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In November 1934, Mitchell, with the backing of Supermarine's owner Vickers-Armstrong, started detailed design work on this refined version of the Type 300.the prototype (K5054) took off on its first flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome (later Southampton Airport).Here, Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Edwardes-Jones took over the prototype for the RAF.

The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928.

Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing designed by Beverley Shenstone to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane.

The Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire which served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s.

Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp (768 k W), it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlins and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340 hp (1,745 k W).

In 1935, the Air Ministry approached Morris Motors Limited to ask how quickly their Cowley plant could be turned to aircraft production.

In 1936 this informal request for major manufacturing facilities was turned into a formal scheme, known as the shadow factory plan, to boost British aircraft production capacity under the leadership of Herbert Austin.

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during and after World War II.

Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft.

Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the Spitfire's development through its multitude of variants.

During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hawker Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe.

On 3 June 1936, the Air Ministry placed an order for 310 aircraft, at a cost of £1,395,000.

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