The spitfire is easily one of the most famous and glamorized images of WWII. It saved Britain from the Germans during the Battle of Britain. It was sleek, fast, beautiful, and a classic design that is time less. What makes this plane hard to describe is the fact that there were at least 24 iterations of this front line fighter. There were photo recon versions, fighters, and naval versions. Each had its own personality with different engines, combat radius, weapons, and maneuverability. The design originated in 1936 and was produced in 1938 with the Mk(Mark)1. Each different version generally got better in different areas. For instance the Mk XIV had a higher ceiling and a top speed of 448 mph, but it only had a range of 850 miles. Where as the Mk VB had a top speed of 374 mph with a range of 1,135 miles.
The Spitfire, was a plane that did its job well. It was very adaptable and had tight turning radii and had a high rate of climb. It was also based on a different concept then the heavier and faster American planes. It was meant for quick response, short takeoff, and more maneuverable performance. The American fighters were more durable, could carry more ordinance, and were meant to escort bombers and strafe instead of protecting an area like the British had to do. Overall the Spitfire was an amazing plane that did its job well.
Specs for the Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB
Information provided by RAF Fighter Command Battle of Britain 1940 website
|Power Plant:||1 Rolls Royce Merlin 45 w/ 1,440 hp|
|Length:||36 ft. 10 in.|
|Height:||11 ft. 5 in.|
|Max Weight:||6,650 lbs loaded|
|Max Speed:||374 mph|
|Armament:||2 20 mm canon and 4 .303 caliber machine guns and up to 500 lbs of bombs|