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The Supermarine Spitfire was
an iconic British single-seat fighter used primarily by the
RAF and many Allied countries through the Second World War
and into the 1950s.
Produced by the Supermarine subsidiary
of Vickers-Armstrongs, the Spitfire was designed by the company's
Chief Designer R. J. Mitchell, who continued to refine the
design until his death from cancer in 1937, the position of
chief designer then filled by his colleague, Joseph Smith
. Its elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing
a higher top speed than the Hawker Hurricane and other contemporary
designs; it also resulted in a distinctive appearance, enhancing
its overall streamlined features. Much loved by its pilots,
the Spitfire saw service during the whole of the Second World
War and subsequent years, in all theatres of war, and in many