Wind tunnel model of Spitfire Mark I, 1941.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

Wind tunnel model of Spitfire Mark I, 1941.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


This was the first all metal wind tunnel model built and used at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (Rae), Farnborough, Hampshire, and was used in trials investigating high speed aircraft performance approaching the speed of sound, during World War II. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire was integral to Britain's front-line air defences during World War II, and, together with the Hawker Hurricane fighter, played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain, fought over Britain between the 10th July and 31st October 1940.

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