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History of the British Supermarine Spitfire

Updated on October 2, 2018

The British Spitfire

The British Spitfire, known as the Supermarine Spitfire was a World War 2 fighter aircraft employed by the RAF. A total of 12,351 were produced between 1938 and 1948 at a cost of around 12,600 British Pounds each. I believe the conversion rate of pounds per dollar was 1 pound for 4 US dollars, back then.

The Supermarine Spitfire was a thoroughbred racehorse of an aircraft. The Spitfire had a supercharged Rolls Royce Merlin power plant, with almost 1500 hp. The Spitfire had a maximum speed of nearly 380 mph, a climb rate of 2,665 feet per minute and a service ceiling of 35,000 feet. It used a characteristic elliptical wing design.

The Spitfire was designed as a short range interceptor, particularly to intercept enemy bombers. The Spitfire is well known for its service during the Battle of Britain, eclipsing the less famous British Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft that actually was more effective in that battle. The Supermarine Spitfire's foes in the air were the German Messerschmitt's and Focke-Wulfs.

The Supermarine Spitfire was armed with two-20 mm Hispano autocannons and four .303 Browning machine guns. The Spitfire could also carry two- two hundred-fifty lb bombs.

Supermarine Spitfire painted with the black and white D-Day invasion stripes.


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    • profile image

      Michael Burton 

      18 months ago

      Actually there were more than 22,000 Spitfires constructed. Also, the Spitfire was in continuous development during the war. I believe that the performance figures you quote are for a Mark 1. The Mark 14 for example could do 448mph, had a service ceiling of 40,000 feet and a rate of climb of 5300 fpm.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      The 7th photo captures 3 Curtis P40 variants not Spitfires.

      Good work on the other images.

    • PhoenixV profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the comments.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      4 years ago from Yorkshire

      My favourite aircraft, I could listen to a Merlin engine all day.

      I made loads of airfix kits of them as a kid.

      Good photos, but being so beautiful an aircraft its hard not to like the pictures of them.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      What an interesting part of history! I loved all the amazing photos, and learning more about the Spitfire, and what made them so special.


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