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.
There are quite a few Spitfires at Duxford.
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.
No.19 Squadron put this eight-gun fighter into service in August 1938 and by the outbreak of war, a year later, nine squadrons were equipped. Production rapidly built up and by July 1940 there were nineteen Spitfire I squadrons available. Although Hurricanes outnumbered Spitfires throughout the Battle of Britain, it was the Spitfire which captured the imagination of the British public and enemy alike.
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!
This is a Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX at Duxford.
The Spitfire Mk IX was originally developed as a stopgap measure as a response to the appearance of the Focke-Wulf FW 190A.
MH434 was built in 1943 at Vickers, Castle Bromwich.
This Spitfire is remarkably original, having never been subject to a re-build. An absolute delight to fly, the aircraft is beautifully responsive and extremely manoeuvrable.