An uncompromised, fast and maneuvrable fighter. The remarkable thin elliptical wing made the Spitfire capable of very high speeds, but it had to be reinforced several times to retain aileron effectiveness. The Spitfire served as first-line fighter throughout WWII in increasingly fast and powerful versions, first with the Merlin, later with the Griffon engine. The Spitfire was continously changed to meet all kinds of threats and demands, as low- and high altitude fighter, tropicalized, navalized, or equipped as unarmed photo-reconaissance aircraft. Probably the most famous military aircraft ever.
Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire has been Reginald Joseph Mitchell which on 11th June 1937 died aged just 42.
Production ended in October 1947 (Mk.24), 20,334 built. The RAF retired its last Spitfires - PR Mk. 19 recce aircraft - in 1954.
|General characteristics Spitfire Mk.VC|
|Power plant||One Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 engine|
|Thrust||1,440 HP||1,074 kW|
|Wingspan||36.8 ft||11.23 m|
|Length||29.9 ft||9.12 m|
|Height||11.4 ft||3.48 m|
|Weight||empty||5,100 lb||2,313 kg|
|max.||6,786 lb||3,078 kg|
|Speed||374 mph||602 km/h|
|Ceiling||37,000 ft||11,280 m|
|Range||470 mi||756 km|
|Armament||2x 20mm cannon, 4x 7.7mm machine gun|
|First flight||Prototype 5.3.1936 (Mk.IA)|
|Date deployed||July 1938 (Mk.IA)|
|Number built||20,334 (all versions incl. postwar)|