War Master WMAPF011 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V Fighter - No. 485 Squadron, France, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, commenting on the British airmen in the Battle of Britain
The Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane, it is remembered as the sleek, thoroughbred fighting machine that turned the tide during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable prop-driven fighters of World War II, serving in virtually every combat theater.
Supermarine designer Reginald Mitchell created this small, graceful, elliptical-wing fighter with eight guns in the wings that were able to fire without being hindered by the propeller. The immortal Spitfire thus became not merely one of the best-performing fighters of all time, but also one of the best-looking. Although never employed as a long-range escort, the Spitfire was a champion in an air-to-air duel. Spitfires routinely dived at the speed of sound, faster than any of the German jets.
A carrier-based version, called the Seafire, was a winner in its own right, serving valiantly on convoy routes during World War II. The Seafire 47 was even used in the early stages of the Korean War, before it was replaced by more modern jet aircraft.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale diecast replica of a RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V fighter that saw action during the D-Day invasion in June 1944.
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 6.1 inches
Release Date: January 2012
Historical Account: "Kiwis" - No. 485(NZ) Squadron was a Spitfire squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War. It was the first RNZAF squadron formed under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme and served in Europe under the operational command of the Royal Air Force.
Manned by New Zealand pilots of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, but controlled by the Royal Air Force, 485(NZ) Squadron was formed on March 1st, 1941, at RAF Driffield, in Yorkshire. Initially No 485 Squadron was equipped with old Spitfire Mk Is for its "working up" period in No. 13 Group RAF, which was carried out with no recorded fatalities. The Spitfire Mk Is were exchanged for Spitfire Mk IIs on June 1st, 1941.
By July 1941, the squadron had scored its first victories, suffered its first combat fatalities and had moved to RAF Redhill, a frontline No. 11 Group RAF base to take part in offensive operations. One type of operation was fighter escort for "Circus" raids, in which a small number of RAF bombers (originally Bristol Blenheims and later Short Stirlings) were used as bait to draw up enemy fighters.