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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 232930
Last updated: 13 February 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic SPIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Supermarine Spitfire HF.IX
Owner/operator:RAE Farnborough
Registration: NH236
C/n / msn: CBAF.
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Knaphill, 3 miles NW of Woking, Surrey -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire (EGLF)
Destination airport:
NH236: Spitfire HF.IX. Delivered to RAF at 33 MU Lyneham 8-5-44. To 3501 SU 30-5-44. Returned to 33MU Lyneham 29-8-44. To RAE Farnborough 3-12-44 exhaustive propellor trials continued through 1946/47. To De Havilland Propellers, Hatfield, Merlin 61 engine installation 11-7-47. Returned to RAE Farnborough 10-10-47. Written off (destroyed) when crashed (FACE: Flying Accident Cat.E) 14-9-48. Pilot killed. Struck off charge at 49 MU RAF Colerne 27-10-48.

Took off from Farnborough, Hampshire on 14-9-48 on a test flight. Purpose of flight: Determining propeller performance at high Mach numbers. Pilot suffered a paradoxical reaction to hypoxia (oxygen starvation) during an out-of-trim high-speed dive. Aircraft was severely overstressed before impacting ground at Knaphill, three miles North West of Woking, Surrey. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Dundee Courier" - Wednesday 15 September 1948):

The pilot of a Spitfire was killed when it crashed at Knaphill, near Woking, yesterday. The plane was on a test flight from Farnborough. The Spitfire crashed into the garden of a newly-built bungalow, the occupier of which escaped injury. A wing of the plane struck the roof. Although the plane did not catch fire it struck the side of the bungalow with such force that the bungalow wall was shattered."

Crew of Spitfire NH236
Squadron Leader Richard Wright Whittome OBE DFC, RAF (RAF Service Number 72031) Aero Flight RAE Farnborough Test Pilot - killed in flying accident 14-9-48


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p. 79 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Final Landings: A Summary of RAF Aircraft and Combat Losses 1946-1949 by Colin Cummings p 429
6. p 27

Related books:

Revision history:

13-Feb-2020 16:26 Dr. John Smith Added

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