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This 1945 Supermarine Spitfire Missed the Nazis, Flew Over Asia Instead


Even if you are not into military hardware or the history of the Second World War, the name Spitfire still probably rings some bells. The aircraft, made by British aircraft manufacturer Supermarine, is arguably the most famous Allied aircraft to have flown over Europe.

Together with the Hurricane, the Spitfire managed to fend off the Nazi aerial assault over the English Channel, and even if the Hawker-made fighter carried the biggest burden during the Battle of England, Spitfire’s habit of scoring better against the enemy made it a public favorite, and a star that endures to this day.

The Spitfire, like many WWII combat aircraft, was a single-seater. Starting in 1938, over 20,000 of them were made and launched in combat in the service of the Allied forces. Naturally, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was the main customer for the plane, but other nations used it too, and it wasn’t until 1961 when the last flight of the Spitfire took place.

Generally, the Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered Spitfires could reach speeds of 370 mph (600 kph), had a range of 479 mi (771 km) and came equipped with machine guns and cannons.

Production of the fighter did not stop when the war ended. The one we have here, for instance, was built the same year Germany was defeated, 1945. First deployed with the RAF’s 9th Squadron, it moved over to Asia in 1947, becoming part of the Indian Air Force fleet. This particular Spitfire is of the Mk XVIII variety, coming with a stronger wing structure and the capability to carry extra fuel.

Sometime in the 1970s, the plane was brought back to the UK for a technical restoration. The first flight following this operation took place in 1992, after which it got sold to an American customer. Now located in Germany, the Spitfire is again looking for a new owner, for an undisclosed price.



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