Magnificent video of a Spitfire doing low passes, the roar of the engine and the whistle as it passes over is great, color in video is poor
posted on 11-10-2009
Actual video starts at 2:56 (before all still pics)
Reginald J. Mitchell developed a racing seaplane, the Supermarine S6B, which won the Schneider Trophy on 13th September, 1931. During the contest the
aircraft reached 340 mph (547 km/h).
In 1934 the Air Ministry announced that it was looking for a new fighter plane. Mitchell, whose company was now part of Vickers Aviation, decided to
adapt his Supermarine seaplane, in an attempt to meet the requirements of the Royal Air Force.
The new all-metal single-seat fighter plane, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I, had several technical features of the earlier racing seaplane. It had the
same structure and aerodynamic lines. However, it had a new engine, the 1,030 hp Rolls Royce Merlin and carried 8 machine-guns.
The first Spitfire prototype appeared on 5th March, 1936 and flew at 350 mph (563 km/h) and could ascend at approximately 2,500 ft (762 m) per minute.
With its slender aerodynamic lines and elliptical-plan wings, it was claimed at the time, to be the smallest and cleanest aircraft that could be
constructed around a man and an engine.
The Royal Air Force was impressed with its performance and in June, 1936, it ordered 310 aircraft. The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I went into production
in 1937 and was operational in June, 1938. Vickers Aviation could not keep up with demand and most of Britain's manufacturers began building
Spitfires. By October, 1939, the Air Ministry had ordered over 4,000 of these airplanes.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk. II went into service in late 1940. These had a 1,150 hp Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Other versions appeared throughout the
Second World War. This included Spitfire Mk. IV that was a photographic reconnaissance aircraft. The Spitfire Mk. VC was the first model to be used as
a fighter-bomber and carried 500 pounds (226 kg) of bombs.
Originally a gift from King Bhumibol of Thailand to The Planes of Fame Museum back in 1962, this aircraft spent many years in storage. The restoration
gained impetus only after the museum decided to marry the airframe with Rolls-Royce Griffon engine and contra-rotating propeller from an Avro
Shackleton maritime patrol aircraft. It was operated in China for many years, but sold to France in 2007.