In memory of an F.22

Malloch’s Spitfire by Nick Meikle ISBN 978-1-61200-252-1 In as much as this review is, literally I guess, a bookend for airscape’s Spitfire Month, I hope by now you have a burning passion for one of history’s greatest fighter aircraft. And assuming you have, let me begin by recommending Malloch’s Spitfire as a must-have book – even a foundation one – for your Spitfire library. It’s … Continue reading In memory of an F.22

On Spitfires (Part One)

‘Indicator’ tells all ‘Indicator’ filed a long series of impressions of Allied aircraft for Flight magazine in the years after World War 2. While Flight didn’t give his identity away (most likely because he was still in uniform) he was definitely a test pilot – probably at the RAF’s Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down. Mind you, he also seems to have done some … Continue reading On Spitfires (Part One)

‘As British as Queen Victoria’

Germany’s greatest fighter What if the Spitfire – that most iconic British fighter – wasn’t? British, I mean. What if it’s sighed-over elliptical wing (which, as any attentive high school student could tell you, isn’t even an ellipse) owed as much to the Germans it fought against as the English it saved? A masterpiece of aerodynamics Okay, I admit it’s a deliberately hackle-raising question… After all, the … Continue reading ‘As British as Queen Victoria’

The inimitable Mr. Hanna

F**king f**k! I know you’ve probably seen this clip before (and if you haven’t you’re in for a treat!) but I just couldn’t spend a month celebrating Spitfires and not include it. It never gets old. I’m sure the presenter, noted racing driver Alain de Cadenet, has never forgotten his brush with that high-performance vehicle! It’s fun to note that the Spitfire was climbing by the … Continue reading The inimitable Mr. Hanna

The man inside K5054

‘Don’t change anything’ You’ll hear this story a lot at the start of every March – on the 5th of the month, 1936, Vickers’ Chief Test Pilot ‘Mutt’ Summers took the prototype Supermarine Spitfire, K5054, for its first flight. On landing, he’s widely reported to have said ‘Don’t change anything’ – or words to that effect. There’s been a lot of speculation about this brusque … Continue reading The man inside K5054

Flying the Fourteen

A few weeks back, the hugely admirable John Mollison posted a new Old Guys & Their Airplanes clip to accompany his finished illustration of F/L John Wilkinson’s Spitfire Mk.XIV. Perhaps I should have that the other way around… Anyway, John’s post, clip and artwork reminded me that I had a pilot’s review of the XIV in my collection, and it seemed appropriate to share it. Unlike … Continue reading Flying the Fourteen