Historic Aircraft Collection was formed in 1985 by Guy Black and Angus Spencer-Nairn to restore and operate Spitfire Mk. IX TE566. Alongside this major project, two other Spitfires were recovered from gate guardian roles in Belgium. Spitfire IX MK912 in exchange for a Bristol Fighter and Spitfire XIV RN201 in exchange for a Fairy Battle. Both of these Spitfires were subsequently sold and have now been restored by Historic Flying.
In 1992 another HAC project took to the air, World War I survivor Nieuport 28c S. 6531 (G-BSKS). The Nieuport was obtained from the famous Wings and Wheels auction in America in 1981, described as a "basket case". It was one of the 50 Nieuport 28 aircraft to be shipped to America after the 1st WW for Army and Navy use. This particular aircraft was later used in the Howard Hughes film Dawn Patrol in 1931. The aircraft is pictured with Errol Flynn sitting in the cockpit. This has been confirmed by studying details of the cockpit surround and comparing it with the aircraft as it was when we bought it. It was brought back to the UK and restored for HAC by Tim Moore's company Skysport Engineering. Once operated by the United States Army it is now on display at their Museum in Atlanta Georgia.
Spitfire TE566 first flew again in 1993 after 7 years restoration at Hull Aero and later at Historic Flying Ltd. HAC operated the aircraft for 4 years before selling it to Andrew Torr in South Africa. Sadly, the aircraft crashed in 2002 and was destroyed.
The Hawker Nimrod I, S1581, was operated by HAC from 2000 until it was swapped for the Fighter Collection's Hurricane in 2002. The Nimrod I still resides at Duxford.
HAC now operates a fleet of four flying aircraft that includes a Spitfire Vb, a Hurricane XII, a Hawker Nimrod II and a Hawker Fury I. With several rare and interesting aircraft still undergoing restoration, HAC is fulfilling its ambition of restoring and operating some very special vintage piston engined military aircraft.