This is a vintage documentary about one of the most important aircraft of WWII and arguably one of the most important of the 20th century alongside its Allied fighter brethren like the Hurricane, P-51 Mustang, Mosquito, Hellcat, and Corsair to name just a few.
This film does an excellent job of digging deep into the history of the Spitfire, going all the way back to the 1920s and showing the aircraft that had come before it and influenced its final design.
The film also looks under the hood at the Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine that powered the Spitfire and gave the aircraft its name – due to the engine’s habit of spitting fire out of its exhausts on start up.
The Merlin V12 was used in many other aircraft as well of course, including the American P-51D Mustang which was fitted with a Packard-produced Merlin engine built under license in the United States.
Aircraft manufacturer Supermarine who developed the Spitfire already had years of experience building high performance racing aircraft by the time WWII started.
The company had won the hotly contested Schneider Trophy three years in a row in 1927, 1929, and 1931 – lessons learned building these racing aircraft would be rolled into the Spitfire design and there are clear visual design links between them.
If you would like to read more about the history of the Spitfire you can click here to see the history page on the Spitfire Society website.
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