SciTech Tuesday: R.J. Mitchell, Designer of the Spitfire
Born on this day in 1895 aircraft designer Reginald Joseph Mitchell developed the Supermarine Spitfire, a highly effective British fighter which played a decisive role during World War II. Designed to replace the Bristol Bulldog in the early 1930s, the Royal Air Force requested a fighter that could fly in both light and dark conditions, sustain 195 miles per hour and reach an altitude of 15,000 feet in 8.5 minutes.
Supermarine Aviation Works specialized in racing seaplane; the Spitfire was its first land-based aircraft. Characterized by its sleek lines and elliptical wings, the Spitfire proved to be light, fast and versatile in air combat. While Mitchell led the effort to design the plane, he did not live to see it in action as he succumbed to cancer at the age of 42 on June 11, 1937.
Learn more about the Supermarine Spitfire in the Museum’s collection: http://www.nationalww2museum.org/see-hear/collections/artifacts/spitfire-and-bf109.html
Post by Annie Tête, STEM Education Coordinator