The iconic British designed Supermarine Spitfire short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft was without doubt one of the most successful fighters used by the RAF and other Allied countries during and after World War II. Built in many variants and using several wing configurations, it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft.
The Spitfire's airframe was complex: the streamlined, semi-monocoque duralumin fuselage featured a large number of compound curves built up from a skeleton of 19 formers, also known as frames, starting from frame number one, immediately behind the propeller unit. The skins of the fuselage, wings and tailplane were secured by rivets, and in critical areas such as the wing forward of the main spar where an uninterrupted airflow was required, with flush rivets; the fuselage used standard dome-headed riveting. The Spitfire featured a unique semi-elliptical wing shape designed to solve two conflicting requirements. The wing needed to be thin, to avoid creating too much drag, while still able to house a retractable undercarriage, plus armament and ammunition.
The Luftwaffe were so ill prepared to counter the extraordinary attack and turning qualities of the Supermarine Spitfire that concerted efforts were made to destroy the main spitfire manufacturing plants at Woolston and Itchen, near Southampton. The first bombing raid, which missed the factories, came on 23 August 1940. Over the next month, other raids were mounted until, on 26 September 1940, both factories were destroyed with 92 people killed and a large number injured. Fortunately for the future of the Spitfire, many of the production jigs and machine tools had already been relocated to smaller facilities across England to escape the German bombing campaign.
The early Mk Is were powered by the 1,030 hp (768 kW) Merlin Mk II engine driving an Aero-Products "Watts" 10 ft 8 in diameter two-blade wooden fixed-pitch propeller, weighing 83 lb. This was later upgraded to the more efficient 3 bladed alloy propeller and a 5 blade in later variants.
Following complaints from pilots of poor visibility, a new form of "blown" canopy was manufactured and started replacing the original "flat" version in early 1939. The ‘bubble’ canopy improved headroom and enabled better vision laterally, and to the rear. The MkIA featured the original A-type wing design with eight .303 calibre Browning machine guns. The basic structure of the wing was unchanged until the C type in 1942 when a heating system for the gun bays was also incorporated to prevent the guns from freezing up at higher altitudes.
In the Mediterranean the Spitfire blunted the heavy attacks on Malta by the Regia Aeronautica and Luftwaffe and, from early 1943, helped pave the way for the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy. The Spitfire served on the Eastern Front where almost a thousand were supplied to the Soviet Air Force. as well as also serving in the Pacific Theatre where it struggled against the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero, which could out-turn and out-climb the Spitfire and stay in the air for three times as long. Over the Northern Territory of Australia, RAAF and RAF Spitfires helped defend the port town of Darwin against air attack suffering heavy losses largely due to the type's limited fuel capacity.
All Supermarine Spitfire Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
Return to VINTAGE ORIGINAL AIRCRAFT INSTRUMENTS
SPITFIRE TYPE B, 5c/373 AIR MINISTRY & CROWN STAMPED MORSE CODE SENDER KEY
Extremely rare, bakelite Air Ministry Crown stamped Type B 5c/373...
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk IA 5A/1630 AIR MINISTRY & CROWN 1939 ISSUED AMMETER
Original 1939, Air Ministry Crown stamped Amp Meter installed in...
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE Mk IA 5A/1636 AIR MINISTRY & CROWN 1939 ISSUED VOLT METER
Extremely rare, 1941 Air Ministry issued Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA...
SPITFIRE Mk1A-V, 5c/372 No.2 Mk III MORSE CODE KEY
Extremely rare, Mk 1A-V Spitfire, 5c/372 No.2 Mk III Morse...
SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE 5A/1633 AIR MINISTRY & CROWN 1940 ISSUED AMMETER
Rare Battle of Britain Spitfire 5A/1633 Air Ministry stamped Ammeter
PR Mk XIII SPITFIRE Mk XIC OXYGEN REGULATOR
Rare photo reconnaissance Spitfire Mk XIC Oxygen Regulator
Mk V SPITFIRE DB-Z R6897 MERLIN III EXHAUST VALVE RECOVERED FROM WWII CRASH SITE
Original Spitfire Merlin III Engine Exhaust Valve recovered from crashed...
SPITFIRE TYPE 4 VHF COCKPIT TUNER
Extremely rare Air Ministry stamped, Type 4 Air Ministry Spitfire...
SPITFIRE MORSE CODE COMMUNICATION LIGHT
Original Spitfire Morse Code Air-to Air Communication Light
AIR MINISTRY ISSUED Mk VIII RAF FLYING GOGGLES
Air Ministry issued Mk VIII RAF fighter goggles as worn...
AIR MINISTRY ISSUED MK VIII RAF FLYING GOGGLES
Battle hardened, Air Ministry issued Mk VIII RAF fighter goggles...
AIR MINISTRY ISSUED MK VIII RAF FLYING GOGGLES
Extremely rare boxed' RAF Air Ministry issued Mk VIII Flying...