EVERY AIRPLANE FREAK has his or her own favorite aircraft. However, if you really press them, or lay out a bunch of new airplane options to chose from, chances are they'll find that they have more than one favorite. In fact, it's like picking your favorite song: think about it too hard and it leads to confusion. That's the case with this issue, for sure. However, to confuse the favorite-airplane decision even further, we've dipped deeply into esoterica that is sure to confuse everyone. Regardless of someone's favorite airplane, there is no one who doesn't love the Spitfire. It's certainly one of our favorites. This is why in coming weeks you'll find a Flight Journal special issue on the stands that contains nothing but Spitfires. Just think of the Spit article we put in this regular issue, "If Looks Could Kill," by James P. Busha as a teaser. Actually, considering the amount of elliptical eye candy in the form of John Dibbs photography in these pages, it's more of an appetizer than a teaser. But, wait until you see how much more we have in the special issue! It borders on being obscene.
The Spitfire looked good and was good. With its sleek, graceful lines and powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the British Supermarine Spitfire was the undisputed WW II fighter of the Royal Air Force and it saw action in all theaters of the war. Introduced in 1938, the Spitfire was constantly refined and improved, as more than 20,000 were built. Best known for its elliptical wing and its role during the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire was beloved by its pilots and became the aviation icon for the RAF. Top Flite is well known for producing giant-scale warbird models that are easy to assemble and fly great. This tradition continues with the new giant-scale Spitfire ARF, and like its full-scale counterpart, this new Top Flite offering will be just as embraced by warbird enthusiasts!
It is now generally accepted that the Battle of Britain constituted one of the first major turning points of World War 2. At its close, the hitherto seemingly invincible German Luftwaffe - victorious in Poland, Scandinavia, the Low Countries and France - had, for the first time, failed to achieve its assigned objectives: the neutralisation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), and the subsequent invasion and subjugation of England. The British have come to regard the Battle as having been 'officially5 over, and won, by 31 October 1940. German aviation historians are less arbitrary. They consider the daylight operations (admittedly drastically reduced in scale) flown during the closing weeks of the year, and the attendant night Blitz, which continued well into the spring of 1941, as part and parcel of the same campaign. In their view, the ongoing aerial onslaught against Great Britain was only brought to a halt by Hitler's decision to shelve indefinitely his plans for a cross-Ghannel invasion, and turn his attention instead to other fronts: to the Mediterranean and the Balkans and, ultimately, to the east.