Supermarine Spitfire – top ten facts
The Spitfire prototype’s first flight was on March 5, 1936, from Eastleigh airfield near Southampton.
Duxford-based 19 Squadron was the first RAF unit to receive a Spitfire Mk.I (K9789), after it was delivered to the station on August 4, 1938. The first familiarisation flight was made seven days later by 19’s CO, Sqn Ldr Henry Cozens.
Armament for the Spitfire Mk.I comprised eight Browning .303 machine guns, but a limited number of airframes received cannon, and these became known retrospectively as the Mk.Ib.
The Mk.Vb AB450 was converted to create the prototype for the first HF Mk.VII, which was a high-altitude fighter with a supercharged engine. It commonly had extended wingtips.