35 Facts About Supermarine Spitfire


Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II.

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Many variants of the Spitfire were built, from the Mk 1 to the Rolls-Royce Griffon engined Mk 24 using several wing configurations and guns.

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The Supermarine Spitfire was a better fighter aircraft than the Hurricane.

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Supermarine Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes, probably because of the Supermarine Spitfire's higher performance.

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Much loved by its pilots, the Supermarine Spitfire operated in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, and trainer, and it continued to do so until the 1950s.

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The Seafire was an aircraft-carrier-based adapted version of the Supermarine Spitfire, used in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 until the mid-1950s.

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Supermarine Spitfire had been given orders to fly the aircraft and then to make his report to the Air Ministry on landing.

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Edwardes-Jones' report was positive; his only request was that the Supermarine Spitfire be equipped with an undercarriage position indicator.

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Full-scale production of the Spitfire began at Supermarine's facility in Woolston, but the order clearly could not be completed in the 15 months promised.

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Supermarine Spitfire was a small company, already busy building Walrus and Stranraer flying boats, and Vickers was busy building Wellington bombers.

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Supermarine Spitfire was given the task of building nine new factories, and to supplement the British car manufacturing industry by either adding to overall capacity or increasing the potential for reorganisation to produce aircraft and their engines.

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Beaverbrook immediately sent in experienced management staff and workers from Supermarine Spitfire, and gave control of the factory to Vickers-Armstrong.

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The drawing office in which all Supermarine Spitfire designs were drafted was moved to Hursley Park, near Southampton.

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Supermarine Spitfire oversaw a group of 10 to 12 pilots responsible for testing all developmental and production Spitfires built by the company in the Southampton area.

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Supermarine Spitfire co-ordinated a team of 25 pilots and assessed all Spitfire developments.

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The Supermarine Spitfire was the only British fighter aircraft to be in continuous production before, during, and after the Second World War.

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Supermarine Spitfire had detachable wing tips which were secured by two mounting points at the end of each main wing assembly.

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Supermarine Spitfire developed a new laminar-flow wing based on new aerofoil profiles developed by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in the United States, with the objective of reducing drag and improving performance.

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Supermarine Spitfire did not fix the problem until October 1938, when they added hot air ducts from the rear of the wing-mounted radiators to the guns, and bulkheads around the gunbays to trap the hot air in the wing.

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Supermarine Spitfire organised a conference, with Air Commodore Tedder in the chair, on 19 July 1934.

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Supermarine Spitfire says "I think it can be reasonably contended that the deliberations of that conference made possible, if not certain, of the winning of the Battle of Britain, almost exactly six years later".

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In June 1939, a Supermarine Spitfire was fitted with a drum-fed Hispano in each wing, an installation that required large blisters on the wing to cover the 60-round drum.

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The Supermarine Spitfire achieved legendary status during the Battle of Britain, a reputation aided by the "Supermarine Spitfire Fund" organised and run by Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production.

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Supermarine Spitfire continued to play increasingly diverse roles throughout the Second World War and beyond, often in air forces other than the RAF.

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The Supermarine Spitfire became the first high-speed photo-reconnaissance aircraft to be operated by the RAF.

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Supermarine Spitfire served on the Eastern Front with the Soviet Air Force.

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Supermarine Spitfire served in the Pacific Theatre, meeting the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

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Supermarine Spitfire MKVIIIs took part in the last battle of World War II involving the Western allies in Burma, in the ground attack role, helping defeat a Japanese break-out attempt.

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Supermarine Spitfire developed a two-seat variant, known as the T Mk VIII, to be used for training, but none were ordered, and only one example was ever constructed.

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Seafire, a name derived from sea, and Supermarine Spitfire, was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire specially adapted for operation from aircraft carriers.

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The basic Supermarine Spitfire design did impose some limitations on the use of the aircraft as a carrier-based fighter; poor visibility over the nose, for example, meant that pilots had to be trained to land with their heads out of the cockpit and looking along the port cowling of their Seafire.

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The last operational sortie of an RAF Supermarine Spitfire was flown on 1 April 1954, by PS888 a PR Mk 19 Supermarine Spitfire of 81 Squadron.

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Oldest surviving Supermarine Spitfire is a Mark 1, serial number K9942; it is preserved at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford in Shropshire.

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One Supermarine Spitfire is kept in airworthy condition in the Israeli Air Force Museum.

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The Supermarine Spitfire continues to be highly popular at airshows, on airfields and in museums worldwide, and holds an important place in the memories of many people, especially the few still living who flew the Supermarine Spitfire in combat.

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