The Spitfire

The Supermarine Spitfire, often referred to as simply ‘Spitfire’, is a British fighter plane which gave the British dominance in the air in the Battle of Britain during World War 2. First produced in 1936 by manufacturer Supermarine, a handful of Spitfires have survived to still be airworthy well into the 21st century.

What made the Spitfire better than the Bf-109?

With nearly half its weight coming from the Merlin engine, the Spitfire’s light body gave it speed and manoeuvrability – two qualities that helped it defeat its Messerschmitt rival.

The World’s Greatest Spitfire collection, part 2

Covid has temporarily scuppered organised tours of the Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill, so we went to have a mooch ourselves to give you a feel for it. Here’s the second part of our guided tour…

What makes the Spitfire so good?

Antony Parkinson MBE might have done over 1000 hours in both the Eurofighter Typhoon and F4 Phantom, but he rates the Spitfire as one of the greatest aeroplanes he’s ever flown. Here’s why

The cost of a Spitfire (it’ll make your eyes water)

Back in the 1940s, it’s said that a Spitfire would be £5,000 to make. That’s a drop in the ocean compared to what one would set you back now…

The world’s greatest Spitfire collection?

The Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill is home to an incredible group of Spitfires. With tours currently closed due to Covid, Key.Aero gives you a video tour of one of historic aviation’s most impressive places.

Two blokes and a Merlin engine!

Look what Spitfire restorer Tony Hoskins just happened to have in the back of his van! He and Cambridge University engineering professor, Hugh Hunt, discuss one of the great inventions of the 20th Century.

The Spitfire’s first ever flight

Five men all with good reason to smile – the prototype Spitfire had just flown. Ken Ellis sets the scene

Design secrets of the Spitfire

Revolutionary flush riveting that increased top speed, and seats made out of the last material you’d expect: watch this video to uncover some of the Spitfire’s hidden but ingenious engineering.

What’s it like to fly in a Spitfire?

As Key.Aero’s Assistant Editor, Tara Leggett has an aviation-themed bucket list. Right at the top of it? Flying in a Spitfire. She went to Biggin Hill and strapped herself in…

The Spitfire’s elliptical wing explained

Spitfire aficionados Tony Hoskins and Hugh Hunt discuss the design of the most famous aircraft wing ever made.

Spitfire Plane Facts, News and Restorations

This page is the only place you need for everything Spitfire related; from interesting historical facts to the latest news on restoration projects, Spitfire appearances and more! For example, did you know that early models of the Spitfire had issues with their Browning machine guns freezing at higher altitudes, a problem that was not addressed until 1938 when a heating system was added to the gun bays.

No military plane has become such a renowned symbol of British Airforce superiority both in terms of its engineering prowess and illustrious military record. The Spitfire has become one of the most popular military aircraft amongst restorers, enthusiasts and airshow attendees alike and for the British represents a symbol of victory. Powered by two Rolls Royce Merlin or Griffon engines, the Spitfire was fast with later variants hitting a top speed of 454mph, making it a formidable and agile foe when it came to short range dog fights giving the RAF the slightest of advantages in critical battles of WW2.

Despite being outnumbered by the Hurricane during the battle of Britain, The Spitfire suffered fewer overall losses and had a higher victory to loss ratio. This, in part, is what lead many of the British to believe that the Spitfire was the reason the Battle of Britain was won. In reality the combination of the two planes and their skilful pilots is what lead the British to victory in the skies.

Of all the legendary fighter, bomber and transport military aircraft from this period, the Spitfire is the one that has captured the hearts and minds of countless enthusiasts and lead to a myriad of restoration projects, airshows and museum pieces.

Take a look at our Spitfire related articles below to find out more about this legendary Warbird aircraft. Discover more articles on vintage aircraft restorations.

The future of the Spitfire

The Spitfire has been around since 1936 and whilst there are still a few airworthy examples well into the 21st Century, they have not been used during any military engagements since 1961 and production stopped in 1948. The future of the Spitfire then is in the hands of restoration projects and museums around the world. Whilst a few fine examples will doubtlessly continue to be airworthy for years to come, they have long been relegated to the history books.

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Looking for military aircraft news or updates from your favourite military aircraft airshows? Or information on other military fighter aircraft?

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