Designed by RJ Mitchell, the Supermarine Spitfire first flew in 1936. Proven over the beaches of Dunkirk, it went on to become a key fighter in the Battle of Britain and maintained its position as a frontline fighter throughout WW2. It was used in a wide range of roles from fighter, bomber escort to photographic reconnaissance and in all 22,000 Spitfires were built. Early marks were powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin whilst later Spitfires used the Rolls Royce Griffon.
This aircraft is a Mk IX and was built in September 1944 and served in the final stages of the war with the Royal Air Force in northern Italy. After the war it served with the Italian Air Force before being sold to the Israeli Air Force. After three years in Israel it was refurbished and sold to the Burmese (Myanmar) Air Force for use in their border war with the Nationalist Chinese. Its final flight was in July 1956 and it then spent 26 years as a gate guardian at a Burmese Air Force Base.
In 1999 it was one of three wrecks sold to an American collector. Two of these went to the UK and in 2001 PV270 came to New Zealand for restoration. The restoration started in 2003 at Taonui Aerodrome and its first post restoration flight was March 18th 2009. It is painted in the marking of well-known New Zealand Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot, Alan Deere. The RNZAF never operated Spitfires but a large number of RNZAF trained pilots flew them in the Second World War with the Royal Air Force in Europe. There was even a special New Zealand squadron in the RAF, 485, that flew Spitfires and was largely staffed by New Zealanders.