The Spitfire is the most famous British fighter aircraft in history. It won immortal fame during the summer months of 1940 by helping to defeat the German air attacks during the Battle of Britain.
The prototype made its first flight four years earlier as Britain’s industry geared up to re-arm against the threat from Nazi Germany. From the beginning pilots recognised it as a thoroughbred combining a perfection of design with superb handling characteristics.
Once the RAF modified their tactics to properly counter the Luftwaffe, the Spitfire MkI proved to be the only British fighter capable of meeting the Messerschmitt Bf109E on equal terms. Often the outcome of a combat depended more on the quality of the pilot than his aircraft.
Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to this aircraft was made at the height of the Battle of Britain by a German ace, who in a moment of anger and frustration, turned to his Commander in Chief and demanded a squadron of Spitfires!
There is also a Spitfire Mk 1 at RAF Cosford.