G-BBJI photo album
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Photos of the Isaacs Spitfire prototype, G-BBJI

I've gathered together a selection of images from various sources (books, individuals, magazines etc) of the first (and so far ONLY!) Isaacs Spitfire, G-BBJI, which is still going strong with owner John Bally in Wales.

Most of these photos have been scanned from JOI's book, Aeroplane Affair.

If you have any photos of the aircraft, please don't hesitate to get in touch! :o)

G-BBJI in flight

With test-pilot (Flt. Lt.) Bob Cole at the helm.  Bob is currently instructing at Thruxton airfield.

John Isaacs with G-BBJI

With John Isaacs standing by the fuselage, you get a better appreciation of the Spitfire's small size.

John Isaacs alongside G-BBJI

JOI stading with G-BBJI again.  In the background is, I believe, the DeHavilland Chipmunk he used to gain valuable experience on prior to flying the Spit.

A pleasing view of G-BBJI from the high starboard quarter

This view from higher-up almost hides the curved engine cowlings that hide (none-too-well) the Continental O-200 engine.

John Isaacs, G-BBJI and Bob Cole

This photo was taken at the 1975 PFA Rally, where John Isaacs and G-BBJI won the prize for most outstanding design.  Pictured with them is Bob Cole.

On the same day, JOI met Battle of Britain Spitfire ace James 'Ginger' Lacey.


A pleasing study of the Isaacs, showing how closely it resembles the Spitfire XIV. 

(photo scanned from Today's Pilot magazine article (written by the webmaster) Dream Machines)

Isaacs Spitfire and Fury

G-BBJI pictured alongside the design which John Isaacs is more associated, the Isaacs Fury.  I believe it is also the prototype Fury, which is also still flying in the UK!

The Fury is a popular little homebuilt biplane, with examples flying in the UK, Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand.

When I grow up....

G-BBJI pictured alongside Spitfire Mk1a G-AIST/AR213.  This Spitfire spent much of its service life being flown by student fighter pilots, and is currently undergoing full restoration in Buckinghamshire.

Ironically, James 'Ginger' Lacey flew AR213 whilst he was an instructor at 57 Operational Training Unit at Hawarden.

Change of colours...

G-BBJI pictured sometime after the other photographs, now wearing a new colour scheme.

G-BBJI - photo-reconnaissance colours

G-BBJI lost her 'civvy' colours sometime before 1984, and she is pictured here in her PRU-style colours, although the time and location of this photo (the ONLY one I managed to find on the internet before this site came into being!) are unknown.

'JI appears in Jeremy Flack's book Spitfire - Living Legend in similar markings, albeit with a white spinner, pictured at Duxford in 1984. 

In good company...

A more recent shot of G-BBJI, taken alongside G-MKVB, a Spitfire MkVB that now flies from Duxford, Cambs, as part of the Historic Aircraft Collection.

Not much of a change in 'JI's colour scheme, although the fin-flash has changed slightly and the code letter (not visible in the previous shot) has changed from R to N.

Just visible here is the fuselage-mounted airbrake, which was designed and fitted by JOI after he found the Spitfire had too little drag for landing.

(Photo supplied by previous owner, Terry Terrel)