Supermarine Spitfire Mk I A


Model review

This Tamiya's Spitfire Mk I A kit in 1/48 scale is really good. Parts fit together very well and there is very little need of putty. Decals are good, even white bottoms under the British cockades are included. Painting guide is also good and it's quite easy to build a good model out the box of this kit.

History

The Supermarine Spitfire is probably the most famous and possibly the most beautiful fighter ever built. The prototype first flew in 1936 and with the same airframe the Spitfire remained in production throughout the WW 2 being the only Allied fighter to do so. When the engines become more powerfull and heavier, almost the same airframe with minor changes could accommodate the increased power and size of them.

The main designer was Reginald Mitchell. The new Rolls-Royce PV.12 engine, which was later named Merlin, was used in the prototype. The Spitfire was the first streched-skin all metal fighter in Britain. With its different versions it was the main fighter of the Fighter Command during the WW 2. The Spitfire is always remembered as the plane that won the Battle of Britain, even though the Hawker Hurricane carried the major load.

The Spitfire Mk I was in service at the opening stage of the WW 2. It was little slower than its main opponent the Me 109 E, but it could turn tighter. During the Battle of Britain its main task was to intercept the escort fighters meanwhile the Hurricanes attacked the bombers.

The DW-O serial L1043 belonged to No. 610 squadron based at Gravesend in June 1940. In May 1940 No. 610 squadron fought over the beaches of Dunkirk, where it found plenty of action and it was very active during the Battle of Britain engaging large formations two or three times a day.

Technical data of Spitfire Mk I A

Engine 1030 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin II
Dimensions Span 11,23 m; length 9,12 m
Weights Normal loaded 2812 kg
Performance Max. speed 563 km/h; ceiling 9700 m; range 635 km
Armament 8 x 0.303 Browning MG ( Mk IA )
Production 1566 ( Mk I )

Sources
Squadron/Signal, Spitfire in action; John Rawlings, Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircrafts; Osprey, Spitfire Mk I and II aces; Internet

Main index page