For the first time in preservation history, the Imperial War Museum at Duxford is hosting twelve Spitfires in an open hangar setting. The twelve are by no means the only Spitfires left in existence, but these represent all of the significant marques, developed during World War 2.
They are all highlights in their own right, but one stands out; PL983 a blue, photo reconnaissance mark XI Spitfire that flew across occupied Europe during the War, taking photographs of enemy positions, factories and reporting back on bomb damage. Stripped of its guns to reduce weight and increase speed, PL983 was an information gathering camera platform.
Today, its sleek fuselage, wings and tailplane are adorned with thousands of hand written names in white ink; donors to the NHS’ “Just Giving” campaign. By the end of September, it is estimated that some 80,000 names will fill every available space on the Spitfire.
Other Spitfires on display are in desert camouflage, have twin seats as a training aircraft and one late model is fitted with a Rolls Royce Griffon engine, a massive power plant that produces fifty percent more power than the original Merlin and made that Spitfire marque one of the fastest aircraft of it kind, ever.
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