Post by Peter Lewis on Sept 24, 2007 22:25:00 GMT 12
The shoebox has produced some photos of Spitfire XVIe TE288 as it was seen at the Brevet Club, Christchurch in the 1960s - 1970s.
This aircraft was built May45 at Castle Bromwich. Del 61OTU, Keevil, May46. To 501Sdn Filton Nov46, coded RAB-D. 6MU Brize Norton Feb49, 102FRS North Luffenham Apr51, 33MU Lyneham Oct51. Grounded 1954. Display Kenley Aug55, to 60MU Rufforth Oct55. Alloc 7287M. With 60MU at Church Fenton 1959, to Dishforth 1962. Crated for NZ by 2MU, on to ship 9Apr63.
After many years on the pole (seen here) it was taken to Wigram and refurbished for indoor display at the museum. These photos are dated 26 June 1976.
At the Wigram museum, the aircraft is now on show (in low light conditions) as 'V' with no serial to be seen:
A number of fibreglass replicas were made, using this aircraft as a mould. The ones I have tracked are:
1. Painted as TE288 and set up on the pole at the Brevet Club as a replacement for the real thing, destroyed in a fire set by vandals soon after.
2. Painted as TE288, to the Brevet Club as a replacement for the one destroyed.
3. To Hamilton for external display in the memorial garden by the river
4. To cinema complex at Westgate, Auckland for interior display. No external codes/serials.
Any other TE288 clones around?
Last Edit: Sept 24, 2007 22:52:12 GMT 12 by Peter Lewis
Retirement is something for the young. Once you are old you never seem to have the time.
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 25, 2007 18:38:58 GMT 12
Interestingly unlike most of the clones, the real thing does not wear its serial of TE288 today!
Also, to correct or add to the above, the restoration of TE288 when donated to the RNZAF Museum was done at No. 1 Repair Depot, RNZAF Woodbourne, under a team that included Sgt Alan Woodley (later F/Sgt with the RNZAF Museum Restoration Team).
That 1964 photo shows a very odd colour scheme - thanks for that nzav8a. The Brevet Club looks smaller and different from how I recall it in the 1990's too. I was astounded to see that building had been demolished last time I was down in Christchurch.
After being used in the studio shots, TE288 is seen here outside the local cinema in Hull in 1956 promoting the film 'Reach for the Sky'. Image by Chris Thomas.
Repainted, here is a shot at Clifford Tower in York circa 1958.
...and a degrading colour shot June 1977.
It disappoints me that your Air Force Museum do not have the inclination or the resource to paint the serial on the aircraft despite the offer of a cut dedicated stencil of either TE288 or 'TB625'.
Interestingly it was only on my first visit to NZ in 1992 that I was able to compare the studio still with the aircraft and confirm the buckled frame stiffener in the still matched the actual aircraft. This accounted for why although universally credited with being assigned to the film it does not figure much in any of the Film Company or private shots taken on set at Kenley...it was in the studio.
Would be interesting to find out why the AirForce has opted for the no serial policy on the Spitfire.I cant think of a reason why they have not put the serial on TE 288.
They have been too clever.
Some low grade copyneg shots of OU-V 'Rongotea' appear to show the aircraft at Fassberg without a serial. Better quality shots show that the serial is partly there, the reason being, I believe, is that the aircraft is part way through having the tail band deleted with Ocean Grey, appropriate for early 1945.
The top half of a serial is better than no serial at all.
If by chance you have the book 'Mustangs of the RAAF and RNZAF' by Peter Anderson.It show a picture on page 93 of TE288 along side P-51 ZK-CCG outside some NAC hangars .I would presume .for a moment, that this was at Christchurch NAC engineering base.So this could be around 1977??
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 14, 2007 13:10:59 GMT 12
John Noble of Dunedin has kindly sent through the following photos of TE288 for me to post here
He says: "I have a couple of photos of TE288 at RNZAF Wigram taken December 1963/64 in colour.
These photos were taken on my old Kodak 127, must have had some extra pocket money as they were taken on colour film. Senior ATC Cadets from No.5 Dunedin and No.26 Oamaru Squadrons Air Training Corps were on a base visit to Wigram at the time We also had an official photograph taken seated/standing in front of TE288."
If someone wants to buy me a scanner I have lots of photos of the 2 fibreglass ones that went to CHCH. The second one I painted and went down from Woodbourne to assist with it's pole attatchment. I did an ANZAC exchange to RAAF Pearce near perth in the 90's and went to the musuem where the other fibreglass one is. it was looking in need of a clean up.