With the courage and skill of fighter aces like Johnnie Johnson, 'Sailor' Malan and Bobby Tuck, the Supermarine Spitfire helped change the course of the war in favor of the Allies. The classic Combination of airframe, Rolls Royce Merlin Engine and dual cannon/machine gun armament struck terror into the hearts of the enemy's most fearless flyer sand won the aircraft a place in history.
Its eight wing-mounted Colt-Browning's spitting flame, the Hawker Hurricane swooped to dispatch over two-thirds of all enemy aircraft destroyed in the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane was outnumbered but never outclassed, designed to hit the enemy hard, absorb tremendous punishment yet live to fight another day.
By the outbreak of the Second World War, the German Luftwaffe possessed more than 3,500 front-line aircraft. Over one third of these were single engine fighters and for the next six years, one of these fighters would become the flagship of the German Fighter Force - the Messerschmitt Bf 109
No combat aircraft ever achieved perfection, but at the time of its debut, the Fw 190 probably came as near to this elusive goal as any other fighter. This aircraft was undoubtedly the finest warplane ever produced by Germany and from the moment it entered the theatre of war the Fw 190 achieved the slim margin of superiority over the RAF aircraft in fighter versus fighter combat.
Roy Ward Baker
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