The Spitfire was
the brainchild of designer Reginald Mitchell and evolved
from his experience with the early super marine seaplane
racers went on to win 3 prestigious races that ultimately
won the Schneider Cup Trophy for Great Britain in 1933.
Based on the experience with the racing aircraft,
super marine started the development of a fighter in 1935.
This aircraft entered World War II in 1939 and
was known as the Spitfire. With
its elegant elliptical wing and great performance, it
became well known worldwide during the Battle of Britain
As the war progressed and more performance
was needed, the Spitfire evolved with bigger engines and
The Mk 16 was the first model to be built with
the low-back canopy for improved visibility and clipped
wings for increased roll rate.
Spitfires served in all theaters of the war, and
were flown by every allied country, including the United
total of 20,334 Spitfires were built, making it one of
the most widely fighters ever produced.
aircraft was built at Castle Bromwich, England in 1945,
the last year of the war.
In 1958, it was 1 of 2 Spitfires used to form the
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that continues to fly
at air shows in Great Britain today.
Retired in 1960, it was later made run-able for
taxi shots in the film, the Battle of Britain.
In 1970, it was mounted as a gate guard in front
of the Northholt RAF station in London.
At some point in the 1980’s, it was traded out
of the Royal Air Force.
Kermit acquired the aircraft in 1989 and it was
shipped to Miami, Florida for storage.
After Hurricane Andrew devastated Kermit’s shop
and the Weeks Air Museum in 1992, it was shipped back
to Personal Plane Services in England for restoration.
Over a 6 year period, the aircraft was
slowly restored using almost 90% of its original aircraft
insisted that the aircraft be restored to as original
condition as possible.
This was unheard of in England at the time. Guns, cannons, gun sight and original working radios are all
installed, making this the most originally restored Spitfire
in the world! Its'
post-restoration flight occurred in June of 1995.
It was soon shipped to Florida where it was re-assembled
to start flying at Fantasy of Flight.
Unlike the Americans, British pilots
were not allowed to paint their aircraft with personal
for an interesting paint scheme, Kermit decided to honor
squadron Commander Ramond “Cheval” Lallemand.
He flew a Spitfire Mk XVI and was the top scoring
Belgian Ace in World War II.
Many World War II fighters have
a tendency to swing on take-off when the tail is raised.
This is due to the gyroscopic inertia of the propeller
and is most noticeable in the P-51 Mustang.
When a Mustang pilot applies power for take-off,
it takes full right rudder to overcome this tendency.
This problem is hardly noticeable in the Spitfire.
This is because its' lighter propeller blades are
made out of wood.