I know, it has been a while coming but I wanted to wait until the moment when I could tell you all some really good news! On Wednesday 25th March Richard (Grace) test flew ML407 at Bentwaters following the winter maintenance. Richard has reported that the flight was very successful with all required checks carried out – oil temperature/pressure all within anticipated (book and our own logs) levels. Radiator temperature was also at the correct levels, rising and reducing as expected as the engine warmed up then cooled down after climbing to height. All other Ts and Ps were good as anticipated.
Handling was normal – and with ML407 that means perfect such is the skill of Richard, Steve and Dave. On return to dispersal and subsequent full inspection only a small oil leak was flagged up which is a hugely successful outcome – and anyway what person can possibly expect a Merlin engine to not have a small oil leak it would not be right!
Now Richard will carry out the further test flights and we shall all get current again after the long winter months.
The team, Richard, Steve (Kingman) and Dave (Puleston) have worked long and tirelessly in a cold hangar – even though it is heated to a temperature I will let them get it to which is 10 degrees! They know how important it is to ensure ML407 is ready in time for the display season which starts for us next month at Santa Pod Raceway on Easter Saturday (4th April) and Richard is flying this display flying his usual dynamic display in ML407.
The display calendar will be entered now that we are nearly at April. I like to leave it until now so that the Grace Spitfire Supporters have had time to renew their much needed and appreciated support and they all get the advantage of receiving the bookings for 2015 early – that is as soon as they renew. I think this is a good perk for being a Grace Spitfire Supporter.
The other perk is that our current Supporters had the first chance to buy the brand new DVD – The Grace Spitfire 70th Anniversary DVD offered to them at a special price. However it is still a brilliant buy at £12.00 including postage and packing. This DVD has 50 minutes film of predominantly unseen footage taken of Nick Grace when he was rebuilding ML407. Nick is explaining the complexities of the rebuild and goes through to the first flight. Also it has the original gun camera footage from ML407’s gun camera on D-Day – amazing footage – there in full speed and slowed down for additional clarity. The DVD is narrated by me, Carolyn (sorry!) and has many photos working through from Wartime to present day. It has been very well received and was a huge amount of work by James Hepburn who produced it with me supplying content but he did the magic. To buy one just download our order form and that has the payment details but the DVD is not on the order form yet so this is a pre-notice!