Los Spitfires argentinos

20.09.2012 09:38
The Argentine Air Force, the Fuerza Aerea Argentina, asked for Spitfire T.IX trainers and placed an order with Vickers for ten of these in the 1950's. This order was later cancelled and Fiat G-55b trainers were purchased instead.
In 1947 a Spitfire F.VIIIc and a Spitfire PR.XI were bought on a private owner basis in addition to which a Spitfire HF.IXe was donated to the Argentine Government for instructional purposes only. The Argentine Air Force never had Spitfires on unit strength, but one was painted in Air Force colours for some time and another was flown later as a test bed.
It has been incorrectly reported that PL194 was flown by "Captain" J E Storey as LV-NMZ. However he landed LV-NMZ at Moron airport on 7 May 1947 at which time PL194 was still in storage at No 29 MU High Ercall. LV-NMZ was, in fact, PL972 a long-range PR variant.
The Spitfires were eventually scrapped and only pieces remain in Argentina. Aviation enthusiasts wished to maintain or restore the aircraft before scrapping but the official administration refused permission.