The Spitfire is probably the most famous aircraft ever to fly. Synonymous with power, classic looks and a killer instinct, the Spitfire could outfly and outfight virtually anything Germany and Japan tried to throw against it.
Designed in the 1930s, made famous in the 1940s and still the darling of the airshow scene in the 1990s, the Spitfire was a bold design, from a bold designer – RJ Mitchell. It was conceived in the days of peace when radical ideas were not wanted by the RAF, but Mitchell had designed a war machine, a killer, an aircraft that would take the RAF into a new era.
Between 1938 and 1947 over 20,000 Spitfires were built, the last, a Mark 24, leaving the production line at Eastleigh in October 1947. But it wasn’t quite the last. So popular is the Spitfire today that a new factory has opened building Spitfires and their spares, and building them once again under the famous name of their originator – Supermarine.
SPITFIRE – POWER, GRACE AND GLORY takes a fresh look at the decisions behind the aircraft, its design, testing, complicated manufacture and operational life as well as the attributes that have kept it so popular for 60 years. Walk-arounds show the unique technical advances that were used to develop both the Merlin and Griffon-engined marks of Spitfire.
Stunning new air-to-air footage including a simulated dogfight between Spitfire and Messerschmidt Me 109, rare archive film, new aircraft production and exclusive interviews with those men who designed, built, flew and continue to fly their precious Spitfires, make this programme essential viewing for anyone interested in aviation.