SPITFIRE: The Biography

SPITFIRE: The Biography

JONATHAN GLANCEY    Book Number: 89180    Product format: Paperback

The Spitfire was in production from 1938, but it was not until May 1940 that the first Spitfires flew across the Channel to face the German Bf 109s and the twin engine Bf 110s. Their first major engagement was defending the evacuation beaches of Dunkirk, where 67 Spitfires were lost in action. When the Luftwaffe moved on to London to precipitate the Battle of Britain, the RAF was running 19 Spitfire and 25 Hurricane squadrons. Operational problems with all-round vision and heavy ailerons led to technical adjustments over the course of the battle. On 15 September the German nerve cracked after losing 56 aircraft in a day, although Goering terminated the onslaught by claiming that the British had run out of planes. Glancey's gripping 80th anniversary history of the Spitfire begins with its designer R. J. Mitchell, who had a fascination with the technology of the seaplanes that competed for the prestigious Schneider Trophy. When Lord Beaverbrook, Churchill's minister for air production, turned the Castle Bromwich plant over to Vickers, Spitfire production began in earnest and provided the RAF with an unbroken supply of fighter planes. The most numerous of the many Spitfire Marks was the Mk V, created by Supermarine and Rolls Royce in response to the Messerschmitt Bf 109F, retaining the pure outline and superb handling characteristics of the Mk I, yet with the Merlin engine producing 1230 hp, easily a match for the enemy. 278pp, paperback, specifications, photos.
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ISBN 9781838950699
Browse these categories as well: Transport, War & Militaria

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