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.
1566 Spitfire Is were built and this machine at RAF Cosford is the oldest surviving example of its type.
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.
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!
More photographs of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk I at RAF Cosford.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I at RAF London.
Spitfire Mk1a at the Science Musuem.