Reginald Joseph Mitchell was the chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, a British company which created the Spitfire in the 1930s.
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft. Mitchell designed it as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft.
Iconically, it has an elliptical (oval-shaped) wing. In fact, relatively few aircraft adopted the elliptical wing. What’s more, the Spitfire’s elliptical wing had a thin cross-section (body) which made it much more aerodynamic. This allowed a higher top speed than other fighters of the time, including the Hawker Hurricane. Of course, to defend against enemy bombers on the home front, speed was essential.
The Royal Air Force and other Allied countries used the Spitfire throughout the Second World War. Indeed, production of Spitfires were higher than any other British aircraft. Also, the only British fighter made throughout the war.
The British produced the Mk V in greater numbers than any other single mark of Spitfire. It was the main version of the fighter during 1941. It replaced the Mk I and II in service in time to take part in the first British counterattacks over France.
During the summer of 1941 it held an advantage over the Bf 109. However, in September 1941 the Fw 190 made its operation debut, and the Mk V found itself outclassed. Despite this, it remained the main RAF fighter until the summer of 1942, and the low level LF.Mk V remained in use into 1944.
Production was initially divided between the Va with the eight machine gun “a” wing (94 built) and the Vb with the “b” wing of two 20mm cannon and four machine guns.