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Spitfire WW2 fighter plane.

Updated on August 19, 2013

The Spitfire was a British built single-seat fighter used by the Royal Air Force and other allies throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued active service until well into the 1950's as a fighter and a training craft. It was the only British aircraft that was produced continuously throughout the war, in the dark days of the war many pieces of scrap metal, pans and other kitchen utensils where melted down to continue its production. The Spitfire`s main use was primarily as a short-range interceptor.

The Spitfires design was refined constantly by R.J Mitchell, the chief designer at Vickers-Armstrong. and by his colleague Joesph Smith who eventually became chief designer on Mitchell's death in 1937. The Spitfire's had a higher top speed than many other contemporary fighters. The Spitfires speed was essential to intercept the German Junker Bombers, and to engage the German fighter escorts.

A Spitfire in flight
A Spitfire in flight

Technical Specifications

  • Crew-(1)
  • Length: 9.12 metre
  • Wingspan: 11.23 metres
  • Height: 3.86 metres
  • Wing area: 22.48 m²
  • Engine 1× Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine
  • Max Speed: 378 mph,
  • 2 × 20 mm Hispano MKII cannon,
  • 4 × 7.7 mm Brownning machine guns
  • 2 × 250 lb (113 kg) bombs


The Spitfire first entered service in 1936 and finished active service in the late 1950`s. The Spitfire cost about £12,000 to make back in the 1930`s, this is about £500,000 in todays money. There were about 20,000 built throughout its production run, but there are now less than 40 still flyable.They are still shown flying in airshows around the world and are always a big draw. In 1995 a pair of Austrailian business men started a company selling replica spitfire kits. If i had the money i would order a full squadron, it really would fufill a dream to fly one of these majestic machines

Spitfire landing at an airshow
Spitfire landing at an airshow


The Spitfire became the icon of the Battle of Britain, the public put there trust and hopes in this fighter. There was possibly a false public belief that the Spitfire was heoric sole fighter of the dogfights over the English countryside. Real credit should really be given to the equally important Hurricane`s. The Hurricanes actually engaged the invading Luftwaffe more than the Spitfires and i think British properganda has done the Hurricane a dis-service. The two planes went on to form the backbone of the RAF resistence against the Axis powers throughout the war.

The Spitfire has been shown in numerous films since it has been retired from RAF duties. The Spitfire outline and name has now become something of a brand for the greatness of Britain. There are numerous airfix models out there with a lot of different variants of its design, i believe that the Spitfire model has been a very popular model even todat some seventy years since its first flight. There is also a very nice beer which bears the name Spitfire, so even now it is still a part of British life. The Spitfire more than any weapon of war stands as an enduring icon and memorial to the fight against the Nazi agression of the 1940`s. But let us remember it was the men and woman of the time which deserveas much credit.

In the early part of 2013 a team from England went over to Indonesia to find a dozen buried Spitfires allegedly buried near the main airport. These Spitfires had been buried at the end of the Second World War as they were not needed and shipping them back to the United Kingdom was not a high priority. The Eastern Command would have buried them as it would stop the craft from falling into the hands of other nations. So far the team has been unable to locate the precise location of these majestic machines, but if they can be found it would increase the number of active planes for airshows.

You Decide

Generally which WW2 Plane do you believe changed the course of the war??

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