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Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1A
Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1A
Resource Typeimage
TitleSupermarine Spitfire Mark 1A
Coverage / Year1940 to 1944
DescriptionThe Mark 1A Spitfire is a World War II fighter plane. It has a single seat, multiple guns, and a variety of other armaments. The length of the fuselage is approximately sixteen feet and the wingspan is approximately thirty-six feet. The aircraft's fuselage and wings are painted dark green and ocean gray and its underbelly and under-wings are painted medium sea gray. Targets are painted in red, black, and yellow on both sides of the fuselage and the wings. On the tailfin is a painted red, black, and white rectangle. The serial number P9306 is painted in black on the fuselage.
InterpretationThis Mark 1A Spitfire was delivered to the British Royal Air Force on January 20, 1940. It went into combat on July 6, 1940 during the Battle of Britain, piloted by Royal Air Force Squadron 74, known as the "Tigers." Stationed at R.A.F. Hornchurch, this fighter aircraft was flown mainly by Flight Officer Cobden and Pilot Officer St. John of Squadron 74. The plane is credited with five "kills" and survives as the most successful Battle of Britain combatant. During the Battle of Britain, four Browning.303 machine guns, entirely hidden in the wings, fired through holes in the red patches on the forward edges. The Spitfire airplane was designed by Reginald J. Mitchell (1895-1937) an employee of the Supermarine Aviation Works Limited of Southampton, England. The fighter plane was built by the British Supermarine Co., also of Southampton. Engineer Robert McLean who described his daughter Ann "as a little spitfire" originated the Spitfire name. The Spitfire could fly to 36, 000 feet and its maximum speed was 387 mph at 18, 000 feet. It was armed with Browning.303 machine guns mounted in its wings. Each gun had a firing rate of 1, 200 rounds a minute. By the war's end, the Spitfire's maximum speed had increased to 450 mph. The Spitfire Mark 1A planes were retired from active battle service in October 1941. From then on they were utilized for pilot training. Upgraded Spitfires were produced until 1948. The Mark 22 was the final Spitfire to see combat in World War II. The Spitfire Mark 1A at the Museum is one of the last three in existence of the 20, 351 planes manufactured for the British Armed Forces. It arrived at the Museum in October 1944.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities;
Learning Standards16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorMitchell, Reginald J., 1895-1937; McLean, Robert
Other ContributorsBritish Supermarine Co.
SourceAndrews, C.F., and E.B. Morgan. Supermarine Aircraft Since 1914. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1981. Mitchell, Gordon. R. J. Mitchell: Schooldays to Spitfire. Buckinghamshire, England: Nelson & Saunders Publishers, 1986. Munson, Kenneth, and John
Subject / KeywordsAirplanes; Aircraft; Fighter planes; Battle of Britain; Aviation; World War II; World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations; Air transportation; Southampton, England
Collection PublisherMuseum of Science and Industry, Chicago;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource Identifier44.72
CONTENTdm file name9358181982002_SPITFIRE.jpg
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