Spitfire in Action (Aircraft 39)
By Jerry Scutts
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1980 58 Pages
PDF 26 MB
At the time of its inception there was nothing to match the Supermarlne Spitfire for sheer grace of line and, while one might argue its claim to be the most esthetically appealing single seat fighter to emerge from the Second World War, there are surely few contenders for the title. With a combat record second to none, the Spitfire exemplified the part played by the RAF to gain final victory in that conflict, and to the British nation was far more than just another airplane that had helped to win the war. People saw it as the single weapon that had preserved a way of life at a time when everything they held dear was in the greatest danger of being forcibly changed forever. It mattered little to the man in the street that the Spitfire's part in the Battle of Britain was numerically less than that of the Hurricane, for it was theSupermarine fighter that caught the public imagination in a way that was probably unique.
Certainly few fighter aircraft were more aptly named; in squadron service when war broke out, Spitfires were still coming off the production lines when hostilities ceased, a record matched by only a handful of types on either side. But perhaps no greater proof of the Spitfire's longevity is needed than to record tftat even today preserved examples are still meeting stringent RAF airframe X-ray tests necessary for them to fly as part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.