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Throughout the flying season Headcorn Aerodrome resonates to the sound of vintage aircraft from the Battle of Britain era. Namely the iconic Spitfire and it’s legendary Rolls Royce Merlin Engine. Aero Legends’ mission is to provide our customers with the opportunity to relive the flight training and flying experiences of Battle of Britain pilots using authentically restored war time aircraft of that era. Aero Legends is a custodian of these unique aircraft, operating them to ensure that WWII pilots courage and bravery is remembered by future generations.

Spitfire HF9 TD314
Spitfire T9 2 Seater PV202
Spitfire NH341/DB-E


The Spitfire was designed as a high performance, short range fighter by R J Mitchell. Over 20,000 Spitfires were manufactured. It is probably one of the most recognisable aircraft of the Battle of Britain and WWII with its distinctive elliptical wing and Rolls Royce Merlin Engine. The Spitfire’s first flight was on 5 March 1936 and it entered RAF service on 4 August 1938 in time to be, with the Hurricane, the front line fighter that would successfully defend Britain. Aero Legends are proud to operate three Supermarine Spitfires.

Spitfire MKIX TD314

TD314 was built at Castle Bromwich in late 1944 and fitted with a Merlin 70 as a High Level Fighter (HFIXE). She was one of the last high back Spitfires built as the production line switched to low back aircraft in February of 1945. She was delivered to 33 MU at Lyneham on 30th March 1945, transferring later that month to 30 MU before a further move to 6 MU where she was prepared for service with 183 (Gold Coast) Squadron at Chilbolton on the 24th June 1945. 183 squadron only kept its Spitfires for a short time before re-equipping with Tempests.

TD314 moved to 234 (Madras Presidency) Squadron at Bentwaters on 26th July 1945, it is in this squadrons colours that she is currently finished with the squadron codes of FX-P. Whilst with 234 squadron it is possible that TD314 took part in the 1945 Battle of Britain flypast over London. When 234 squadron converted to Meteors TD314 was transferred to 29 MU at High Ercall for disposal on the 27th February 1946.

In early 1948 TD314 was selected as one of the 136 Spitfire IXs to be sold to the South African Air Force and she was sent to 47 MU RAF Sealand where she was packed for shipment, leaving Birkenhead on the SS Clan Chattan 23rd April and arriving at Cape Town on the 12th May 1948. Details of her use with the SAAF are not known but she was sold for scrapping to the South African Metal & Machinery CO, Salt River, Cape Town, sometime during 1954. She remained in the scrap yard until recovered by Larry Barnett of Johannesburg in 1969. From there she passed through the hands of several owners before arriving in the UK via Canada in 2009.

Acquired by Aero Legends in 2011, restoration commenced at Biggin Hill culminating in a first flight on the 7th December 2013. TD314 is heavily featured in the new Haynes manual on Spitfire restoration having its picture pride of place on the front cover. TD314 has been named “St. George” which is prominently displayed on the fuselage

Spitfire Mk IXT NH341 ‘Elizabeth’

Spitfire NH341 was built at Castle Bromwich as a Spitfire Low Level Fighter (LFIXE) and delivered to 8 MU on the 28th April 1944. It was sent to Miles Aircraft for modifications to be fitted before delivery to 411 (Grizzly Bear) squadron RCAF on 12th June 1944.

This was the only squadron NH341 served with and was flown by 9 pilots. The most notable use of NH341 was in the hands of Flt Lt Hugh Charles Trainor who gained his third kill in 48 hours on 29th June 1944 when he downed an ME109 five miles West of Caen whilst flying her. Flt Lt Trainor destroyed another ME109 on the evening of 30th June 1944 over Thury Hurcourt, again in NH341.

Flt Lt Trainor gained ace status later flying another Spitfire when he destroyed two more ME109s in a single flight on the 4th July, this was after NH341 had been lost on the 2nd July whilst being flown by W/O J S Jeffrey who escaped unscathed after tangling with FW190s South East of Caen.

The substantial remains were placed on display at the Musee Memorial de la Bataille de Normandie at Bayeux during 1996. It was later displayed at the Juno Beach Museum at Courseulles-sur-Mer during 2003 where it was described as being ML295. Inspection of the aircraft however shows that a substantial amount of the parts originated from NH341 with only a few parts from another Spitfire.

NH341 was delivered to 411 Squadron’s airfield at B4 Beny sur Mer near the Normandy coast shortly after D Day (6th June 1944) on 12th June 1944, flying its first sortie on 14th June. NH341 made 27 operational combat flights over the post D Day battlefields in the hands of 9 pilots. F/L Trainor scored two air victories in NH341 against ME109s on the 29th and 30th June.

A summary of the missions undertaken by NH341 were as follows;

  • 1 escort to Lancaster bombers on a mission to Le Havre to attack E boats
  • 10 patrols over the Normandy beach head
  • 8 armed reconnaissance patrols
  • 2 bridgehead patrols
  • 1 fighter sweep
  • 2 dive bombing missions
  • 3 front line patrols

The fuselage of NH341 arrived at Historic Flying Ltd, based at The Imperial War Museum Duxford in July 2015. The restoration of this historic aircraft has been completed in a two seat MK IXT configuration to allow Aero Legends customers to experience flying in a Spitfire. The colour scheme and equipment are designed to mirror as closely as possible NH341 flying with the Canadian pilots of 411 Squadron.

Spitfire Mk IXT PV202

PV202 was built as a single-seat LFlX fighter at Castle Bromwich in 1944 It was delivered to 33 Maintenance Unit at Lyneham in Wiltshire on the 18th September 1944 where it was brought up to operational standard. The aircraft moved to No.84 Ground Support Unit at Thruxton, Hants, and on the 19th October 1944 and entered service with 33 Squadron based at Merville, Northern France, carrying the codes 5R-Q. The aircraft returned to the UK on the 14th December 1944 at 84GSU, Lasham when the Squadron converted to Tempests. PV202 had carried out 20 operational sorties during its service with 33 Squadron.

A move between M.U.’s took it to 83GSU at Dunsfold in January 1945 before being issued to 412 Squadron. RCAF operating from Heesch in Holland where it carried the Squadron identity VZ-M later changing to VZ-W. The Squadron eventually moved further into Germany itself, being based at Rhein and Wunsdorf forward operating airfields. On the 4th May 1945 Fg Off H.M.Lepard carried out the last of PV202’s 76 operational sorties with 412 Sqn. When the War ended 412 squadron returned to Dunsfold at the end of May and PV202 was flown to the famous 29MU at High Ercall for storage in July 1945 where it remained until selected by Vickers-Armstrong for conversion into trainer configuration in 1950 for the Irish Air Corps.

It was converted at Eastleigh and delivered to the IAC on the 15th June 1951 where it was given the identity IAC161. The MK IXT Spitfires were used to train pilots for the IAC Seafire. During December 1960 it was sold to Tony Samuelson, who was supplying aircraft for the Battle of Britain Film Company. Little or no work was carried out on IAC161 and in 1979 it was put up for sale and went to new owner Nick Grace, who moved it to St. Merryn in Cornwall along with ML407/IAC162. Nick kept ML407 for himself and sold PV202 to Steve Atkins who moved the various parts of the project to a barn on a farm at Saffron Walden, where restoration commenced. The aircraft was later moved to Sussex where restoration was completed as a two seater, the first post restoration flight was from Dunsfold on the 23rd February 1990.

PV202 is now operated by the Aircraft Restoration Company and used by Aero Legends where required.

HarvardT6G G-DDMV


The Harvard (Commonwealth name) or North American T-6 Texan (US name) was used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s.

During WWII, Advanced training at Service Flying Training Schools (SFTS) introduced pupils to more powerful aircraft such as the North American Harvard. Successful graduates of an Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) would be posted to a Service Flying Training School (SFTS) where students were expected to improve their navigational skills, master instrument and night flying, and participate in formation flying exercises. Pilots who were judged to be suited to flying fighter aircraft flew the single-engine Harvard aircraft, much more powerful and demanding than the Tiger Moth used at EFTS. Upon graduation from an SFTS, the pilot was ready to continue his training at an Operational Training Unit (OTU) in Hurricanes & Spitfires.

The Harvard features a Pratt and Whitney R-1340 9 cylinder Wasp radial up front, and an inwardly retracting undercarriage. Highly maneuverable with 600hp generating a top speed of 208mph. The Harvard has incredible ‘fighter’ like qualities.

Harvard T6G G-DDMV

G-DDMV was originally built in 1943, although all records of her service have disappeared. During 1949 she was returned to the factory for upgrading to T6G standard and re-emerged with the serial 49-3209.

After serving with various training units she was delivered to the Haitian Air Force on August 26th 1957 and given the serial 3209. The Haitian Air Force took delivery of 10 T6G, some of which were used as armed aircraft and used to counter incursions from the Dominican Republic by revolutionaries. 3209 was returned to the US during 1982, possibly the only survivor of the Haiti T6s. After her time in the Haitian Air Force she was sold at Auction to Larry Johnson and entered civilian life with the civil registration of N3240N. Initially she was ferried to Miami Florida, registered to Nostalgia Aircraft Inc and painted in a yellow US Navy colour scheme. By 1986 she had been registered to Nostalgic Aircraft Service, still in Miami where she remained until 1988 when she was sold to Jim Carlin of Delray Beach, Florida.

A year later she was sold to Paul Morgan and brought to the UK and registered as G-DDMV on 30th April 1989, at this point she was based at Sywell. By 1990 she had been changed into California Air National Guard markings which she remained in when sold to Colin Dabin. Her base remained at Sywell but she also spent time at Rochester Airport. During 2013 she suffered a catastrophic engine failure which saw her languishing in a hangar at Headcorn until Aero Legends purchased her in January 2015 for a full overhaul and to have a new engine fitted.

Tiger Moth G-ANMO / K4259
Tiger Moth G-PWBE


Aero Legends are proud to own three Tiger Moths, a very important aircraft before, during and after WWII. The first step for British and Commonwealth pilots who qualified for pilot training was a posting to an Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS). An eight-week course involved all aspects of basic flight and navigation and about fifty hours of flying in a single engine “primary” training aircraft such as the de Havilland Tiger Moth.

The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth was the principal type used in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan where thousands of military pilots got their first taste of flight. The RAF found the Tiger Moth’s handling ideal for training future fighter pilots. A robust aircraft, it is generally docile and forgiving in normal flight. The Tiger Moth responds well to control inputs, and is reasonably easy to fly for a tail-dragger. Its large “parachute” wings are very forgiving, and it stalls at a speed as slow as 25 knots with power.

Tiger Moth G-ANMO / K4259

The aircraft was allocated to the Royal Air Force as K4259 on the 24th November 1934 at Kenley and officially taken on charge on the 12th January 1935.

It was then issued to 1 ASU on the 21st February 1936 before issue to 24 squadron 11 fighter group on the 5th June 1937. Its next unit was based at Gatwick and it then served with a succession of training units throughout the War such as 10 EFTS and 22 EFTS. The aircraft was allocated to the Royal Air Force as K4259 on the 24th November 1934 at Kenley and officially taken on charge on the 12th January 1935.

It was then issued to 1 ASU on the 21st February 1936 before issue to 24 squadron 11 fighter group on the 5th June 1937. Its next unit was based at Gatwick and it then served with a succession of training units throughout the War such as 10 EFTS and 22 EFTS.

It ended its service at 12 MU where it was sold to Mr A.J.Whitmore on the 1st December 1953. It was registered as G-ANMO on the 22nd January 1954 at Croydon where it remained until sold to a new owner in France on the 22nd July 1955 and registered as F-BHIU.

It returned to the UK and was registered as G-ANMO again on the 15th July 1970. On the 30th July 1972 it was involved in a none-fatal collision with a Stampe at an airshow at Weston Super Mare and was withdrawn from use for rebuild emerging onto the register again on the 27th January 1987.

It has remained airworthy ever since with a variety of owners until acquired by Aero Legends during 2014. K4259 is painted in a post war training colour scheme.

Tiger Moth G-PWBE

Lawrence Engineering Services (Australia) manufactured 11 Tiger Moths from reconditioned fuselages and spare parts from the RAAF in the period February 1959 to June 1962. Their production facility was at Camden, NSW. The Gypsy engine was built under licence by Holden Motors Australia. This batch were the last Tiger Moths built, BE was the first (LES1) of the batch making her one of the youngest Tiger’s flying. She was imported to the UK during 1999 and acquired by Aero Legends in 2014.

G-PWBE has the advantage of also being able to operate from a hard runway as it has been modified with brakes and a tail wheel.

Australian built Tiger Moths also have a solid leading edge on their wings which makes them slightly faster than UK built Tiger Moths.

Devon VP981
Devon VP981


As Aero Legends has grown, so has our fleet of aircraft. We are proud to operate a diverse fleet, from our Tiger Moths to a C47 Sky Train. Many of these aircraft are extremely rare, for example our Prentice is one of two known to be in airworthy condition. We are dedicated to continue growing our fleet, maintaining and presenting the aircraft immaculately.

The Devon VP981

The Devon was developed as a short haul airliner by de Havilland and with its non-military sister the Dove were exceptionally successful.
Aero Legends aircraft is an ex RAF 1946 Devon, assigned to Air Chief Marshall Sir Basil Embry during his time as Commander of Allied Forces, Central Europe.
During WWII Basil Embry lead bombing missions to France and on 26 May 1940 was shot down over France. He escaped and is one of the few British officers to have watched the German victory parade in Paris.
Basil Embry returned to active service flying missions in the desert. In October 1944 as an Air Chief Marshall he lead Mosquitoes to bomb the Gestapo HQ in Denmark.
In 1985, the Devon joined the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) at RAF Coningsby, where the aircraft was used as a crew transport in support of the BBMF.

The Thruxton Jackaroo



The Thruxton Jackaroo is a conversion of the Tiger Moth which Sqn Ldr J. E. Doran-Webb, designed as a high wing aircraft for touring aircraft. which were plentiful at that time. This became the D.H.82A (Mod) Jackaroo. The Aero Legends Jackaroo is one of only three airworthy Jackaroo’s remaining in the World.

The Prentice VR259


The Prentice was designed and built by the Hunting Percival Company at Luton to an RAF specification for a basic trainer to replace the Tiger Moth. Wartime training experience had led the RAF to conclude that initial training should be given in aircraft with more complex systems than hitherto, ensuring that pupils who made the grade at the basic level would not have problems when they progressed to more complex aircraft types.

The specification to which the Prentice was designed was a challenging one – requiring side-by-side instructor and pupil seating (a first for the RAF), a full blind flying instrument fit, radio, ‘synthetic’ night flying equipment, aerobatic capability, and a third seat allowing a second pupil to be carried (providing additional air experience). The Prentice was selected for the RAF, and the prototype first flew in 1946. Several handling problems soon became apparent, in particular poor spin recovery. Eventually the spin performance became satisfactory after several aerodynamic modifications including an enlarged fin and rudder, anti-spin ‘strakes’ on the rear fuselage, and increased wing dihedral accomplished by fitting turned up wingtips. All these changes resulted in aircraft of functional but rather inelegant appearance. The Prentice was a low Wing all metal aircraft with a very large fully enclosed cockpit area. Power was provided by a 250 hp version of the reliable de Havilland Gipsy Queen engine. To provide the more ‘complex’ features required, the aircraft was fitted with a variable pitch propeller, pneumatically operated flaps and brakes and a full blind flying instrument panel. The synthetic night flying equipment referred to consisted of moveable amber screens inside the canopy glazing plus blue tinted goggles for the pupil pilot -this arrangement gave visibility inside the cockpit but not to the outside world.

Only a handful of Prentices survive today, the only airworthy example being our own VR259. She was built in 1948 and left RAF service in 1957. Aero Legends acquired the aircraft in 2016 after she had been operated by Aviation Traders, Herts & Essex Aero Club, Country Borough of Southend-on-Sea, Ravenstart Engineering, RVL Aviation and Air Atlantique.

The C47 Dakota ‘Drag ‘Em Oot’

After a long search we are absolutely delighted to announce that Aero Legends has acquired ‘Drag ’em Oot’, a 1944 C-47 Douglas Sky Train. This Douglas C-47 c/n 19345, was delivered to the United States Army Air Force on 28 December 1943 and had serial 42-100882 assigned. She joined operations with 87th Troop Carrier Squadron based at Greenham Common in England equipped as glider pick up, her crew named her Drag ’em Oot (slang for ‘Drag Them Out’).

She participated in the air assault during D-Day when at 00:46 on 06 June 1944 she dropped 18 paratroopers of the US 82nd Airborne Division just behind the Normandy beach heads, near St. Mere Église. She returned safe to the UK and after a second mission that very same day, she started to resupply the troops in France.

In September 1944 she was transferred to the RAF, designated a Dakota C.3 and assigned the British serial TS422. Once with the RAF she was assigned to Number 1 Heavy Glider Servicing Unit, attached to 38 Group RAF at Netheravon, Wiltshire. The RAF wanted to have a specialist glider recovery unit and TS422 started recovering Horsa assault gliders from the Normandy beach heads as soon as she joined the RAF. The unit recovered about 40 Horsa’s prior to Operation Market Garden. TS422 herself was just like the Horsa’s she recovered from the Normandy beaches, in action during the biggest paradropping in history: Operation Market Garden in September 1944. During this mission the pilot must have been severely wounded considering this Dakota was found to have signs of 12 bullet holes on the top of her cockpit and nose; probably caused by being attacked by a German fighter at some point but this Dakota warbird could take a beating. She was repaired and in August 1945 she joined 435 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force which had just returned from Burma to the UK.

After the war ended the Dakota left for Canada, where she served with the RCAF as a trainer, a transport and whilst equipped with skis and jato rockets, as a search and rescue aircraft.

After her fruitful military career she ended up in the USA, serving with various civilian companies, being registered as N5831B.  She was then grounded for a few years until Paddy Green found her in Arizona upon his search for a C-47 to be restored as a WW2 veteran.
Following an inspection (plenty of DC-3 / C-47 hulks around but most are in deplorable shape when inspected thoroughly) she was purchased and prepared to a condition suitable for the long ferry flight back to England. The flight to Liverpool took 7 days and 35 hours flying time, but occurred without any technical problems.

Once in the UK she was registered N473DC and repainted in the livery she now appears in: the original markings as worn during her missions on D-Day 1944 with USAAF serial 42-100882 and coded 3X-P, nicknamed Drag ’em Oot (slang for ‘drag them out’) then piloted by Bill Allin.

‘Drag ’em Oot’ will be kept in military trim and used by Aero Legends in a number of roles including parachuting, air displays and in support of the soon to be launched re-enactment business – Combat Legends Ltd. ‘Drag ’em Oot’ will remain hangared at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre for the foreseeable future. Aero Legends is also searching for a passenger configuration DC-3 and will have news on this soon.