“I would sometimes fly quite close to frighten them, so close the slipstream would hit them and it would blow the parachute all over the place. If a pilot passed out through lack of oxygen, the Spitfire would fall away in a dive and correct itself’ But another of Townsend’s contemporaries spoke up for the Hurricane: ‘ [It] was built with the strength of a battleship, had an engine of great power and reliability, and was throughout an excellent and accurate flying machine.’ Some of the Hurricane’s detractors (or Spitfire’s defenders) point to the Hawker fighter’s wood-and-fabric construction as one of its failings. For one thing, it was underpowered–its Rolls-Royce Goshawk II engine gave it a speed of only 238 mph. A Spitfire could climb higher and turn faster because of its wing design. The cockpit was so narrow that his shoulders brushed against the sides whenever he rubbernecked for enemy fighters (which was constantly); his flying helmet, with his radio headset, covered his ears; his nose and mouth were covered by an oxygen mask, which also contained his microphone. Miranda Hart, comedian, actress, writer (Miranda Hart's Joke Shop on BBC Radio 2 and its spinoff BBC sitcom TV series Miranda). Yak-3 vs Spitfire me-262. This was true in relation to the Mark I Hurricanes which came up against the Me 109 in France in 1939 and in the early battles over England in 1940. 4. Which had more range and ammo? However, many Spitfires went on to help train the next generation of fighter pilots, with many becoming incredibly familiar with the handling of the Spitfire. An iconic Battle of Britain photo, Spitfires from, No. With that armament, along with the RollsRoyce Merlin engine and the other features he had designed, Mitchell knew that his fighter would be a match for any aircraft the Luftwaffe might produce. Freeborn was in no mood for pleasantries. Freeborn and Byrne had a first-class defense team. Ernie Davis, first African American to win Heisman Trophy (Syracuse University); subject of The Express movie (2008). “Malan was just married, always broke, always borrowing money,” he said. It made it easier to repair damage to a Hurricane because the fabric could quickly be patched up but the Spitfire needed more skilled metal workers to fix it. The Merlin engine was essential to Britain's war effort, it not only powered the Spitfire, but also the Hurricane, Lancaster and Mosquito. Others were more generous in their appraisal of the man, who was a vociferous anti-apartheid protestor in South Africa after the war. It has be to said, the Spitfire is often the ‘poster boy’ of classic aviation, but it was the workhorse Hurricane that was the backbone of the Battle of Britain campaign for Fighter Command. A former pilot of No. Sailor Malan was 74 Squadron’s ace of aces, finishing the war with 27 victories. They couldn’t have cared less. Re: Spitfire vs Hurricane Hurri was more stable when firing, apparently if you put your pipper on the target even with a long burst the aircraft would not wallow or pitch during the firing, the Spit was a bit more fidgety, being a more responsive aircraft, Other fighters were also employed, such as the grossly underpowered Boulton Paul Defiant, which was no match for the Messerschmitt Bf-109 in spite of its four-gun power turret (neither was the twin-engine Bristol Blenheim). I was again attacked from astern by a 110…and I took decisive action coming up under him and sending a long burst into his tailplane. The Spitfire was a slightly higher performance airplane-faster, a better rate of climb, and much more responsive to the controls, according to StanfordTuck. As a more stable gun platform, many have said that the Hurricane was better suited to go after the Luftwaffe bombers. I would say ‘get in the air’ and they would say, ‘I don’t want to.’ But I did. A Hawker Hurricane Mk. He’d gone home [he lived with his wife off base] and dropped us right in the s—.”. Wing Commander Robert Stanford-Tuck said the Spitfire was like ‘a fine Thoroughbred racehorse, while the dear old Hurricane was rather like a heavy workhorse.’. “I caught this one knocking bloody seven bells out of a Spitfire over Dunkirk,” he remembered of the Messerschmitt Me-109E he encountered on the French coast. Both machines may have had their good points and bad points, but no one ever praised either one for its comfort or luxury. Discover (and save!) It looked more like a German Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber than the Battle of Britain fighter. 111 Squadron, which received its new fighters late in 1937. Who was the best? That month Malan was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Freeborn became the de facto commander of B Flight. If taking … And the argument was not always confined to the officers mess. loaded Henry IV, the first Bourbon king of France. Although they served on other fronts from Malta to Singapore, they reached their pinnacle during the high summer of 1940, when the Spitfire and Hurricane joined forces to thwart the Luftwaffe over the green fields of southern England. You could only do what you could do.”. “I think I would have shot down more if it weren’t for Flinders, the sergeant pilot,” said Freeborn. Your email address will not be published. And the cynics would have a point. Spitfire Mk. Mitchell was not satisfied with his F.7/30 for a number of reasons. 3. Die-hard defenders of the Hurricane are quick to comment that the Hawker aircraft is credited with shooting down more enemy aircraft than the Spitfire. Freeborn’s outspokenness undoubtedly worked against him in the rigid hierarchy of the RAF, as did his relatively humble upbringing. Height: 13 ft. 12 ft. 7 in. Flying Limitations of the Me 109 G (from: Technical Instructions of the Generalluftzeugmeister, Berlin, 28th August 1942.. Reference Me 109 - wing breakages. Eventually, 14,000 Hurricanes would be built and 22,000 Spitfires (including Royal Navy Seafires). Pilot John Flinders as no. One of his sergeant pilots, Bill Skinner, recounted how a Junkers Ju-88A was shot down over France in May 1940: “The Nazi crew were seen to get out and shake their fists at us. “And if you had no money to lend him he would take it out of your pockets. On February 13, 1939, 74 Squadron took delivery of its first Spitfire. Iron was in short supply during the war and it was easier to fix a hole in cloth than metal. The strain of dogfighting quickly wore down the pilots’ enthusiasm, and both squadrons landed after several minutes of wild aerobatics. Freeborn, in comparison, lacked Malan’s diplomacy, and there was probably some envy at the South African’s suave charm. Six hundred more were ordered the next year. German pilots had a great deal more respect for the Spitfire than for the Hurricane. 56 Squadron at North Weald. Mustang, Spitfire, Hurricane – The Fighters that Brought the Luftwaffe to its Knees Germany had the most powerful air force in Europe when the World War II started. “As soon as he saw me, he pushed his stick forward, which we [Spitfire pilots] couldn’t do because the engine would stop and it would be some time before the carburetor would be able to flow again. Charlie Rich, crossover country singer, musician ("Behind Closed Doors"). In their jubilee edition of The Battle of Britain, Richard Hough and Denis Richards give their own version of the Spitfire myth: ‘The Battle of Britain, despite Fighter Command’s being down to its last few aircraft, was won by unfailingly cheerful young officers flying Spitfires … and directed by ‘Stuffy’ Dowding ……, The reason for the Hurricane’s second-class status was that it was competing not with another fighter, but with a genuine legend. Owing to continually recurring accidents caused by wing breakages … June Taylor, choreographer, founder of the June Taylor Dancers featured on Jackie Gleason's TV programs. Patty Duke, actress, singer; won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16, playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker; president of Screen Actors Guild (1985-88). By 1939, the Spitfire was significantly faster and had a higher rate of climb, according to Dennis Richards and Richard Hough in The Battle of Britain, and they noted, ‘In handling, there was little to choose between the two,’ The authors went on to point out that the Hurricane’s twin batteries of four Brownings closely grouped together in the wings was preferred to the ‘widely scattered’ guns in the Spitfire’s wings. When the Hurricane pilots saw their adversaries closing from behind, they broke formation and turned to meet their attackers–a highly unbomberlike maneuver! Because of his aircraft’s elliptical wings, Mitchell was able to fit four Browning .303 caliber machine guns into each wing without increasing drag or radically altering the design. The Luftwaffe had tried to destroy the RAF, especially the RAF Fighter Command, during the Battle of Britain and had conspicuously failed. When Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, the news was greeted with excitement at the home of No. Freeborn joined the RAF in 1937 and was posted in October 1938 to 74 Squadron with the rank of acting pilot officer. Cancel Reply. Work on the Spitfire design actually began several years before the Hurricane, but because it was a more complex and innovative airplane, it took longer to develop. Het toestel werd in 1938 in productie genomen door Supermarine Division, Vickers Armstrong Ltd..Het toestel werd gedurende de gehele Tweede Wereldoorlog ingezet door de geallieerden, voornamelijk door de RAF.Er werden in totaal 20.340 stuks gebouwd. Mitchell’s efforts at streamlining produced aircraft that were not only graceful but also among the fastest in the world. (Imperial War Museum). But the brunt of the fighting was taken on by the Spitfire and the Hurricane. As one of the few surviving RAF pilots who had flown night patrols against the Germans, his input was invaluable. Officially designated the F.7/30, it was a gull-winged monoplane with an open cockpit and spatted undercarriage. XI: Mach .89 in dive. The Hawker Hurricane won the Battle Of Britain, The Supermarine Spitfire helped. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. Used these days as night-fighters by the enemy. Adrenaline coursed through the pilots as they headed east to intercept aircraft that a searchlight battery had reported approaching the Essex coast at high altitude. Unfortunately, the enemy aircraft supposedly sighted by the searchlight battery did not exist. Hurricanes from 151 Squadron had also been scrambled, and Sqd. Stresses placed upon both aircraft during tests were not measured. By the time war was declared, just under 500 Hurricanes had been delivered. Go!” Freeborn and Byrne turned in their cockpits and saw two aircraft flying a mile behind and about 1,000 feet below the dozen 56 Squadron Hurricanes, which they took to be fighters escorting the unseen Luftwaffe bombers. 610 Squadron, based at Biggin Hill, Kent, fly over South East England. Then, when the Bf-109s were out of position, the Hurricanes would attack the bombers. “I thought, ‘Bloody hell, I’ve got it all wrong,’ and I went between the hangars at 180 mph.”. Glamour usually outshines performance, in war as in love. I know everyone loves the spitfire and is gonna bias it, but what was actually better during the battle of britain? In 1925, when he began building racing airplanes, streamlining was considered more a theoretical exercise than an engineering possibility. Gavin Mortimer is a British historian whose published works include histories of Merrill’s Marauders and the London Blitz. Deighton also noted that the Hurricane had a tighter turning radius than the Spitfire-800 feet for the Hurricane compared with 880 for the Spitfire. The Supermarine Spitfire was a very serious rival to the German Messerschmitt Bf 109, abbreviated Me 109, and it developed during the Battle of Britain in 1940 into a very worthy opponent, although one with different flying qualities. High-ranking officers who had flown during World War I were accustomed to open cockpits, fixed wheels, struts and supporting cables. De Supermarine Spitfire was een Brits jachtvliegtuig. If those officers had had their way, the RAF would have faced the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmitt Bf-109s with obsolete Gloster Gladiators in the spring and summer of 1940. Deighton also noted that the Hurricane had a tighter turning radius than the Spitfire-800 feet for the Hurricane compared with 880 for the Spitfire. Patty Duke, actress, singer; won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16, playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker; president of Screen Actors Guild (1985-88). In spite of their differences, it would be the combination of Hurricane and Spitfire, together that turned the tide in that Summer of 1940. (Imperial War Museum), For attacking formations of bombers, the Hurricane offered better visibility and much greater steadiness for shooting. Ernie Davis, first African American to win Heisman Trophy (Syracuse University); subject of The Express movie (2008). Junior J. Spurrier, received Medal of Honor for his actions in capturing Achain, France. The final proof is the Hurricane outscored the Spitfire in Battle of Britain kills. He had only recently agreed to talk publicly about his wartime experience as the pilot who had flown more operational hours during the Battle of Britain than any other. A squadron of Gloster Gladiator biplanes was actually assigned to defend the Royal Naval dockyards at Portsmouth. 65 (Spitfire) Squadron observed that the Hurricane inflicted greater damage on the enemy bombers than did the Spitfire; but without the Spitfire squadrons to fight the Messerschmitts, the Hurricane-inflicted casualties might not have been enough to win the battle. This meant that the Hurricane could turn inside the Spitfire, like a sports car outmaneuvering a sedan–a vital attribute in air combat. Shirley Jackson, novelist and short story writer (Life Among Savages, The Lottery). But when Dowding decided that eight guns would be needed to destroy an enemy bomber, Camm changed his design. His farsightedness would pay off eight years later, in 1940, when he was chief of RAF Fighter Command. After landing from his test flight, Summers told his ground crew, ‘I don’t want anything touched.’ Although some alterations would be made, he realized from just one flight that the Spitfire was an outstanding fighter. The Hurricane’s maiden flight impressed the Air Ministry, but there were still some who had their doubts about such an ‘unconventional’ airplane-one that had eight machine guns and an enclosed cockpit. This article was originally published in the November 1994 issue of Aviation History Magazine. Pilot Peter Chesters; Pilot Officer Don Cobden, a huge man who had played rugby for New Zealand; and South African Malan. “I was in the middle of 30 or so bloody Germans and it felt good to give the Germans some stick of their own.”, That evening Winston Churchill arrived at 74 Squadron to congratulate the pilots for their achievements. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. When Malan died in 1963 of Parkinson’s disease, The Times of London said in his obituary that he had been an inspiring and unselfish leader in combat and in politics. “They were Germans and they had to go,” he said. I was only a kid and I’d never flown a monoplane.”. It was the material symbol of final victory to the British people in their darkest hour, and was probably the only fighter of the Second World War to achieve legendary status.’. Production went into high gear during the following year, after the Air Ministry realized that the coming conflict was not far off. Eighteen squadrons had been equipped. And now for some out-of-schedule aviation geekiness: Yesterday I encoutnered an off-hand comment about whether the Spitfire or the Messerschmitt … Or, as another pilot said, ‘The Spitfire and the Hurricane complemented each other.’. Malan, who was appointed 74 Squadron’s CO on August 8, frequently consulted Freeborn on tactics. I did not follow as many E/A were engaged and I had noted another of our A/C damaged. But Mitchell made engineering theories more than just possibilities; he turned them into brilliant successes. For in spite of all the facts, it is the myth that is best remembered-the myth of the Spitfire taking on the air fleets of the Luftwaffe single-handedly. (Imperial War Museum CH158). There were no Luftwaffe bombers approaching the coast, so the nervous Royal Air Force pilots sat in the late summer sunshine and waited for what they believed was an imminent enemy attack. P-40 vs Spitfire spitfire. your own Pins on Pinterest 2. In my 2012 Quadrant essay Hermann Goering and the burning of the Bialowieza I made a comment that at the start of the war the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmitt 109 fighter was about on a par with the RAF’s Spitfire, but superior to the Hurricane. Together, they turned the tide of history’s first great air battle. Pilots were instructed to sharpen up their visual identification of aircraft, while the training of controllers, plotters and radar operators was improved. Length: 31 ft. 4 in. Byrne had landed and was under close arrest, and when I landed [squadron commander] George Sampson was waiting and I’m under close arrest. “We landed back at North Weald very angry at the terrible mess-up where our controllers had so irresponsibly vectored two wings onto each other, guns loaded and pilots warned for combat,” he remarked after the war. Harbourne Stephen had a blazing row with him after he heard of his habit of buzzing Luftwaffe pilots who had bailed out. Don Hewitt, TV producer; creator of 60 Minutes. It does not have a definitive answer, however, each aircraft had its strong points and its disadvantages. 111 Squadron at RAF Northolt in December 1937. These thin, elliptically shaped wings would become the fighter’s most recognizable feature. A former pilot of No. The Spitfires in the Battle of Britain were fitted with the Merlin III of 1,030 horsepower. By the time Britain went to war with Germany on September 3, 1939, the war that Air Vice Marshal Dowding had foreseen, 2,160 Spitfires were on order for the RAF. Byrne had shot down the 56 Squadron Hurricane flown by Frank Rose, who managed to bail out, but Freeborn had downed his wingman, 26-year-old Pilot Officer Montague Hulton-Harrop, who was dead, the first British pilot combat fatality of the war. James H. Doolittle, American Air Force general who commanded the first bombing mission over Japan. Nobody’s skills at breaking up bomber formations had improved, and neither side could brag about a clearcut victory over the other. Daarnaast bestond ook nog de variant Seafire, waarvan er 2.594 werden gebouwd. He was a brilliant pilot, but he was as evasive on the ground as he was in the air, a mix of showman and politician. What hadn’t dulled over the years was his character: Like many Yorkshiremen he was forthright, funny and fearless in what he said. Edward Donaldson, who witnessed the attack, had no doubt who was to blame. He could not hear very well-even the engine roar was muffled; his vision was severely restricted, and his entire body was boxed in by the confines of the cockpit. “I was teaching the doctor to fly, as all medical officers were permitted to fly, and there were two blokes playing golf,” he explained. “They went to school together, they both came from Dublin and they fought a lot,” recalled Freeborn. Many pilots owe their lives to this property …. Spider Stacy (Peter Stacy), singer, songwriter, musician with The Pogues band. Dowding’s insistence upon equipping the RAF with these two fighters while he was still attached to Supply and Research paid large dividends in the skies over the south of England during the summer of 1940. Emmett Tyrell, journalist, author, publisher; founded The American Spectator magazine. During the Battle of Britain, between July and September 1940, 19 squadrons of Supermarine Spitfires (372 aircraft at peak on August 30) and 33 squadrons of Hawker Hurricanes (709 aircraft on August 30) faced the Luftwaffe from airports throughout southern England. In 1927, his S.5 racer won the Schneider Trophy with a speed of 281.65 mph. In other words, each had its good points and bad points. Spitfire vs Me-262 fw-190-wurger. Nostradamus [Michel de Nostredame], French astrologer and physician. I gave him a squirt or two and he hit a telegraph pole with his prop and it knocked him to pieces. Ldr. During the Battle of Britain, RAF Fighter Command fielded more Hurricanes than Spitfires, and Hurricanes achieved a similarly greater proportion of combat kills during the Battle. Spider Stacy (Peter Stacy), singer, songwriter, musician with The Pogues band. That was the end of that.”. During that time, Britain’s Air Ministry began looking for a replacement for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) standard fighters, the Bristol Bulldog and Gloster Gladiator, both of which were biplanes. Freeborn’s methods upset some of his fellow pilots. Freeborn did. Mitchell continued to modify his design in 1933 and 1934. In consequence, many seriously damaged Hurricanes were repaired in squadron workshops while badly damaged Spitfires were being written off. He noted that the exploding cannon shells of the Messerschmitt Bf- 109, which inflicted heavy damage to metal skin, had less effect on any sort of girder work-in the same way that bomb blasts so often failed to topple the skeletal British radar towers. Although Freeborn and Malan despised one another, they shared a mutual respect for their flying ability. The Fury was powered by the Rolls-Royce Kestrel, which gave it a maximum speed of 184 mph. Nostradamus [Michel de Nostredame], French astrologer and physician. • Hurricanes had a wooden rear frame covered in fabric and the Spitfire was made completely of metal. 65 Squadron admitted that he had become slightly partisan on the relative merits of the Hurricane and the Spitfire, and noted ‘I would not like to have been a Hurricane pilot in 1940 and greatly respect the courage and achievements of those who were.’ Among RAF pilots, the Spitfire-vs.-Hurricane controversy went on and on, with no quarter given by either side. Later, on September 29, 1931, his S.6B, fitted with a special ‘Sprint’ engine with its horsepower upgraded to 2,550, pushed the world speed record to 407.5 mph. E/A fell as T/p broke up, falling in a spiral. In the early 1930s, when the Air Ministry began looking to replace its biplanes with a more modem fighter, Camm already had a design for what he called his Fury monoplane, a modification of the graceful and highly maneuverable Fury biplane. Perhaps the fairest assessment of what happened that September morning is to attribute it to the fog of war. Revolutionary for its time-it was the RAF’s first monoplane fighter and its first fighter to exceed 300 mph-the Hurricane was still a wood-and-fabric airplane. When Camm heard about RollsRoyce’s PV-12 engine, the Merlin, he modified his new monoplane to accommodate it. Every year I set a goal for myself. Had Flinders not intervened, Freeborn probably would have also shot down a Bristol Blenheim he believed to be a German bomber. June Taylor, choreographer, founder of the June Taylor Dancers featured on Jackie Gleason's TV programs. He was favorably impressed by Mitchell’s F.10/35 except for one item-he wanted eight machine guns. “He told him he was a downright bloody liar.”, The court-martial lasted half a day and, after considering the evidence, the tribunal acquitted Freeborn and Byrne. The first production Hurricanes were delivered to No. Air Vice Marshal Hugh ‘Stuffy’ Dowding, Air Member for Supply and Research, had been in charge of the RAF’s technical development since 1930. Both aircraft were modified many times as the war progressed; they were given larger engines, more spacious cockpits, and 20mm cannons. Enclosed cockpits, retractable landing gears and other features that would become standard for World War II-era airplanes were considered too unorthodox by many authorities, even as late as the mid-to-late 1930s. Miranda Hart, comedian, actress, writer (Miranda Hart's Joke Shop on BBC Radio 2 and its spinoff BBC sitcom TV series Miranda). He was, in short, not only lonely but also extremely uncomfortable. It created friction between Malan and myself, but not the rest of the squadron. ‘Mutt’ Summers, chief test pilot for Vickers and Supermarine, out of the Eastleigh airport in Hampshire. As you fly, the Hurricane and the Spitfire will be flying wing-to-wing with you. Recent tests had shown that the minimum firepower needed to shoot down an enemy bomber was six or, preferably, eight guns, each capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute. But R.J. Mitchell never lived to see the success of his creation. “I took off and went so bloody fast!” he said. Don Hewitt, TV producer; creator of 60 Minutes. Wood and fabric biplanes were familiar; monocoque monoplanes were new and strange to them. It's a Hurricane. “We had two great barristers in Sir Patrick Hastings and Roger Bushell [later murdered by the Nazis for his part in organizing the ‘Great Escape’],” said Freeborn. 2, Acting Flying Officer John Freeborn; and Sgt. The next day there was a squadron scramble that proved to be a false alarm. This meant that the Hurricane could turn inside the Spitfire, like a sports car outmaneuvering a sedan–a vital attribute in air combat. Weight: 7200 lbs. Asked for his opinion of Malan’s famous “Ten Rules for Air Fighting,” which became an unofficial guide for new pilots, Freeborn snorted with derision: “A lot of rubbish. The Hurricanes were to make a mock bomb run over the Kenley airfield in Surrey. The pilot at the controls of either a Hurricane or Spitfire was not the most comfortable person in the world. Fortunately out of the confusion emerged greater clarity. POWs Roger Bushell and Vincent “Paddy” Byrne flank a Luftwaffe guard at Luft Stalag III before the “Great Escape.” (Courtesy of Bob Cossey, 74(F) Tiger Squadron Association), Malan, who reportedly described Freeborn’s actions as “impetuous,” confirmed he had given the order to engage but also claimed that moments later, on realizing his mistake, he had called “friendly aircraft—break away!” Freeborn, Byrne and Flinders all said they never heard the counterorder. The court-martial that took place at HQ Fighter Command on October 17, 1939, was held in private, and the findings have never been published. He gave us the order to attack and we attacked. I was shouting at him to get out of the bloody way, either shoot or let me shoot it. The British Supermarine Spitfire was the only Allied fighter aircraft of the Second World War to fight in front line service from the beginnings of the conflict, in September 1939, through to the end in August 1945. Flight Commander Wilfred “Paddy” Treacy talked him through the controls and then wished the teenager good luck. The first prototype of the aircraft that would become known as the Spitfire was an odd-looking affair. Number one attack. When he was posted in December 1941 as liaison officer to British pilots training in the United States, Freeborn found the Americans’ openness a refreshing change. “Two of our A/C [aircraft] went down immediately,” he wrote. The two men were ferociously strong characters, and the two best pilots in the squadron, as they proved once the Phoney War ended and Germany invaded the Low Countries in May 1940. Hurricane pilots found themselves fighting Messerschmitts as often as did the Spitfire pilots. It also marked the first of Freeborn’s 13½ kills. For more great articles subscribe today! The terrified golfers were a pair of wing commanders, and Freeborn received a reprimand for his prank. The Air Ministry confirmed this with its statement, ‘The total number of enemy aircraft brought down by single-seater fighters was in the proportion of 3 by Hurricanes to 2 by Spitfires,’ and also noted, ‘the average proportion … of serviceable [aircraft] each morning was approximately 63 percent Hurricanes and 37 percent Spitfires.’ A cynic might be tempted to say that the Hurricane did most of the work, but the Spitfire got most of the glory. Spitfire vs. Hurricane: First RAF Combat of World War I . According to Wing Commander Raymond Myles Beacham Duke-Woolley, who flew with the all-American Eagle Squadrons, a fighter pilot was a lonely man. Did that include lying to protect his reputation? “A daft way to die,” reflected Freeborn of his best friend. I heard that the spit only had like 30 sec of ammo. It was a bitter truth for the Allies, forced to deal with a strong, well trained, and modern Luftwaffe (the German air force) that appeared seemingly from nowhere. 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William Green wrote: ‘ the Supermarine Spitfire or the Hawker Hurricane more... It does not have a definitive answer, however, each aircraft had its strong points bad! A sedan–a vital attribute in Air combat from 151 Squadron had also been scrambled, and the.! S efforts at streamlining produced aircraft that would become known as the fastest aircraft... Mitchell wanted and the Hurricane compared with 880 for the next several Minutes, the Omen.! One for its comfort or luxury Bf-109s were out of the Air Ministry until seven months the... Consigned them to their maker. ” Freeborn acknowledged the incident, important factors in s—.. Did his relatively humble upbringing was not far off as another pilot,! Enemy aircraft than the Spitfire, Camm incorporated eight Browning machine guns in his fighter... Particular satisfaction a daft way to die, ” he said he believed to be above.! Mutual dislike enemy ’ s first great Air Battle 2015 October 30 2015! 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