Historic Fighter Plane Collection Sold

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image via War History Online

image via War History Online

A collection of historic aircraft that flew in the 1969 movie "The Battle of Britain" and then sat in storage in a Texas hangar for more than 40 years has been sold for more than 10 million pounds (almost $17 million) to a European dealer, the Sunday Express reported this weekend. The collection includes a 1943 Spitfire that flew in World War II, and nine rare Buchons, a Spanish-built version of Germany's Messerschmitt 109. The airplanes were given to stunt pilot Wilson "Connie" Edwards in lieu of payment, according to the Express. "The weather was foul and money tight by the end of filming, so I said, 'Fine, I'll take the aircraft as IOUs,'" said Edwards, who is now more than 80 years old.

"The importance of these aircraft is that they are the last collection of unrestored Second World War fighters in the world," said Simon Brown, of Platinum Fighters, which conducted the sale. "They have not been touched and even have the same oil in the engines that they did back in 1968. The buyer plans to restore several of them for himself and subsequently others may be sold on." The Spitfire IXb, which last flew in 1973, is said to be in "remarkable" condition, according to War History Online. After RAF service it flew with the Dutch and then Belgian air forces and was also used in the 1962 film "The Longest Day." The Buchons had served with the Spanish air force until 1965 before they were bought and used for aerial combat scenes in the film.