A Piece of Cake

Xintense Aviation Artwork Projects

A Piece of Cake is a six part mini series about the Battle of Britain produced in 1988. It was adapted from the 1983 book of the same name by Derek Robinson. Due to the shortage of Hurricanes in 1988, the Spitfire was used for ‘Hornet Squadron’ despite in the book Hurricanes were used.

I was aware of the scene under the bridge & set about trawling for some pictures, surprisingly there were none, this amazed me as the stunt was filmed. So I set about recreating it. The Pilot was Ray Hanna AFC (with Bar) from NZ. Ray was originally in the RAF & reached the rank of Sqn Leader, was also a founding member of the Red Arrows. Ray left the RAF & eventually formed ‘The Old Flying Machine Co’ & flew old warbirds all over the world at airshows.

A scene depicting a Spitfire being flown under a bridge was called for & Winston Bridge, Teasdale, Co Durham was chosen being a single span stone bridge at a little over 100ft wide. Ray Hanna was asked & on the 7th July 1988 Ray flew his MK9 Spitfire MH434 along the river tees below the top of the banks & under the bridge followed by a victory roll. Ray was doing close to 250mph with a windshield full of bugs.

There are two camps that the first say Ray flew without Z BD on her side & the other camp say she did infact HAVE Z BD on her side. I have now spoken to three people that were there on the day, two firemen that were on standby & one from the film company London Weekend Television & all three state she did in face have Z BD on display at the time of flying under, so to be as factually correct as I possibly can, I have recreated the scene to be as factually correct as possible, including the camouflage paint.

Ray Hanna in his Spitfire, MH 434 - Aviation Art by Paul Bell

Ray Hanna in his Spitfire, MH 434 – Aviation Art by Paul Bell

Buy ‘A Piece of Cake’ The Legend that was RAY HANNA

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