Reginald Joseph Mitchell, English aircraft designer, c 1930s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Reginald Joseph Mitchell (1895-1937) trained as an engineer and worked as chief designer of the Vickers Armstrong Supermarine Company during WWI. In 1920 he became chief engineer and designed world-beating sea- planes that won many of the the Schneider Trophy races between 1922 and 1931, winning the trophy outright in 1931. He used this experience to design the Supermarine Spitfire, an aesthetically elegant monoplane with a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, which became one of the deadliest fighter aircrafts of WWII.