Supermarine Spitfire Timeline

3 January 1935

Air ministry give Supermarine a contract to develop their Type 300 prototype.

5 March 1936

First flight of the Spitfire prototype

3 June 1936

Air Ministry places order for the first 310 Spitfire Mk Is.

27 June 1936

First public appearance of the Spitfire prototype at Royal Air Force Pageant, Hendon

11 June 1937

R.J. Mitchell dies of cancer, aged 42

14 May 1938

First production Spitfire (K9787) flies for first time.

August 1939

No. 19 Squadron becomes the first one to receive the Spitfire I

3 September 1939

Outbreak of the Second World War. The RAF has eight fully equipped Spitfire squadrons, with 187 Spitfires.

24 September 1939

First flight of the Mk II

August 1940

No. 611 squadron at Digby becomes the first squadron to receive the Mk II.

January 1941

First Mk V produced

February 1941

No.92 squadron becomes first to receive the Mk V

March 1941

Decision taken to mass produce the Mk V instead of the Mk III.

September 1941

First flight of the prototype Mk III with the Merlin 61 engine as used in the Mk IX, VII and VII

October 1941

Appearance of the Mk Vc with the universal “c” wing.

December 1941

First production Mk VIs completed

21 February 1942

First prototype Mk IX takes to the air

7 March 1942

First overseas deployment of the Spitfire when fifteen Mk Vbs are flown to Malta from HMS Eagle.

April 1942

Mk IX assessed by AFDU

June 1942

Mk IX enters full production

July 1942

First Mk IXs enter operational service.

August 1942

First production Mk VII completed

12 September 1942

Mk IX takes part in highest combat of the war, at 43,000 feet over Southampton against a Ju 86R, which escapes.

October 1942

End of Mk VI production

November 1942

First Mk VIIIs produced

February 1943

First Griffon powered Mk XIIs enter service with No.41 squadron.

June 1943

Mk VIII enters service with No. 145 Squadron on Malta

January 1944

Mk XIV entered front line service with No.610 squadron.

Early 1944

End of Mk VII production.

April 1944

Mk VIIIs reach Australia, replaced Mk Vc around Darwin.

5 October 1944

Mk IXbs of 401 squadron become first allied aircraft to shoot down an Me 262

April 1945

Mk 21 goes operational with No.91 Squadron.

Prototypes - Mk I - Mk II - Mk III - Mk V - Mk VI - Mk VII - Mk VIII - Mk IX - Mk XII - Mk XIV - Mk XVI - Mk XVIII - Mk 21 to 24 - Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires - Spitfire Wings - Timeline

Air War Index - Air War Links - Air War Books

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 March 2007), Supermarine Spitfire Timeline, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/timeline_spitfire.html

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