The legendary Supermarine Spitfire - History, stories and surviving warbirds.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
In Photos: Spitfire plane shot down in 1944 restored and flying once again
A Royal Canadian Air Force Spitfire plane that was shot down during the WW2 is flying once again. Spitfire NH341 flew 27 combat missions between June and July 1944, before it was shot down near Caen, France. The Canadian pilot on the mission, Jimmy Jeffrey, managed to escape with the help of the French Resistance, but the Spitfire was destroyed. For the next seven decades, the plane`s wreckage remained in France. But in 2013, the wreck was purchased by a British aviation buff Keith Perkins. Perkins` company, Aero Legends, restores vintage airplanes. It took a team of engineers three years and around $5 million to rebuild Spitfire NH341.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Spitfire to take to the skies 73 years after it crashed following a 3 million restoration project
A Spitfire that was shot down in a dogfight during World War II is set to fly again after undergoing a £3 million restoration. The Spitfire NH341, which flew 27 combat missions between June and July 1944 before being taken out near Caen in France, was paraded up and down a hangar at the Imperial War Museum`s Duxford Aerodrome in front of a crowd of war veterans and aircraft aficionados. It was due to take off from the Aerodrome in Cambridgeshire but a carburettor issue meant its maiden voyage will be pushed back to a later date.
Video: Restored Spitfire to be auctioned in London for an expected £2.5m
An Mk1 Spitfire that was shot down during the air battle of Dunkirk in 1940 and later restored, is to go under the hammer next week when it is expected to sell for up to £2.5m. The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1A - P9374/G-MK1A aircraft went on display outside the Churchill War Rooms in central London on Friday before its sale by Christie`s auction house on 9 July
WWII Spitfire - once flown by a Great Escape veteran - could fetch £2.5m
A rare RAF Spitfire once flown by a Great Escape veteran and restored over five years could fetch millions of pounds for charity. It is one of only two left in the world to have been restored to its original specification and is airworthy. The fighter, based at Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, could fetch up to £2.5m at auction in July. The Mk I Vickers Supermarine Spitfire was piloted by Old Etonian Flying Officer Peter Cazenove during the evacuation of Dunkirk. Despite radioing-in to say "Tell mother I`ll be home for tea," he was shot down on 24 May 1940, crashed on the Calais coast and was captured.
Restored Spitfire is the last aircraft to be built at doomed home of Concorde
A newly-restored classic WWII Spitfire has taken to the British skies for the first time since being found in a scrapyard a decade ago. The iconic fighter plane has been restored by a businessman who spent £1m building it back up to its former glory after it was rescued from a South African scrapyard. Recently the gleaming Spitfire took off from the soon-to-close Filton aerodrome outside Bristol for the first time since the 1940s. The occasion was a poignant one as Filton aerodrome, is to be decommissioned by BAE after more than a century of aviation there, and will close on December 31.
20 brand new Spitfires buried in crates in Burma during World War II to be returned to UK
20 brand-new RAF Spitfires could soon reach for the sky. Historians think they have located 20 of WWII fighters buried at airfields around Burma. The Spitfires were shipped out to Burma in the summer of 1945 to support the Chindit special forces on the ground. However, atomic bombs dropped on Japan brought the war to a sudden end, and the Mark II Spitfires in the secret haul never saw action. Earl Mountbatten issued an order for them to be hidden in 1945 to prevent foreign forces from getting their hands on them as the British army demobilised. The aircraft, straight from the production line, were buried in crates at a depth of 4ft to 6ft to preserve them.
Mk1 Supermarine Spitfire downed in World War II flies again after 8-year 3-million restoration
Taking to the skies again over the green fields of England for the first time since it was downed during WWII, this Spitfire in its British standard camouflage colours epitomises the heroic defiance of the island nation against the Nazi onslaught. The stunning sight above Biggin Hill airfield in South-East London is the result of an 8-year restoration project which cost £3 million. The Mk1 Supermarine Spitfire - one of just 3 in existence which are still airworthy - has been rebuilt using original Spitfire parts salvaged from aircraft which flew in the Battle of Britain.
WWII Spitfire fuselage fails to sell as asking price £120,000 is not reached
The fuselage of a World War II Spitfire that has spent the last few years in a garden in Oxford has failed to reach its asking price at auction in Surrey. The aircraft, nicknamed "Bette" after one of its pilot`s girlfriends, was built in 1941 from donations from the Borough of Lambeth Spitfire Fund. It was stationed in Cornwall, Hampshire, Norfolk and Shropshire during the war but crashed in 1944. Bidding stalled below its £120,000 to £150,000 valuation. The aircraft saw service with four RAF squadrons and was flown by author Alec Lumsden.
WWII Spitfire uncovered in France in 2010 donated to the Royal Australian Air Force Museum at Point Cook
A World War II Spitfire uncovered in France in 2010 has been donated to the Royal Australian Air Force Museum at Point Cook. The British-built single-seat fighter aircraft was discovered in the Orne River in November 2010 having been shot down by anti-aircraft fire on June 11, 1944. Operated by the RAAF 453 Squadron, it was being flown by Australian Spitfire pilot Flight Lieutenant Henry `Lacy` Smith at the time of the crash.
Amateur aviation historians have unearthed wreckage of WWII RAAF Spitfire in French village
Amateur aviation historians have unearthed the wreckage of a Royal Australian Air Force Spitfire that crashed in France during the Second World War and the skeletal remains of its pilot. The wreckage of the plane, which was shot down in action and crashed in May 1942 near the village of Hardifort, was dug up from beneath five metres of soil. The fighter was in pieces but the bones of its pilot - identified by tags as W.J. Smith of the RAAF, service number 400942 - were recovered.
The oldest airworthy Spitfire takes to the air 71 years after being shot down on the beach near Calais
For 40 years it lay forgotten under a Calais beach, a relic of Britain`s aerial battle against Luftwaffe. But now P9374 has risen from the mud and flown again to become the world`s oldest surviving airworthy Mk1 Spitfire. In two historic 15-minute test flights the aircraft was flown for the first time since being shot down 71 years ago. Pilot Officer Peter Cazenove had taken off from RAF Hornchurch and soon ran into some German Messerschmitt 109s. In the ensuing dogfight Cazenove`s Spitfire was hit. He decided against trying to glide back across the Channel and instead opted for a forced landing on the beach near Calais, then still in Allied hands.
Fly a Spitfire simulator at Heritage Centre in Maidenhead, Berkshire
A slice of WWII history is revealed in a new £100,000 permanent exhibition at Maidenhead Heritage Centre. The Grandma Flew Spitfires exhibition and archive is dedicated to the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) whose wartime headquarters were at White Waltham airfield. Visitors to the centre can experience a Spitfire simulator, sponsored by the Spitfire Society and the Leonard Stillwell Bequest, letting everyone to have a go at flying the iconic plane.
Flight academyin Oxfordshire gives Spitfire flying lessons
The Boultbee Flight Academy in Kidlington provides typical pre-war training in a restored two-seater Mark IX Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. Matt Jones, managing director of the academy, explains: "We are delighted to play a part in the preservation of the memories of this era and of the skills required to fly and maintain these wonderful aircraft. Flying a Spitfire is every pilot`s dream."
Carolyn Grace owns and flies the Spitfire which was the first Allied plane to shoot down a Luftwaffe aircraft on D-Day
It was the first Allied plane to shoot down a Luftwaffe plane above the Normandy beaches on D-Day. And Carolyn Grace is not only its owner, but the only active female Spitfire pilot in the world.
Carolyn is leaning over to give instructions where to put my feet, arms and head. "You don`t get into a Spitfire. You wear it." I can see what she means. I`m climbing into the cockpit of a 1944 aircraft, trying to squeeze myself into a very tight space. I`d never realized before how sleek and slim a Spitfire`s wings are, how delicate the lines of its fuselage. Never has a killing machine looked more elegant.
Spitfire flies over Southampton to mark the 75th anniversary of the test flight (includes 6 videos)
A Spitfire has been flown over Southampton in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the first test flight of the world famous aircraft in the city. Carolyn Grace, thought to be the world`s only female Spitfire pilot, flew her Spitfire around a lap of Southampton International Airport to re-enact the historic test flight.
There are only two airworthy 2-seater Spitfires and 18 airworthy single-seat Spitfires left in the UK out of 22,500 built.
The article features 6 videos, including footage of the Spitfire flyover.
Full-size Spitfire replica sells ahead of auction above its estimate
A replica Supermarine Spitfire owned by The Royal British Legion has been sold by Bonhams for an above-estimate sum, ahead of auction. The full-sized aluminium replica of a MKVb Supermarine Spitfire was to be auctioned on September 17 with estimated value of £50,000-60,000. Its new owner, Michael Oliver, plans to house the Spitfire with his collection of cars in Cheshire. The replica carries aircraft number W3850, which was flown by Pilot Officer Joe Atkinson, later Flight Lieutenant Sir Joe Atkinson KCB CB DFC, over France on 13 October 1941 to protect Blenheim bombers attacking port installations.
Spitfire: Return to Flight By Brendon Deere (WWII book review)
One of the highlights on New Zealand`s aviation scene has been the return to flight of the Deere family`s Spitfire. Now, after returning a Spitfire to the air, and allowing it to be flown at events as a tribute to his uncle Alan Deere, Brendon Deere tells the story behind the restoration project in "Spitfire: Return To Flight". The book tells 4 stories: the Supermarine Spitfire as a type (development, variants and roles), biography of Alan Deere and his amazing RAF career, the fighter itself - the history of Spitfire PV270, and step by step colour photographs of the Spitfire restoration process.
A full size replica of a WWII MKVb Supermarine Spitfire up for auction
A full size replica of a WWII spitfire could fetch over £50,000 for the Royal British Legion when it goes up for auction. The aluminium replica of a MKVb Supermarine Spitfire was built in 2008 by members of the Ripon branch of the Royal British Legion. Since it was built, the aircraft has featured in several events. The spitfire replica took 10 months and 11,000 man hours to build - using original Supermarine blueprints - and represents aircraft number W3850 which was flown by Pilot Officer Atkinson (now Sir Joe Atkinson), over France on 13th October 1941 to escort Blenheim bombers attacking port installations.
X4650: A project to create the most authentic flying Mark I Spitfire will be completed soon
A project to create the most authentic flying Mark I Spitfire will be finished later in 2010 when aircraft X4650 takes to the skies 70 years after the Battle of Britain. Those participating in the project think X4650 will be the most accurately-rebuilt Mark I Spitfire, containing the highest number of original parts. The wreckage was located in the hot summer of 1976 when low river levels revealed the metal embedded in a clay riverbank near Kirklevington, Cleveland. It had been there since December 28 1940, after Howard Squire bailed out after colliding with X4276 piloted by his Flight Commander Al Deere.
Spitfire Tribute Foundation competition: Design national memorial for the Spitfire
The public are being given the chance to design a national memorial for the Supermarine Spitfire which will be up to 3 times the size of the original fighter. The statue - up to 180ft (55m) tall - is to be set up in Southampton, where the Spitfire was designed and first built. The Spitfire Tribute Foundation is initiating a public competition to choose the design, which must be the recognisable shape of the Spitfire. The winner will see their idea built at a cost of £2 million. The foundation hopes the memorial will be ready by the end of 2011, the 75th anniversary of the Spitfire`s test flight.
Pat Murphy built scale model of every Spitfire flown by a Canadian pilot (Article no longer available from the original source)
Pat Murphy first saw a Spitfire at an air show in Ontario in 1968. His passion for the aircraft and model building led Murphy to an effort that preserves a part of Canada`s aviation history. In 2009 he donated almost 3 dozen, 1:48 scale Spitfire models to the Vancouver Island Military Museum. Every model is a scale replica of a Spitfire flown by a Canadian pilot. Each plane has the squadron and pilot id markings, and modifications specific to each aircraft, includng details like camera ports on reconnaissance versions of the planes, pilot uniforms and flight jackets painted to match original colours and insignia.
The only sisters to fly Spitfires in World War II are reunited with the aircraft
Even away from the cockpit, the girls of the World War Two Air Transport Auxiliary turned heads. In their hastily adapted military uniforms (one had her jacket tailored in Savile Row) they became the darlings of the air – and the unknown heroines of the Battle of Britain. This was the forgotten army of women who delivered Spitfires for service in the front lines. It was a work that suited the Attagirls. Recently the only two sisters to fly Spitfires during the war recalled those exciting days – after reuniting with one of the aircraft that gave them "such a thrill".
UK: Win a flight in a restored Spitfire on June 26, 2009
70 years on from the start of World War II, the 2009 Biggin Hill Air Fair will be a striking show and a memorial to the RAF heroes. On June 26, the skies over Kent will be filled with planes of all kinds to mark the Battle of Britain. You could be there, arriving in style in a Spitfire, if you enter this competition. On June 26 (Youth and Veterans Day) the winner will be flown to the Battle of Britain fighter station, RAF Biggin Hill, in The Grace Spitfire ML407. The flight may include a Spitfire victory roll and the winner may take control of the Spitfire for a while. [Competition]
WWII Spitfire sells for 1.7m pounds to polar adventurer Steve Brooks
A rare Spitfire was bought for a 1.7m pounds by Steve Brooks - Who was the first person to drive across the ice of the Bering Straits from America to Russia, and the first to fly from pole to pole by helicopter. The plane, discovered in a South African scrapyard, is one of less than 50 Spitfires still fit to fly. The aircraft is the first 2-seater Spitfire to be sold for over 20 years, and one of 7 still airworthy. The plane, a MK IX model, was build at the Vickers-Armstrong factory in Castle Bromwich in 1944 and sent the RAF No 33 Maintenance unit at Lyneham in Wiltshire, where it was fitted with a Rolls-Royce Merlin 70 V12 engine.
How to pick up a two-seater spitfire for 1.5m pounds at auction in Hendon [photos]
Two-seater Supermarine Spitfire serial number SM520, which served in WW2, is expected to fetch at least 1.5m pounds at auction in Hendon on April 20 - and this time, the most furious fighting will be between Britain and America. As WW2 ended and the jet age began most of the military surplus, including SM520, were sold overseas by RAF. Nobody knows what happened to SM520 after it joined the South African Air Force as all records of its service history are missing. However, in the 1970s it was spotted in a Cape Town scrap yard, rusting. But now the aircraft has been brought back to life after a team of restoration experts painstakingly worked on her 4 years.
Two-seater Supermarine Spitfire expected to fetch 1.5m pounds
UK auction house Bonhams is putting up for sale a two-seater Supermarine Spitfire, the single seat version of which became the poster-child of the Battle of Britain during WW2. Warbirds, as vintage fighting aircraft are known, are treasured by collectors of vintage planes. There are less than 60 Spitfires in the world today, according to aviation websites, and only 8 two-seat versions. The Spitfire TR Mk IX has been restored over a 5 year period to full airworthiness and zero-hours condition (in effect a new aircraft). It is the first two-seater to be offered at public auction for 20 years. Recently a non-airworthy 1945 Spitfire Mk XVI for 1.1m pounds.
A plane buff has built a 80% scale kit model replica of a Spitfire - And flying it
Engineer Iain Hutchinson paid 70,000 pounds on the aluminium parts to construct a 24ft-long version of the World War 2 aircraft. It took him and 25 volunteers 2000 man hours to build after he purchased the 80% scale kit. "The Spitfire has always evoked a bit of nostalgia. I`ve always fancied one, but I don`t have a million pounds. I knew nothing about building aircraft, but the construction process itself was surprisingly straightforward." After 12 hours with a test pilot, the qualified aviator took his seat in the cockpit for the first time.
After 70 years, the Supermarine Spitfire still stirs the heart
There were 14 Supermarine Spitfires at Duxford for the Imperial War Museum`s annual air show in the run-up to Battle of Britain commemorations. Each one was a survivor of the Second World War. And they all flew. One, still in its original camouflage colours, did a victory roll. The older spectators knew what that meant and cheered. The Spitfire was the brainchild of R.J. Mitchell, the aeronautical genius responsible for the seaplanes with which Britain had won the Schneider Trophy 3 years running. When WW2 started in 1939, 2,000 Spitfires were in production, but they came slowly off the production line...
World War II Spitfire Mk. XVI sells for $1.9 million in New Zealand
A WW2 Spitfire fighter, one of fewer than 60 still flying, sold for $1.9 million at an auction in New Zealand. The aircraft, a 1945 Mk. XVI variant of the fighter made famous during the Battle of Britain, was purchased by North China Shipping Holdings Co. Chairman Yan-Ming Gao at the sale at Nelson`s museum of Wearable Art & Classic Cars. He intends to donate the fighter to the China Aviation Museum in Beijing. Demand from collectors keen to own a flying piece of aviation history is keeping up an industry of amateur archeologists and engineers touring museums and crash sites for parts to restore and include in reconstructed planes.
Full-sized replica Spitfire tours UK raising money for the Royal British Legion
A full-sized replica Spitfire which tours the country raising money for the Royal British Legion (RBL) has been formally adopted by the charity as national chairman Peter Cleminson visited the Spitfire at its base at RAF Leeming, North Yorkshire. The original idea was to build a one-third scale model, but the project soon grew. Using old blueprints, each part of the aircraft was made during 7,000 hours of work spanning 11 months - except the canopy which was ordered. The plane has already pulled in thousands for the charity at displays, with people paying to have their photographs taken in the cockpit.
Online auction of vintage British Spitfire generates global interest
The listing of vintage British World War II Spitfire on the Trade Me online auction site has created global interest. The Spitfire was listed for an unspecified price, but Spitfires in good condition can be valued up to $5 million. The Vickers Supermarine single-seat Spitfire, viewed as one of the most famous fighter planes in military history, is one of fewer than 50 left. Mike Subritzky said having the Spitfire was a privilege, with its history making it the best aircraft the family had owned. "It`s a time capsule. It`s been around since 1944 and it`s special because it`s not a replica."
Full-sized replica of Spitfire finds a home with RAF squadron (Article no longer available from the original source)
A full-sized replica Spitfire constructed by members of the Ripon branch of the Royal British Legion has found a new home at RAF Leeming, where it has been given storage outside its summer touring season. Building a replica of the World War II fighter was the brainchild of Howard Whiting when he took over as chairman. The first idea was to build a Spitfire scale model which was 1/3 the size of the original, but the project soon grew bigger. Using original blueprints, the group spent 11 months on the project. The Spitfire is made out of the same materials as the original model and even weighs the same.
£115,000 for collection of memorabilia of Spitfire fighter ace Douglas Bader
An admirer of the legless fighter ace Douglas Bader had to reach for the sky to get a keepsake of his hero. The anonymous buyer paid £115,000 for an artificial leg and 40 other memorabilia and militaria artefacts belonging to the legendary WW2 Spitfire pilot. As well as the leg, he also got Bader`s tunics, coats and flasks, plus parts of aircraft which he flew. The heroic pilot lost both his legs in a flying mishap in 1931 and was discharged from the RAF. He rejoined after the outbreak of war in August 1941. After shooting down 22 Luftwaffe aircrafts, he came down in flames and was taken prisoner and sent to the Colditz castle.
Bosnian villager reveals location of Spitfire shot down in World War II
An aged Bosnian villager has rediscovered a WW2 Spitfire that he saw shot down by pro-Nazi Croat forces 65 years ago. "I saw when Ustashe soldiers shot it down in 1943. The pilot parachuted ... and was rescued by partisans," said Cazim Dautbegovic. The aircraft went down into a wetland area and had since been forgotten. Dautbegovic said that he lately told the story to a friend, who located it and sell off parts of it as scrap metal. Journalist Osman Mesan said: "At the location, we found a part of the airplane radio... I have issued a public call to protect the wreckage, because I am sure that it is of historic value."
Spitfire’s unsung flying heroines - The Air Transport Auxiliary
The living members of a group of women who flew Spitfires in non-combat WW2 tasks are expected to be rewarded with a badge. The women of the Air Transport Auxiliary may not have taken part in the Battle of Britain but, without their skills in delivering the aircraft to the RAF bases for their male counterparts to clear the skies of Luftwaffe bombers, the battle would never have got off the ground. There are about 15 female pilots left. They also flew Hurricanes, Lancasters, Mosquitoes and other wartime aircraft. Margaret Frost - formally too small at 5ft 3in to become a Spitfire pilot - spent 3 years flying the aircraft, and welcomed the suggestion of a badge.
Collector is building a Spitfire fighter with parts from around the globe
Martin Phillips has spent 7 years and 1m pounds collecting thousands of Spitfire parts at his workshop at Langford. He was motivated to start the WWII project after being given a small aircraft rivet. It began seriously when he found the fuselage of a 1944 Spitfire RR232. Phillips said he now has every part he needs to rebuild the Spitfire fighter in a shed outside his home. The final assembly and first flight of the reconstructed aircraft, to be called City of Exeter, will take place at Exeter Airport, itself a World War II fighter base. "We are making steady progress, but there are lots of engineering problems to overcome."
Spitfire fighter ace Dal Russel shot down 5 and a half enemy aircraft
WWII fighter pilot Dal Russel flew 286 sorties, shot down 5 and a half enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain and returned home without a scratch. At 22, he was one of the youngest officers to go overseas with Fighter Squadron No. 1, and at 23 was one of the first Canadians to be granted the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was so lucky that ground crew called him DeadEye Dick and painted the ace of spades on his Spitfire. "He did not like to talk about what happened during the war. His brother... was killed in 1944. ...once when I invited him to go hunting with me, he declined. He told me he had seen enough of shooting and would never again fire a gun."
Spitfire: Portrait of a Legend by Leo McKinstry
It was 1 August 1940. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring gave the Luftwaffe its orders: smash the RAF, achieve air dominance within a fortnight. Across the Channel waited a shy, aloof man known as Stuffy, wondering if the defence system he had created would hold; an assorted band of pilots gathered from the all over the world; and a plane with a deathless name. The story of the Spitfire is embedded deep in the national consciousness. It has been told many times: by those who flew her, those who built her, by sober war historians and cranks and axe-grinders and revisionists. But I doubt if anyone has told it more thoroughly than Leo McKinstry.
Aviation enthusiasts race against time to buy Spitfire
Aviation enthusiasts in Pembrokeshire are racing against the clock to raise funds to buy a World War Two Spitfire. They are £65,000 short of the £150,000 needed, and have until Sunday morning to find the rest. When fully restored, they hope the plane will take pride of place in a museum they are planning at Withybush Aerodrome. Pembrokeshire Aviation Foundation already has a Bulldog and is taking delivery of a Tiger Moth shortly. "The Spitfire would be a magnet as far as attracting people to west Wales." The iconic planes had a significant role in WWII, but only about 200 still exist.
You can now own your own `Spitfire` for as little as 130,000 pounds
More than 60 years ago the Spitfire soared over skies of Britain, helping turn the tide against the Luftwaffe. Now, anyone with 130,000 pounds can own his own version of the iconic WWII fighter aircraft. The almost life-size Australian built aluminium kits cost 100,000 pounds, and a further 30,000 pounds and 1200 working hours for assembling the parts. With 700 hours of construction work already completed, the kit is shipped to customers with all major components formed. They must then spend 2 years fitting together parts together before it can be flown. Kieran Padden, who imports the model Spitfire to Britain, said demand is on the rise.
Alex Henshaw, the Spitfire ace who never got to fly a mission
He flew more Spitfires than any other man - and was hailed as the greatest test pilot of World War II. He risked his life to iron out problems with the RAF`s aircraft. And he was the only pilot ever to `roll` the massive Lancaster bomber upside-down in mid air. The death of Alex Henshaw concludes a story of courage and skill. He survived crashes, and clashed with officials about his antics: like bringing Birmingham to a standstill by flying his Spitfire upside-down only feet above the rooftops. He test-flew some 3,000 Spitfires, more than 10% of all those ever built. In 2006 he took the controls of a Spitfire in a flight to mark the aircraft`s 70th anniversary.
Spitfire: The Biography - As the RAF took on the Luftwaffe
If the Spitfire had reached the RAF in 1937 instead of 1938, the Luftwaffe might have observed it, poached its design, maybe even acquired a couple. In 1938 Britain was selling Hawker Hurricanes to Yugoslavia. RJ Mitchell`s fighter began to enter squadron service at the best time: not 1940, the year of the Battle of Britain, but 1939, thus giving the RAF a year to get the bugs out. The twin-blade wooden propeller was changed to a 3-blade, constant-speed prop. A new canopy improved the pilot`s view. Armour plating protected his back. The focus of his 8 machine-guns was tightened from 400 yards to 250 yards.
Spitfire -- Still the world`s most famous military aircraft
Immortalised in film and speeches for its role in winning the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire is still the world`s most famous military aircraft. More than 20,000 were manufactured to take on the Messerschmitts of Nazi Germany`s Luftwaffe and the Zeros of Japan, but today only a few dozen can still be flown. Remarkably, the town of Temora boasts two of them. The Temora Aviation Museum acquired its second vintage Spitfire: The Mark XVI, which saw service with the RAAF in the closing weeks of World War II. Nobody is revealing the price, but airworthy Spitfires don`t come for less than $2 million.
WWII Spitfire hero who shot a V1 flying bomb honoured
An "astonishing act of heroism" is being remembered with a plaque and display in a Kent town in honour of a World War II Spitfire pilot Bill Marshall. Royal Air Force pilot shot and destroyed a V1 flying bomb which was about to fall on Lydd. He was lucky to survive when he fired on the bomb from close range and stopped it from hitting Lydd in July 1944. The town suffered only a few broken windows.
Four Spitfires participating at the Yorkshire Air Show
Second World War Spitfire pilots are being invited to relive the days when Britain`s fate was decided in the skies at a flypast at the Yorkshire Air Show. Organisers are paying tribute to the Supermarine Spitfire and are inviting wartime Spitfire veterans to join them. Event director said that for the first time at the show there would be four Spitfires participating. "To many people the Supermarine Spitfire is the symbol of victory against overwhelming odds. It is the most famous British fighter aircraft of World War Two, and the bravery of the pilots must never be forgotten."