MH434 is considered to be the most famous Spitfire still flying in the 21st century.[3]


World War 2Edit

Built by Vickers at Castle Bromwhich in 1943, MH434 was test flown by Alex Henshaw at the beginning of August 1943, before joining 222 Squadron on August 19th, where it was allocated to Flt. Lt. Henry Lardner-Burke. While escorting B-17 bombers of the USAAF over St Omar, France on 27th August, Lardner-Burke used MH434 to destroy one Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and damage a second.[3] Again flying MH434, Lardner-Burke shot down another Fw 190 in the Nieuport area on 5th September, and claimed a half share in a Messerschmitt Bf-109G downed over Northern France on 8th September.[4]

MH434 was transferred to 350 Squadron in early 1944 before being returned to 222. [5] The aircraft was then passed to 84 Ground Support unit on 15th June[6]

Post WarEdit

In 1947, MH434 was passed to the Royal Netherlands Air Force, who used the aircraft on 165 operational sorties against Nationalist forces in Indonesia. By the early 1950s, it was being operated by COGEA, a Belgian target-towing company. Returning to the UK in 1964, MH434 was used in the film Battle of Britain. Owned by Sir Adrian Swire during the 1970s, the aircraft became part of the Old Flying Machine Company in 1983.[7]

Film/TV AppearancesEdit

MH434 has appeared in a number of films and TV shows.


Side view of Supermarine Spitfire IXb MH434 in Piece of Cake colour scheme.[8]



  1. This was filmed in Tyneside, with MH434's regular pilot Ray Hanna at the controls.[2]
  2. This episode featured Neil Dudgeon, who played Moggy in the miniseries, as DCI John Barnaby
  3. While commentating on the display, Perry Darnley (Robert Bathurst) describes the aircraft as a Spitfire Mk 2.


  1. Wikimedia
  2. Ray Hanna Obituary
  3. 3.0 3.1 van Geffen, Tony. Radio Controlled Model World.. May 2006. Page 86
  4. van Geffen, Tony. May 2006. Pages 86/89
  5. van Geffen, Tony. May 2006. Page 89
  6. Morgan, Eric B. and Edward Shacklady. Spitfire - The Complete History Revised Edition. 2000. ISBN 0-946219-48-6.
  7. The Real Warbirds: The elite of the preservation world - Airworthy WW2 aircraft with genuine combat histories. Supplement to Aeroplane Magazine - June 2005.. Page 10
  8. Key Publishing