Excellent Doco On Netflix "spitfire: The Plane That Saved The World"

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Blitz, May 9, 2020.

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  1. Blitz

    Blitz Master Survivalist

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    If anyone is interested, there is an extremely good doco on Netflix about the evolution of the Spitfire, "Spitfire: The Plane that Saved the World". It was produced in 2018. The Spitfire is hands down my favourite aircraft of the Second World War and although I've seen just about all docos regarding this beautiful aircraft, including hours spend at Dunsfold Aerodrome War Museum in the UK as well as Duxford and airshows at Farnborough, there are some interviews from pilots that haven't been previously aired. The last 20 minutes brought a tear or two to my eye.

    My mother married one of the engineers who helped design the elliptical wing. I remember when I went to the UK when I was around 15, seeing all the model aircraft and a Schneider Trophy that sat pride of place on my step-father's desk - influential in the precursor Supermarine Spitfire. Probably the reason for my love of the Spitfire.

    It was through my step-father that my mother met Douglas Bader. I still have an old black and white photo of them together on the wing of a Hurricane (I think, from memory), as well as a separate photo of Bader.

    Anyway, if you're interested in military history, definitely worth a watch.
  2. Sourdough

    Sourdough "eleutheromaniac"

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    Last edited: May 10, 2020
    watcherchris, wally and Blitz like this.
    1. Blitz
      It's amazing how many times the Spitfire's design changed to keep up with the demands of war. Particularly the Focke-Wulf which I think was the only German plane that really scared the Brits in the air. Not that the Messerschmitt wasn't a good aircraft but the Focke-Wulf was a bit of a game changer. When you look at the earlier Spitfires and then the later models, the wing design changed quite dramatically.
      Blitz, May 10, 2020
  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist

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    And some brave British pilot flying a Spitfire saved my uncle's life.

    I not too long back watched that documentary. How fast England went into production on that magnificent machine!

    One of my uncles saw the worst of WWII; saw hedgerow combat, survived the Battle of the Bulge, on and on and on; half his company was killed. He and his mates were once pinned down by machine-gun fire from a German tank. They were going to die. They call in for support. Spitfire pilot strafes the tank, sets it alight. Pilot turns his Spitfire, comes back round upside-down and waves to the men whose lives he just saved. Gosh, I so hope that pilot survived the war. If he did not, then may innumerable blessings from God cascade upon him eternally in Heaven. The pilot sure did his part to wipe out the NAZI cause (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism).

    My uncle got to live and keep on fighting.
  4. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    The Spitfire is indeed a very nice looking and graceful airplane...very clean design...by RJ Mitchell and Supermarine Company.

    As I recall...in the progression of the war...the Spitfire underwent a significant number of modifications....particularly more powerful engines as well as armament ...giving her a very significant sting. Some variations even clipped the wings to get more speed..

    At least in the early days the Spitfire had one drawback which was to plague many fighter designs....and that is range....most had short legs as it is often called. It is difficult with a very powerful engine fighter ..to also have high performance and long range. It was a very significant design struggle to ensure both range and performance.
    This was to be a significant and critical problem for the allied forces in the Pacific during WW2 with such large bodies of water to cross with fighter escorts....that is a big...big ocean..

    My favorite British Airplane is the De Havilland Mosquito...using the same Famous Merlin Engine....the Engine which was to power also the American P51 Mustangs....as well as most of the Spitfires.

    And the De Havilland Mosquito had long range....significantly long range and was , like the Spitfire, to undergo many changes and variants throughout the war.

    De Havilland Mosquitos were to be licensed to be built in Canada, and Australia during the war as well as England.
    Some were flown by the US Army Air Corps during the war ...because of the "Mossie's" long range. She was ideally suited for certain long range endurance tasks.
    And she was fast...too...quite fast ...as fast as many single engine fighters.

    Like the Spitfire ...the DeHavilland Mosquito ...only has a small number of planes in existence today capable and or certified for flight. One of them is at a Small Military Museum about 35 miles south of me. This "Mossie " as it is sometimes called was hand built in New Zealand....for this museum company. I find it a beauty to watch in the engine start up and take off.

    Quite a rare thing to see a flying Mosquito today.
    Oh...they also have a flying Spitfire MK IX there as well as a flying Hurricane.
    That is the odd thing about this museum...the airplanes...fly..
    Lots of museums have static displays..but few have flying historic aircraft

    Here this link..


    Unfortunately because of the current virus situation the Museum is closed to the public.

    A good time to be maintaining the planes and other equipment while closed..to the public.

    Oh..and I've read the bio of Douglas Bader and what happened to him before and during the War...very interesting account.

    Thanks for the trip down memory/history lane.

    Not an Ishmaelite.
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
    Blitz and TMT Tactical like this.
  5. Blitz

    Blitz Master Survivalist

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    Yes, I had forgotten about the Mosquito. A beautiful airplane. There's nothing quite like the old war planes. There's a certain "je ne sais pas" quality about them. Although I have to say, I'm quite fond of the new fighter jets.

    Yes, it is rare to see the old beauties in the air nowadays. I think they are mostly reserved for millionaires who can afford to have them restored and pay for the upkeep. It would be nice to have money for such luxuries!

    I remember my mother saying Douglas Bader was a top bloke and very interesting conversationalist (not surprisingly!).
  6. watcherchris

    watcherchris Legendary Survivalist

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    Indeed Blitz..I too like the olde propeller aircraft as well.

    Oh..I Like jets too and the Air Force base right up the road from me...Langley AFB has the new F22 fighters based there.

    But none the less...I like to watch the olde propeller planes fly ..

    On occasion the Canadians will get clearance and fly their Lancaster four engine bomber down here to Virginia and then back to Canada….make a pass at the air show in Virginia Beach, Virginia and then back to Canada. That is a long range airplane and one of only a handful in the world still flying. I think those are Merlin Engines too on the Lancaster.


    As I recall the bio of Douglas Bader...he never quite gave up trying to escape and get back in to the war effort..despite his having lost his legs.

    Even the Germans respected him for not yielding to his injuries and getting back into the cockpit.

    However..in humor ….though it was a serious attempt on his part..at one time when the Germans caught him trying to escape ...they took his artificial legs..

    At one time as I recall...Douglas Bader had one of his artificial legs damaged..and the Germans communicated to the British for the doctors who had made his initial set and knew specifically of his needs. A new leg was made and special permission made to allow the British to overfly and drop his new leg by parachute....

    Such was the fame of Douglas Bader on both sides of the war...even as a POW he was well known and respected...on both sides.

    Now that is the stuff of legend ...a man and a real leader..

    The world needs more leaders like Douglas Bader...respected on all sides...men who can rough it ...go the distancer...in spite of conditions....

    Not an Ishmaelite.
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    Blitz likes this.
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