Why the Supermarine Spitfire was the World’s Most Distinguished Fighter
Aerospace Manufacturing is excited to be taking part in the famous Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom in July. Dating all the way back to 1920, it’s the world’s second largest public airshow and one of the largest aerospace and defense industry trade shows. We will have a booth and are looking forward to learning the latest in terms of innovation and expanding our European presence!
In anticipation of our trip to the UK, we thought we would take a look at the most famous British fighter plane: the Supermarine Spitfire.
How the Supermarine Spitfire Saved England
Perhaps the most distinguished fighter of all time, the Spitfire was a single-seat WWII-era fighter aircraft. Originally designed by British engineers to be a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft, the Spitfire had an extremely thin cross-section, which gave it a higher speed than other contemporary fighters. It also had a revolutionary design that made it easy to make alterations. These two features would be decisive during the Battle of Britain during World War Two.
The Battle of Britain was the first major military campaign fought solely by air forces. Pitting the German Luftwaffe against the British Royal Air Force over the skies of London, the outlook was not good for the British: 2,600 Luftwaffe fighters and bombers against 640 British planes. Worse still, the Spitfire was totally outgunned by the German Messerschmitt Bf 109s. The Germans predicted it would be over in a few days.
It was the Spitfire’s design, which made it easy to make alterations at the point of production, that ended up tipping the battle in favor of the British. In one example, both planes could reach speeds of around 350 miles per hour, but the Spitfires had an alteration, a booster that increased their speed by 25-34mph for five minutes. It made a critical difference.
To this day the Spitfire remains a powerful symbol of national unity and determination in the UK. One need look no further than the recent movie Dunkirk to see what we mean. In the video below you’ll see an original Mark 1 Spitfire that, after two painstaking years of restoration, is flying the skies over England today.
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