Dragon DRW50129 RAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk. VB Fighter - Tropical, No. 601 Squadron, Lentini West, Sicily, 1943 (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.
This particular 1:72 scale "clipped-wing" Spitfire was flown by the RAF's No. 601 Squadron.
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 6.1 inches
Release Date: January 2006
Historical Account: "Clipped and Cropped" - The RAF's No. 601 Squadron was equipped with Spitfires in March of 1942, shortly before it shipped out to the Middle East. This squadron was based in Malta, then North Africa, on to Sicily and finally to Italy as they supported the advance of the Allied armies. The 'clipped-wing' Spitfire was marginally faster than the standard Mk V but had a considerably better rate of roll. A Merlin with a modified supercharger was also fitted, which gave it a speed at low-level equivalent to that of the Fw-190. Such Spitfires were known as 'clipped and cropped.'