Spitfire in flight!

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I hope you’ll forgive me for admitting this, but this photograph is one of my all-time personal favorites. It’s an image of Spitfire PS915, a part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, as she passed over our house.

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Spitfire PS915, a part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, as it passed overhead last weekend.

As we live quite close to a couple of WWII airfields, these fly pasts happen from time to time. I’ve become accustomed to the incredibly distinctive engine noises these aircraft make, something that gets my father-in-law very animated. This isn’t too surprising as he served in the RAF shortly after WWII.

Last Sunday I heard the all-too-familiar noise in the distance and ran out into the garden with both my daughter, Helen, and my camera. Purely by chance I had my telephoto lens mounted on my camera already and fired off a number of shots in burst mode as the Spitfire went past.

I had to adjust the shadows and contrast slightly. Once tidied up, this was the image I was left with. If there’s one thing that stands out for me, it’s the position of the propeller which could almost be still. I think I was also lucky to catch the Spitfire against the cloud, its neutral colour providing a great background.

In some of the other images I took, the identifying code number, PS915, was visible on the rear half, just behind the red, white and blue circle. This enabled me to do a bit of research on this particular aircraft and I discovered she came into service in June 1945, just after the end of WWII.

Even so, she has a fascinating history, seeing service in Germany on reconnaissance missions during the Cold War. She was also used during the Berlin airlift of 1948/9. Eventually returning to Britain, she spent thirty lonely years, effectively decommissioned and standing as a monument outside the camp gates at RAF West Malling. After refurbishment, she came back into service with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in 1987 and received another major overhaul last year.

I hope you like the image. It was one of those occasions where I simply had to take the shot and while I wish I had a more powerful lens, I’m please with the result and it gave me an opportunity to discuss WWII with my daughter, something that is vitally important to ensure the sacrifices of so many aren’t forgotten.

I’ve linked this post to the #MySundayPhoto linky hosted by the brilliant Photalife blog. Please do take the time to click on the badge below and explore the photography on offer form other bloggers.



38 thoughts on “Spitfire in flight!”

  1. Hi john, I can see why you like this shot, moving planes aren’t easy to photograph. It does look like the propeller has stopped! I love the angle you have managed to photograph it at, it’s as if you were along side it.
    This summer we have had a lot of the fireplaces flying over our house, so I have been trying to photograph those from the roof. I think your photo will take some beating!


    1. Very kind of you to say so Debbie. Best of luck getting a picture yourself. You have definitely got to be quick.

    1. It was wonderful to be able to research the history of the plane. Still significant even if it didn’t see action in WWII.

  2. Brilliant photo. My hubby is a great fan of the Spitfire and many other planes. He has dragged us all off to cosford a few times to look at planes.


  3. Brilliant! Well done on the photo, it’s a great capture. Also, I love that you were able to research the history of the plane. Nice work. #MySundayPhoto

  4. Paul @ Topsy Turvy Tribe

    Wow! Well captured, I’m sure it was travelling pretty fast. Looks in great condition for it’s age

  5. Great photo! Even better is your “about me” photo with your kids. Very fun and good way to show you don’t take yourself too seriously. Love it.

  6. Wow so cool and how brilliant to live right next door to it. I think I’d forever be running into my garden every time I heard a noise!

    1. It’s even better when our 89 year old neighbour comes running out into the garden! He remembers it all from teh first time and it’s quite a sight when he gets his iPad out and starts shooting pics of the planes overhead.

  7. That’s a pretty dramatic photo and makes me wish my dad were around so I could show it to him. I’m glad your pops was in after WWII and how cool is it he was in the RAF. I live by a few airfields and once in a while military aircraft fly by. It’s pretty disconcerting sometimes when they drill and my mother often thinks we’re under attack which is no picnic either.

    1. I grew up near Europe’s biggest air force base so I’ve had similar experiences re drills! Touching that you wanted to show the picture to your father. Means a lot to me.

  8. Great shot. We were at the Eastbourne Airshow last weekend and are lucky to also live near Farnborough airport so get to see a number of fly passes of the red arrows at this time of year on their way to displays. My 3 boys are in heaven!

  9. Hi John, thank you for sharing the brilliant photos and I love them very much! BTW, it’s so nice of you to the history of the plane and I really enjoy reading this post. Keep up the good work!

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