Sunday, 28 October 2012

The 75th Anniversary of Supermarine Spitfire


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To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Supermarine Spitfire, Gibraltar Post pleased to present a set of four stamps and one souvenir sheet stamp features this fighter aircraft on the 28th September 2011.  
The Spitfire achieved legendary status during the Battle of Britain, a reputation aided by the famous "Spitfire Fund" organized and run by Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production.
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The 10p stamp represents the Supermarine Spitfire K- 5054 modified. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s.
The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works (which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928).

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The 42p stamp represents the first flight of the Supermarine Spitfire on March 5th, 1936.  It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was the only British fighter in continuous production throughout the war.

The Supermarine  Spitfire's elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Speed was seen as essential to carry out the mission of home defense against enemy bombers.

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The 49p stamp represents the ground testing before the first flight. During the Battle of Britain (July–October 1940), the Spitfire was perceived by the public as the RAF fighter of the battle, though the more numerous Hawker Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe. The Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes.

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The 2 pound stamp represents the Supermarine Spitfire K5054 under construction. After the Battle of Britain, the Supermarine Spitfire became the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific and the South-East Asian theatres.
Much loved by its pilots, the Supermarine Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, carrier-based fighter, and trainer. It was built in many variants, using several wing configurations.

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