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EAA Young Eagles - Ask the Expert

Question :
What it the history of the spitfire and how succsessful was it in the dogfight?
Answer :
Greetings James!

The Spitfire is one of the most famous fighters of World War II and its reputation is well-deserved. Here are a few brief highlights from the history of the Spitfire:

The aircraft was designed by Reginald Mitchell.

It is best-known as the aircraft that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain.

The prototype made its initial flight on March 5, 1936.

More than 600 Spitfires were flown by the US Army Air Corps during WW II.

Spitfires intended for low-level combat had "clipped" (or shortened) wings for extra agility.

Between 1936 and 1947, 22,890 Spitfires and Seafires were built.

Rolls-Royce Merlin engines were used to power most Spitfires, later the Griffon engine was used.

The Spitfire's performance was due in part to its efficient and beautiful wing.

Reports from many sources say the Spitfire was a superb fighting machine and could hold its own against any other fighter.

Susan A. Lurvey
Library/Archives Manager
EAA Library

Visit the Spitfire in the EAA AirVenture Museum

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