Spitfire Movie To Debut In U.K.

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Few classic designs are as beloved as the British Spitfire, and this month, a new documentary film about the airplane will debut to celebrate the centenary year of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. “Spitfire” is the story of a fighter that was “forged in competition, shaped as the war clouds gathered, and refined in the white heat of combat,” according to the filmmakers’ website. Veterans of World War II who flew the airplanes tell their personal stories in the film. Flying scenes were shot by Seattle-based aviation photographer John Dibbs, who describes the Spitfire as “a sculpture that takes flight – it is a machine as art!” The film debuts July 17 in the United Kingdom, with plans to be distributed worldwide later this year.

The Spitfire, designed by Reginald Mitchell, of Supermarine Ltd., first flew in 1935, and deliveries to the RAF began in 1938. The design was influenced by a series of record-setting racing airplanes that Mitchell had worked on in the 1920s, including the S.6, which set a world speed record of 357 MPH in 1929. The Spitfire’s elliptical wing and powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine provided exceptional performance. “Spitfire” tells the airplane’s story through interviews with pilots who flew it in combat, and also explores how the airplane still serves its mission today, as an international icon and a reminder of the determination and sacrifice that won World War II. Rare archival film from the 1940s has been digitally remastered for the project, and an original score was contributed by composer Chris Roe.

Watch the trailer here.

Comments (3)

What the P-51 Mustang is to Americans, the Spitfire is to the British. A marriage of art and engineering that gave them hope and inspiration during their darkest hours. A story was told about Hermann Goering, commander of the German Luftwaffe in WWII. During the Battle of Britain, he asked one of his field commanders what he needed to win the battle. The commander replied "a squadron of Spitfires."

Posted by: John McNamee | June 14, 2018 11:21 AM    Report this comment

It was designed as a defensive weapon, consequently short range and limited usability later on in the war. German aircraft were not better they also had short-range limitations.
It took the USA to bring its long-range fighter the P-51, to take the fight to the skies of Europe proper.
The best contribution of the British is the Merlin engine. No doubt the best piston aircraft engine of the war and maybe ever. Once the Merlin was installed in the P-51 the Mustang became dominant over Europe. A true US British collaborative effort to beat the Nazis.

Posted by: Max Mason | June 15, 2018 9:43 AM    Report this comment

Two points: 1) The 8th AF P-47s had already seriously dented the Luftwaffe over the continent by the time the P-51 showed up. Like the Hawker Hurricane in the battle of Britain, the P-47 did the yeoman's share of the work whilst it's sexier stablemate took all the glory, and;
2) The P&W R-2800 (which powered the P-47) was much more powerful than the RR Merlin and far more robust and battle damage tolerant. One slug in the coolant and down goes the P-51.
As the saying went; "If you want to get a girl fly a P-51, but if you want to get home alive fly a P-47".

Posted by: Neil Robinson | June 16, 2018 11:41 PM    Report this comment

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