SUPERMARINE SPITFILE MK. I
1/32 Scale Revell-Monogram kit (cat. no. 85-5516)
   

The Supermarine Spitfire was much more than just a highly successful fighter aircraft, it was a legendary fighter.  It stands as a symbol of victory against overwhelming odds.

Build in forty major variants and in greater numbers than any other British aircraft of the time, the Spitfire saw combat on every front between 1939 and 1945 and it was engaged in every major action fought by the Royal Air Force.

The Spitfire was designed by Reginald Joseph Mitchell and produced by the Supermarine company.   It was the result of a 1930 Air Ministry issued spec F7/30 calling for a new fighter armed with four machine guns.  The type 224 preceded the type 300 which was to become the Spitfire.

The Spitfire prototype, with the serial number K5083, first flew from what is now Southampton airport on the 5th or 6th of March 1936.  Piloted by "Mutt" Summers, it was reported to handle beautifully.  In later tests it reached 349 mph.  There was no doubt that Mitchell had delivered the aircraft that the British needed.  Within three months the RAF had ordered 310 Spitfires and the success of Mitchell's design was assured.

This model is a 1/32 scale representation of a Supermarine Spitfire Mark I.  This particular airframe, number P8093 was a "Presentation "Spitfire.  Early in World War II Sir William Maxwell Aitken, later ennobled as Lord Beaverbrook, originated the idea of the "Presentation" aircraft.  An individual, organization or town could present the cost of an airframe (for a Spitfire this was set at 5,000 although the real cost was nearer 12,000!) and an aircraft would be allocated to bear the name of the donor (or any caption they chose instead) in (officially) four inch high yellow characters on the fuselage.  The official style was not always adhered to, however.

Other aircraft types than Spitfires were also presented, but there were more "presentation" Spitfires than any other aircraft type.  Many towns and organizations had "Spitfire Funds" and went to great lengths to raise the money required.

Note: There is one major flaw on this model: the camouflage is reversed.  It is green where it should be brown and brown where it should be green.  I was not a happy camper when I realized I had done that either.

SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MK. I

Quantity Built:920
Top Speed:354 mph
Armament:(8) .303 machine guns
Engine:1,175hp Rolls-Royce Merlin XII
Empty Weight:5,000 pounds
Loaded Weight:6,000 pounds
ONLINE REFERENCES
Archives of the Spitfire Emporium Colors Spitfire Reference
The Spitfire - An Operational History The Supermarine Spitfire Presentation Spitfires
Rolls-Royce History Warbird Registry - Supermarine Spitfire  


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