Aerodynamically it was the best for our purpose because the induced drag caused in producing lift, was lowest when this shape was used: the ellipse was ... theoretically a perfection ... To reduce drag we wanted the lowest possible thickness-to-chord, consistent with the necessary strength. The removable wing tips were made up of duralumin-skinned spruce formers. It was the first time in the Second World War that a German plane was destroyed over Britain, a harbinger of far greater destruction to come. The Bf109E won many fights against both Spitfires and Hurricanes. 72 Squadron RAF until June 1940, when it was damaged in a wheels-up landing. Between then and the end of 1943, 6,000 Mark Vs went into action as part of over 140 RAF squadrons and other units. [154] The first airframe (PM631) developed mechanical issues which removed it from the trial. On 3 June 1936, the Air Ministry placed an order for 310 aircraft, at a cost of £1,395,000. [30] The final cost of the first 310 aircraft, after delays and increased programme costs, came to £1,870,242 or £1,533 more per aircraft than originally estimated. The weapon uses the same ammunition as the gluon gun, which is obviously an energy weapon, giving further evidence to the weapon not being a true Gauss Gun. Personally, I never cleared a Spitfire unless I had carried out a few aerobatic tests to determine how good or bad she was. The same day P7666 was delivered to the Squadron, 23 November 1940, Finlay destroyed a Bf 109 on his first operational sortie in the aircraft. It was found in a bog in Surnadal, in Norway in July this year. British company Historic Flying Limited has either restored or built from scratch a significant proportion of the Spitfires that are now airworthy. Both were shot down and became prisoners of war, while flying Spitfires over France in 1941 and 1942. [107] Paddy Finucane (28–32 e/a) scored all his successes in the fighter before disappearing over the English Channel in July 1942. "Supermarine Spitfire (Griffon-engined variants and Seafire)". [137], Supermarine developed a two-seat variant, known as the T Mk VIII, to be used for training, but none were ordered, and only one example was ever constructed (identified as N32/G-AIDN by Supermarine). The Mark IX had four.303 machine guns and two 20mm cannons, whose explosive shells could counter German protection. An experimental factory at Newbury was the subject of a Luftwaffe daylight raid, but the bombs missed their target and hit a nearby school. ", http://www.adf-serials.com.au/spitfire.htm, "Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I K9942/8383M Museum Accession NO.72/A/263", "Restored World War Two Spitfire sold for £3.1m – BBC News", "Search for 'buried Spitfires' in Burma called off", "Remember the guy who thought he found 140 lost Spitfires, buried underground? Replacing the fabric covering with light alloy dramatically improved the ailerons at high speed. [97] Supermarine did not fix the problem until October 1938, when they added hot air ducts from the rear of the wing-mounted radiators to the guns, and bulkheads around the gunbays to trap the hot air in the wing. The Spitfire also served on the Eastern Front with the Soviet Air Force (VVS). [56] Behind the bulkhead were five U-shaped half-frames which accommodated the fuel tanks and cockpit. [150], Operation Firedog during the Malayan Emergency saw the Spitfire fly over 1,800 operational sorties against the Malayan Communists. The pilot of the Spitfire Sgt Alan Lever-Ridings was shot down by a Fw 190 whilst returning from escort duty during a bombing mission over Morlaix, France 23 June 1942. The ellipse was simply the shape that allowed us the thinnest possible wing with room inside to carry the necessary structure and the things we wanted to cram in. 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