There are increasing numbers of Spitfire's in the air. Wonderful though that news is, when it comes to Reginald Joseph Mitchell's Merlin- engined masterpiece, there is one Spitfire which hasn't stopped flying since the day she was built.
Test flown by one of the greatest wartime pilot's around, she later became the favourite of, arguably, the greatest post-war pilot; Ray Hanna. In Ray's hands, MH434 has performed all over the UK and once, rather memorably, flew down the Pit Straight at the Goodwood Revival lower than the surrounding buildings and flagpoles.
Moments like that, combined with the simple fact that she is the ONLY flying Spitfire never to have been fully restored deservedly give MH434 the status of legend. However, she not only had an extremely successful wartime career but also an equally successful film career. Pretty much any movie or TV show where you see a Spitfire, it's this one.
You'd imagine that this truly unique piece of history would be gently moved around a museum, ocassionally being polished. Not a bit, in the hands of the Old Flying Machine Company's Roster of Pilots (modern day aviation icons all) you'll see a 'museum' piece being flown as if on her first test run in the 1940's. You'll almost certainly think this a remarkable and emotional feast for both eyes and ears, but also you might find it strangely familiar. There's a good reason for that; you've seen her before on the big and small screen because, amongst everything else MH434 is the most famous single engined aircraft on Earth.