World War 2 Aircraft Logo
Home » Great Britain » Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire

Aircraft Lists

The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain, it is nevertheless remembered as the sleek, throughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during that campaign. The Spitfire is among the fastest and most manoeuvrable fighters of World War II and served in every combat there.

Supermarine designer Reginald Mitchell created a small, graceful fighter with elliptical wing and eight guns in the wings, able to fire without being hindered by the propeller. The immortal Spitfire thus became not merely one of the best-performing fighters of all time, but also one of the best-looking. Although never a long-ranged aircraft, the Spitfire was a championin an air-to-air duel. Spitfires were routinely dived at velocities approaching the speed of sound, faster than any of the German jets.

Merlin engines were used in the early versions of the Spitfire, later supplanted by the more powerful Griffon. Late Spitfires introduced a bubble canopy which made one of history's most beautiful aircraft even more appealing. The carrier-based Seafire, derived from the Spitfire Mk V, made a vital contribution to British naval air power until new American carrier fighters appeared later in the war. The Spitfire also found a new role as a tactical fighter-bomber.


Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire prototype Supermarine Spitfire on a Rhubarb patrol Instant recognition of the Supermarine Spitfire
The first Spitfire to fly had a twin-bladed propeller and a tailskid. Its Merlin engine had only half the power of the massive Griffon engines of later Spitfires. After the Battle of Britain, Spitfires were sent on patrols over France known as 'rhubarb' missions. to attack such opportune targets as trains or convoys. The Spitfire's performance was in part due to its efficient and beautiful elliptical wing.

Supermarine Spitfire (Technical Specification)
Role Single-seat fighter/interceptor
Manufacturer Supermarine
Maximum Speed 594 kmh (374 mph)
Maximum Range 1827 km (1,135 miles)
Ceiling 11,125 meters (37,000 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

2,267 kg (5,000 lbs)
2,911 kg (6,400 lbs)
Wing Area

11.23 meters (36 ft 10 in)
9.12 meters (29 ft 11 in)
3.02 meters (11 ft 5 in)
22.48 square meters (242 sq ft)
Engines One Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 Vee piston engine which provides 1103-kW (1,440-hp)
Armament Eight 7.7 mm (0.303 cal) Browning machine-guns with 350 rounds per gun

Photo Gallery

If this works, my father was in the RAF, and here he is with some of the...

Click here to submit your photo

Have A Passion For Aircraft?
Subscribe to our 14 series FREE newsletter
delivered weekly on World War 2 Aircraft factfile...
NB:- We hate spam as much as you do, so your email address will NEVER be shared with or sold to anyone else. That's a Guarantee.

Best 10 Aircraft   Top 10 Favorites   United States   Germany   Great Britain   Japan   Russia  
Italy   Model Gallery   Resources   Contact Us   Guestbook  
Copyright © All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.