts. Buccaneers for the Navy. My dad flew around in various odd "staff cars". He started off with a Sioux - his pilot in that was called "big skin" a big lad, so he had to take a bit of a run up to take off - not too much power there. Later on a Gazelle - GB + France's prettiest ever heli.

        Whoops, I digress.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Vulcans are more awesome than you think

          Fun Fact: the Vulcan, despite being the awesomely renowned catastrophic ear-destroyer partypiece at airshows/shows-in-general (almost unbelievable if you've been there), could also operate in a very effective "stealth mode".

          I discovered this while hiking through the Hampshire hangers (low steepish hills), pausing as I exited one valley and looking sideways. A bloody Vulcan appeared, completely silently, climbed (clumb?) over the opposite ridge at no more than 100ft, flying nap-of-the-earth, dropped down into the valley, climbed with the hill and went directly overhead of me. I've been in position to precisely determine a Hurricane at less than 30ft directly overhead (someone taking an illegal jaunt early one morning --scudding about under the radar just above the forest top and dropping down as the forest broke for fields-- came back and belted over the top of thumbs-up-waving me with his wings slightly above the low 2 storey rugby club we were beside) and I'd estimate that Vulcan around 50-60ft overhead: around a 5 storey building.

          It was completely silent until it reached the bottom of the valley -- if I hadn't been looking that way, I'd have missed it entirely. Even then almost entirely inaudible until it was past me. As it climbed up the hill towards me, there was a verrrrry faint wind whistle --literally-- and as it got quite close a slight hum. Only attributable to the plane if you're looking directly at it, barely noticeable. Once past me, though: suddenly you could clearly hear recognisable jet engines (briefly), albeit even then not loud despite climbing with the hill slope.

          But if it's coming straight at you, it's low, and it's only doing a coupla hundred miles an hour, it's essentially silent.

          Damndest thing.

          1. M.V. Lipvig

            Re: Vulcans are more awesome than you think

            You want a silent warplane, look no further than the A10 Warthog. It will fly over your head for hours, and unless you look at it you wouldn't know it was there. If you see its shadow it looks like a bird of prey lazily floating along. The plane itself can putter so slowly it almost looks like it's hovering.

            If you're on the wrong side, the first thing you'll see is the 4 acres of land you're standing on explode for no apparent reason. A few seconds later, you'll hear the plane. BRRP! Just 2-3 seconds worth of noise and it sounds like it's burping, not firing. You can almost hear the "pardon me."

            1. Blank Reg Silver badge

              Re: Vulcans are more awesome than you think

              The A10 is also an exceptionally tough bird being able to survive enough damage to take down several other aircraft

          2. CuChulainn Silver badge

            Re: Vulcans are more awesome than you think

            When I was a kid back in the 70s, we used to go on holiday every year to a seaside town that was a few miles from an RAF base where Vulcans were kept. They were still in active service then,

            They were a magnificent aircraft, and I used to love watching them fly overhead at low level, coming and going on whatever it was they were doing over The North Sea.

        2. druck Silver badge

          Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

          I'm a fan of the "back room boys" but I'm not too sure how you go from single prop engined local air defence fighter to eight jet engined long range nuclear nasty delivery platform.

          The Vulcan only had 4 engines, maybe you are thinking of a B52. But if you'd seen the Vulcan doing a full air display in the 70's or even the more limited displays after the return to flight from 2007 to 2015, you could try telling the thing it was just a delivery platform and not a fighter, but it wouldn't have believed you.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

          "Wot? A 40s era fighter -> 60s - 80s V bomber."

          Depends on the personal preferences of the OP. Is he in love with fighters of the same era or iconic British aircraft in general? I was assuming the latter, you are assuming the former. We might both be wrong.

        4. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

          Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

          Or, perhaps, a de Haviland Mosquito.

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

            Hell yeah! I'd sell one of your kidneys for a flight in a Mozzy.

        5. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
          Go

          Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

          When in the Royal Navy (several decades back), one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job was to fly in aircraft with 'rogue' problems.

          This is the case when aircrew report a problem with the aircraft but it simply will not show up in ground testing no matter how hard you look and usually it had happened multiple times.

          The absolute highlight was flying the back of an F-4 being launched from an aircraft carrier.

          I remember sinking into the seat at breakout (that is when you start travelling down the cat).

          The recovery was interesting - on approach the carrier looked about the size of a postage stamp and although the aircraft pitches nose down after taking the arrester wire by perhaps 5 or 10 degrees, it felt more like 60

          Icon because...

      2. DoctorPaul

        Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

        Was lucky enough to see the last flying Vulcan at air shows when they were still able to put the engines on full chat as they climbed away.

        And on its farewell tour it came along the north Kent coast and did a 90 deg turn towards Manston pretty much right over our house - sad day.

        1. Potty Professor Bronze badge
          Holmes

          Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

          I was filling my Range Rover Classic with LPG at a facility way out in the sticks, when I heard a low whistling noise coming from over the fields. I looked up and watched a Vulcan (last one, I think) gracefully and almost silently approach at low level, pass directly over my head, and disappear off to the North.

          Similarly, more recently I was mowing the lawn and heard the unmistakable music of four Merlin engines. I switched off the mower and stood and watched the last Lancaster flying in this country pass slowly by a few hundred yards away over the village. I later went on the webpage to discover that it was on its way down from an airshow in Blackpool to another one near Bristol. As they had all week to make the transfer, they were only loafing along, so I had a good long look at it.

          Many years ago, I was on holiday with my family. We were driving west towards Cardigan Bay, and my route took me off the main A road and onto a B road that ran parallel but descended the side of a valley and along the river at the bottom. As I turned right off the A road and then left to descend the hill, I glanced in my mirror and was astonished to see a Hercules galloping down the valley. It passed me on the right hand side, so low and close that I could see into the cockpit.

          1. phuzz Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

            I sometimes go to a music festival near RAF Coningsby, and as festival season is also air-show season, you can often see the BBMF flying back and forth.

            Nothing like relaxing with a beer in the sun, when a Lancaster zooms overhead at what felt like 50m :)

    4. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      finally a reason to visit the ancestral dirt

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

        No connection, but I can heartily recommend Aero Legends at Headcorn aerodrome - my pilot "Parky" is ex-BBMF and Red Arrows and an utter gentleman.

        And flying out of Headcorn (previously RAF Lashenden) you and the Spit take off and land on a grass runway - somehow to me flying one from tarmac wouldn't quite be the same.

    5. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      Having flown in several old kites I'm quite jealous of your trip in the spitfire. But you dont drive the best car you've ever driven do you?

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

        Once I get the 3 litre engine dropped into my 1989 BMW convertible I will! :-)

    6. Scott Pedigo
      Pint

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      lf you've got 20K or so to drop, maybe go on a tour of the Cosmodrome and combine with a zero-G flight and a ride in a Mig?

    7. chrisw67

      Re: One of the best 5 minutes of my life

      There are four or five airworthy Mosquitoes and a Lancaster of the same vintage that would certainly be in the running.

  4. nematoad Silver badge

    Merlin 66

    It has always puzzled me why when after RR had developed a two speed two stage engine they went and cropped the impeller. The whole point of the Merlin 60 series was, to the best of my knowledge, an attempt to boost the high altitude performance of the engine. So why alter it to boost low altitude performance?

    I note the the Seafire L3 was not fitted with this engine but a Merlin 55 also with a cropped impeller, so why the difference? Surely it would be better to settle on one engine mark optimised for low altitude performance than to spread your energies in producing a lot of variants.

    I am sure that there is a reason for this but I have not been able to find it after looking for years.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Merlin 66

      I think it had to do with the changing tactical and strategic needs as the war moved on in Europe. The air war was being won and the military needed ground attack aircraft as well as bomber escorts. Best to modify what they had and were building than to design a new aircraft.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Ground Attack

        was dominated by the Mosquito and Typhoon in the latter years of the war. The mosquito could carry more bombs than a B-17. The Mossie attack on the Amiens prison is one of the outstanding raids of WW2. If it sounds like I'm a Mossie fan then I am. My Uncle flew them from 1943 to 1946.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Ground Attack

          The Mosquito has a credible claim for 'best aircraft of the 40s'.

          But it's not a Spitfire. Watch this and tell me you didn't tear up at the end.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl-aUbN3b5c

          1. OssianScotland
            Pint

            Re: The Mosquito has a credible claim

            for best aircraft of all time, Shirley?

            Although I will always have a soft spot for the PBY-5 (A or non-A) after reading Sir Gordon Taylor's "The Sky Beyond"

            Icon - raised in humble homage to the "Wooden Wonder"

            1. nematoad Silver badge

              Re: The Mosquito has a credible claim

              Well the Mosquito was a damned good looking aircraft, as most of De Havilland aircraft are but the Spitfire is surely one of the most beautiful things ever made, and to watch them going through their paces over my house in the summertime is a thing of joy,

              But best ever aircraft of all time? It depends on what you mean by best. The Spitfire could not carry the load of a Mosquito but it was a better interceptor. It did not have the legs of a P51 Mustang but then it was not designed for long range work.

              But in one thing the Mosquito was the best, it was there at the right time, with the right people flying and maintaining it and we all owe a debt to the machines and people for keeping us free of the evils of Naziism.

              1. original_rwg
                Pint

                Re: The Mosquito has a credible claim

                The Spitfire is without doubt a thing of great beauty and I am an admirer but the Mosquito is not without impressive statistics. When the Mosquito first flew in November 1940, the chase plane, a Spitfire, could not keep up. The Mosquito was, at that time the fastest aircraft to have ever flown.

            2. Tim 49

              Re: The Mosquito has a credible claim

              Assuming it's OK to plug an organisation I volunteer for here, then have a butchers at https://www.peoplesmosquito.org.uk/ if you've not already done so. Plans are in place, and construction of an airworthy UK-built Mosquito is well underway.

              We should have the stall and the collecting buckets out again at UK airshows in 2020 - pay us a visit if you're at a show. We need your support.

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Ground Attack

          Also the attack on Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: Ground Attack

            I remember one of the pilots describing how, as they belted along just above the buildings, he looked up and saw one of the other mozzies directly above him, and dropping lower. So he went lower, and they went lower, and... and he did the last of the run actually flying down the street _between_ the buildings with another chap just above him.

  5. Garry Perez

    Not sure how many Spitfires still exist, but if it aint many, then surely it should be bought by public funds and kept in a museum/used for displays for the public?

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      There are about 250 around of which 60 are airworthy, and the number of airworthy ones keeps increasing.

      1. DoctorPaul

        I think there are even about 6 two-seat Spits in operation now.

        I can still remember when I first saw the reports of the Grace Spitfire with its passenger seat - up until then you couldn't even dream of going up in a Spit.

  6. Michael Hoffmann
    Unhappy

    Nightmares...

    ... about some arse with money (or a consortium) buying it just to destroy it, Banksie style. For the media coverage, the faux "statement", the influ-tards and the clicks.

    I wish someone could convince that this is a ridiculous thought, but in this day and age?

    1. Garry Perez

      Re: Nightmares...

      Jeez, that is so gonna happen

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: Nightmares...

        But then we would have to lynch them...

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "If you've got £4.5m gathering dust in the bank, today might be your lucky day."

    If only I hadn't forked out for that Hurricane...

    1. RuffianXion
      Coat

      Flyer's remorse?

  8. Blackjack Silver badge

    What is the saying? Ship of Theseus? Since this airplane used to be used for airshows instead of being stuck in a museum, it had so many parts replaced ove the decades that at this point is more of a functioning reproduction that the original plane.

    And you can get a functioning replica for less that this.

    1. Contrex

      This aircraft is a truly exceptional example being over 95% complete of original parts. MH415 stayed fully assembled (other than for shipping and maintenance) from its date of manufacture right through to the commencement of its restoration in 2015

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