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
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.