It had speed, power, an impressive rate of climb and could pack a punch.
This year marks the 80th Anniversary of the Supermarine Spitfire’s maiden flight in 1936. The Spitfire, a marvel in aviation history served as one of the longest running and most relied upon aircraft during WWII.
The Supermarine Spitfire is one of the most iconic and beloved in Royal Air Force aviation history. Its legendary status keeps it deeply ingrained in the hearts and minds of British people.
The Spitfire was and still is a pure thoroughbred. Its breeding line is owed to that of the Supermarine racing seaplanes of the 1920s and 30s culminating in Supermarine retaining the Schneider Trophy in 1931 after its third straight win with the S.6B. Success was breeding success and Supermarine’s brilliant designer, R J Mitchell immediately set to work designing a fighter taking impetus from those racing thoroughbreds. Yet there would be frustrations and setbacks before the world’s most famous fighter aircraft was born. On the afternoon of 5 March 1936, Spitfire K5054, piloted by Captain J ‘Mutt’ Summers, took off from the airfield at Eastleigh for its maiden test flight. Eight minutes later, Summers landed the Spitfire a true and everlasting legend was born.
Beautiful to look at and graceful in flight, the Spitfire was, and still is a head turner. There can be few aircraft that sends shivers down one’s spine like the sight and sound of a Spitfire; but it was also a killer and was designed to outpace the very best of what the enemy could throw at the RAF.
Supermarine Spitfire 80thAnniversary Commemorative
In honour of the Spitfires 80th Anniversary the Spitfire commemorative depicts a Supermarine Spitfire poised for takeoff. This official RAF Association issued commemorative recognises not just the fighter aspect of the aircraft but the historic roots of the Spitfire with its time as a trophy winning seaplane in the Schneider trophy. Enclosed with the medal sits a genuine piece of Spitfire sourced direct from the Biggin Hill Heritage hangar from the Spirit of Kent Spitfire.
Source: London Mint Office