Supermarine Spitfire – The Saviour of the Albion – Aviation Airplanes

Supermarine Spitfire was a single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and it is better known for its role during the Battle of Britain. Though the Luftwaffe wasn’t fought off solely by this aircraft, most people regarded, and many still consider the Supermarine Spitfire as the main and most powerful weapon against the German airplanes at that time. The Hawker Hurricane was the first British fighter to meet the invading enemy and bore the brunt of the fights, but the arrival of the Spitfire turned the wheel of fortune more and more towards the RAF eventually.The Supermarine Spitfire – some historical factsSupermarine Spitfire was designed by R. J. Mitchell, the chief designer from the Supermarine Aviation Works as a short range high performance interceptor aircraft. Mitchell carried on improving its performances until his death in 1937. His work was later resumed by his colleague Joseph Smith.The elliptical wings with a thin cross-section allowed the Spitfire to reach a speed higher than any other fighters from that time, including the Hawker Hurricane.The first prototype – the Supermarine Type 224 – flew for the first time on February 1934 and was a monoplane fighter airplane with an open cockpit, bulky wings, a big fixed landing-gear, and a 600 HP Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. The results weren’t satisfactory so the team led by Mitchell went back to the design desks to improve this first project.On 5th March 1936, a second prototype – the K5054 – took off having the chief test pilot for Vickers (Aviation) Ltd., Captain Joseph “Mutt” Summers, at the controls. The Air Ministry was satisfied this time and a 310 aircraft order followed. Shortly afterwards, Reginald Mithchell died of cancer on 11th June 1937, after he offered his country the most beautiful fighter of its time.The Supermarine Spitfire saw action for the first time during the Battle of Britain (June 1940 – May 1941). This is the conflict that created the aura of British ultimate fighter for the Spitfire. Of course, it is an exaggeration, actually, the Luftwaffe was repelled by the Hawker Hurricane – Spitfire tandem, and not by a fighter alone. The fast-moving and agile Spitfire was designed to attack the escort fighters while the Hurricanes – not as fast, but stronger – was engaging the bombers.Without any doubt, the Supermarine Spitfire is a beautiful airplane; this is why this fighter is among the top preferences for modellers; without any exaggeration, every generation of modellers enjoyed building the Supermarine Spitfire in countless variants, starting from the days of its glory up to the moment when this wonderful war-bird retired as exhibits into museums.