One of the most common questions asked of us is, “What happened with the Spitfire?”  We’re now happy to report that Vintage Wings sent an update:

“Last week, Spitfire TE294, the Roseland Spitfire, made its first flight after nearly two decades of steady progress. Click on this link to enjoy the official photos and video of the event.”

If you have a thirst for all things Spitfire, check out these books and others that can be found in our Museum’s Library:

 

Jeremy Flack wrote Spitfire.  The inside cover reads, “The Supermarine Spitfire is the most famous of all British fighters.  Designed by Reginald J. Mitchell at a time when all serving RAF fighter aircraft were canvas-covered biplanes, the prototype first flew on 5 March 1936.  Over 20,000 Spitfires were to be produced in over 40 variants and it was used as a fighter, in the ground-attack and photo-reconnaissance roles and even – as the Seafire – from aircraft carriers.

By the early 1960s, just a handful of Spitfires remained in flying condition and it was the making of the film The Battle of Britain which was to turn the tide on the extinction of airworthy Spitfires.  Today nearly 50 can be seen flying including those of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight…

 

 

Birth of a Legend – The Spitfire was written by Jeffrey Quill.  Quill’s book celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Spitfire’s first flight with this volume.  “The achievements of the fighter pilots ensured that the Spitfire became a legend in its own time.  No other aircraft has ever enjoyed quite the same charisma nor engendered the same sense of excitement that the Spitfire still evokes in both young and old.”  Quill tells of the events leading up to “…its dramatic and triumphant birth, and of the precarious first years of survival and growth.”

 

 

 

The illustrations in Bill Sweetman’s book, Spitfire, are done by Rikyu Watanabe.  Watanabe was considered one of the world’s leading illustrators at the time of publishing, and I found them a wonderful addition to the text; it would be fair to say the text and illustrations work in harmony as Sweetman narrates the history of the Spitfire, “along with its variants and modifications.  He includes flight performance specifications and details about the aircraft’s systems: engine, armament, controls, aerodynamic design.”

 

 

 

Spitfire – The Canadians was written by Robert Bracken.  Bracken “… spent nine years collecting and compiling the interviews on which this book is based… over two hundred interviews with former Spitfire pilots and ground crew from across Canada… this is a momentous collection of personal memories and wartime aviation history.  Most of the photographs in this book were copied from the veterans’ own albums and appear here for the first time in print.  Beautifully detailed Spitfire profiles were contributed by noted aviation artist Ron Lowry.”

 

 

 

Robert Bracken followed his first book, Spitfire – The Canadians, with a second entitled Spitfire II – The Canadians.  One of the pilots, Harry Furniss, donated this copy to our library.  The sequel “…contains more of the exciting original stories, rare historic photographs and world-class aviation artwork…”

One of our Museum’s favourite local visitors and flying ace, Stocky Edwards, wrote the foreword.  He said, “My desire to fly the Spitfire on ops was unsurpassed by anyone, and to reach the ultimate position of wing commander flying of an entire RCAF Spitfire wing was the height of a fighter pilot’s career.  The Spitfire was a joy and fun to fly.  It was a superb combat aircraft, and in the hands of an experienced pilot, it was unequalled.”

 

You might also be interested in reading Norm’s series on Spitfire pilots: Hart Finley and Patrick Langford.