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Supermarine Spitfire

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.

Detailed history of Spitfire

General characteristics Spitfire Mk.VC
Primary function Fighter
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
Crew One
First flight Prototype  5.3.1936 (Mk.IA)
Date deployed July 1938 (Mk.IA)
1940 (Mk.VC)
Number built 20,334 (all versions incl. postwar)

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Last updated 01.01.2017