The Spitfire fighter plane was a British single-seat fighter aircraft flown by the Royal Air Force during World War II. It was the only Allied fighter in production throughout the war. The Spitfire played a key role in the Battle of Britain, fighting against its main adversary, the Messerschmitt Bf 109, and became the backbone of the Royal Air Force. Its elliptical wing had a thin cross-section and allowed a higher top speed than the Hawker Hurricane and many other contemporary designs.
The Spitfire fighter plane was designed by British engineer Reginald Joseph Mitchell in 1936 and was manufactured by the Supermarine Aviation Works. Its first flight took place on March 6, 1936. The Supermarine Spitfire was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 supercharged V12 engine of 1,470 hp, which could reach a top speed of 378 mph and had a range of 500 km. It was armed with eight 7.7mm machine guns.
Speed and firepower was the Spitfire strong points. However, if the plane was hit, it burned easily and quickly, which could put the pilot in extreme danger as the cockpit was difficult to get out of. Its huge Merlin engine needed a lot of aviation fuel as a large percentage of the Spitfire fighter plane was given over to storing fuel.