Written by Tiger May 01, 2006, 07:17:00 AM1693 ViewsRating: 0 (0 Rates)Print
The Development History of the Supermarine Spitfire
The following quotation is from The Right Honourable The Lord Balfour of Inchrye PC, MC, Under Secretary of State for Air, 1938 - 1944.
I know I fell in love with her the moment I was introduced that summer day in 1938. I was captivated by her sheer beauty; she was slimly built with a beautifully proportioned body and graceful curves just where they should be.
In every way to every young man - or, in my case, middle aged man - she looked the dream of what one sought. Mind you, some of her admirers warned me me that she was what mother called "a fast girl", and advised that no liberties should be taken with her until you get better acquainted. I was warned to approach her gently but once safely embraced in her arms I found myself reaching heights of delight I had never before experienced.
With words like this, it's easy to see how the Spitfire legend was created
The purpose of this study is to provide the forum with a foundation for a document, which one day, will hopefully become the definitive reference on the Supermarine Spitfire.
While every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, some information is still sketchy, but between us we should be able to achieve the objective.
Please feel free to contribute any information you may have, through the author , so that information can be verified for inclusion in the study. The following references have been used in the research for this study.....
Spitfire..... Jeffery Quill
The Supermarine Spitfire A comprehensive guide for the modeler part 1 and part 2.... Robert Humphreys
Spitfire in Action....... Jerry Scutts
R.J.Mitchell...Schooldays to Spitfire...............Gordon Mitchell
Spitfire the History..................Eric B Morgan and Edward Shacklady
Quote from Jeffrey Quill....
'The main trail of Spitfire development was blazed by the fighters, and determined by the changing requirements of war.'
The Spitfire story begins for the purpose of this article on March 6th 1936. It is documented elsewhere, that the maiden flight of the Spitfire prototype K5054 was on March 5th. However at this time one Jeffery Quill was employed by Supermarine as test pilot. It is recorded in his book 'Spitfire' that he, himself, flew Mutt Summers, Chief test pilot of Supermarine from Brooklands via Martlesham to Eastliegh for the maiden flight of K5054 on March 6th 1936.
A small crowd of Supermarine staff were there to witness this occasion including the Chief designer R.J. Mitchell. The test flight was very brief, the undercarriage was not retracted and following a gentle touchdown, Mutt shut down the engine. Everyone crowded around the cockpit with R.J. at the front, Mutt pulled off his helmet and said 'I don't want anything touched' meaning that no adjustments were required before the next test flight.
The very next day, March 7th 1936, Adolf Hitlers troops entered the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland, in direct defiance of the Versailles Treaty.