The Spitfire is a legendary WW2 British fighter aircraft which achieved its iconic status for its contribution to the British Allied victory over the German Luftwaffe in the 1940 Battle of Britain and remains to this day a firm favourite with Blackpool Air Show visitors and Air Shows around the United Kingdom.

Although the Spitfire is synonymous with that famous victory its sister aircraft the Hawker Hurricane actually downed 60% of the total confirmed destroyed enemy aircraft in that battle. Both aircraft usually appear in formation with the Avro Lancaster bomber at Blackpool Air Show.

The Spitfire ,powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin engine, had impressive capabilities giving it a slight advantage over the German

The variation of the Spitfire that fought in the Battle of Britain was powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin engine of 1,030 horsepower, faster than its powerful German opponent the Messerschmitt BF 109 at elevations above 15,000 feet (4,600 metres) and easily as manoeuvrable, Spitfires were sent out by preference to target the German Messerschmitt’s escorting the German Heinkel HE 111 bombers while the slower Hurricanes targeted the Heinkel bombers. The Spitfire managed to keep its advantage over the Messerschmitt as each aircraft was improved throughout the war, the original Merlin engine was developed, in stages, to deliver up to 1,760 horse power. before it was replaced by the Rolls Royce Griffon engine, delivering over 2,000 horse power in late 1943.

The Spitfire was designed and built by the British aircraft manufacturer Supermarine Aviation Ltd. and is known as the Supermarine Spitfire, this causes some confusion amongst air show aficionados as it implies that the aircraft is a maritime operator, a maritime version of the Spitfire was produced with a reinforced airframe to allow for catapult launches and arrester hook landings on Aircraft Carrier warships and this version was named the Seafire.

Before the war Supermarine were successful designers and manufacturers of seaplanes with particular success in high performance competition aircraft, winning the Schneider Trophy, an international competition for performance seaplanes, on three occasions, the Spitfire was developed from one of their racing seaplanes in response to British Air Ministry specifications.

The Supermarine Spitfire entered Royal Air Force (RAF) service in 1938 and remained in service until the 1950s with continuos development. Today Spitfires are in private collections and museums around the world including the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) which has six Spitfires in its collection and it is the BBMF who appear at Blackpool Air Show on most years.

For more information on the Supermarine Spitfire we recommend Wikipedia.

For information on other festivals, events and attractions in Blackpool we recommend Love Blackpool.