Without doubt, the Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most important aircraft of WWII, with more being produced that any other British aircraft type – it was also in production throughout the war. The Mk.V version of the Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other mark and gave the RAF a combat advantage throughout most of 1941.
Entering service with No.92 Squadron at Biggin Hill, the Spitfire Va was powered by the new Merlin 45 engine and incorporated the ‘a’ wing, which retained the eight machine gun armament of earlier machines. Pitted against the Messerschmitt Bf 109F, the Spitfire Va proved to be superior at higher altitudes and was generally more heavily armed. As the most produced version, the Spitfire mark V saw significant development during its service career.
As Britain’s most important fighter of the Second World War, the Spitfire was continually developed from its introduction in 1938, until after the end of hostilities. A thoroughbred fighting aeroplane in every respect, the Mk.Va was introduced to combat the latest incarnation of its most famous adversary, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 ‘Friedrich’ variant.