World War II History: Part of the 17th order placed with the Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory (for 1,884 Mk IX Spitfires) dated 19 April 1944. Mk IX and XVI variants were in production simultaneously and TB252 and rolled of the line as a high-back, Merlin 266-powered L.F.XVIe bearing cockpit c/n CBAF IX 3807 and firewall c/n CBAF 10479 in late 1944.
Delivered to No. 9 M.U. at Cosford on 6 January 1945 for preparation for service, TB252 was passed on to 84 Group Support Unit at Thruxton, Wilts., on 1 March 1945 for final preparation and issue to 329 (Cigognes) Sqn, 145 (French) Wing, 2ndTAF, RAF. The squadron was based at an Advanced Landing Ground (B.85) at Schijndel in Holland and within a week of joining 329 the aircraft sustained damage as, on 8 March, it was in the hands of 411 R.S.U. which carried out field repairs. TB252 was reissued to 341 (Alsace) Sqn, 145 (French) Wing, 2ndTAF, RAF and coded “NL-J” on 15 March 1945. 341 had replaced 329 at Schijndel but within a month they had moved on to Drope (B.105) before moving to Fassberg (B.152) in Belgium on 6 July. Post World War II History: After the end of hostilities, TB252 went on to serve with 350 Sqn Belgian Air Force before being returned to the UK on 15 October 1946.
TB252 became a gate guardian in 1955 and served at various RAF bases until 1988, when acquired by Historic Flying along with four other examples. On removal from its last posting, TB252 was found to be 100% complete - even the pilot’s parachute was still in place from its last flight some 35-40 years prior!
In 2002, Spitfire TB252 was purchased by the current owner and shipped to Avspecs Ltd.
The restoration quality is unparalleled and it has been a no expense spared restoration to make it the best Spitfire possible. New Main Spars Completely Re-riveted New Skins Everything 0 Timed There has been great care taken to use as much of the original aircraft as possible. One of the few things that were not salvageable were the main wheels - and new pair of original wheels were acquired.
The Packard Merlin 266 has been overhauled by Vintage V-12’s. This is the same engine it last flew with in military service. The propeller has been overhauled by Skycraft in the UK and new propeller blades are in New Zealand. The radiators are currently at Anglia Radiators in the UK being rebuilt.