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RAF hero aged 100 is back in a Spitfire

By Tom Pugh

A 100-year-old former RAF pilot has taken to the skies in a Spitfire to mark the centenary year celebrations of an airport that played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain.

Ray Roberts, from Margate in Kent, used a walking aid on the runway to take his place in the twin-seat aircraft, while fellow centenarians Lily Osborne and Trudy Baxter flew in a Learjet 75.

The trio were VIPs at Biggin Hill Airport in Kent, which arranged the flights to herald a year of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the ex-RAF base.

Mr Roberts, who was flown by Captain Peter Kynsey, joined the RAF in 1940 and trained as a pilot before being injured that year when his parachute failed to fully open after he bailed out of a Spitfire.

Best known for its role in the Battle of Britain, Biggin Hill served as one of the vital command bases for the Hurricanes and Spitfires of RAF Fighter Command protecting the UK.

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