Today marks the 85th anniversary of the first flight of the Spitfire. Its first flight, as many will know, took place at on 5th March 1936 at Eastleigh aerodrome, which is now Southampton Airport. The first aircraft was K5054, powered by an early Rolls Royce Merlin and with a two-blade fixed pitch propeller. The flight by test pilot “Mutt” Summers and lasted 8 minutes.
K5054 made its first public appearance on 27th June 1936 at the RAF Hendon air display. Numerous changes were made to the Spitfire before it could go into production and the first aircraft came off the production line in mid 1938. The initial order was for 310 aircraft at £4,500. (Given the current price for an airworthy Spitfire there are many of us that wish we could go back with a Time Tunnel to get some!)
The historic aircraft world would have been very keen to commemorate the anniversary today of the legend that is the Spitfire but sadly, due to the current Coronavirus restrictions, this is not possible. However at Historic Aircraft Association we look forward to seeing Spitfires, and historic aircraft of all types, back in the air again in the not-too-distant future.