In 1936 a sleek new aircraft, the Supermarine type 300 soon to be called the Spitfire took to the air, designed by Supermarine's Chief Designer R. J. Mitchell. Due to its adaptability the Spitfire played a major part in tipping the balance of the air war in all theatres of operation across the globe, turning the Spitfire into a British icon and continuing in military service well into the 1950s. It can still regularly be seen flying today and in steadily greater numbers thanks to huge investments in time and money by their often private owners in cooperation with specialist restoration companies. This continued interest is a testament to a much loved icon of British aeronautical achievement and to its designer, R. J. Mitchell.
A few of years ago I decided to look into putting together a brand new colour cutaway of the Spitfire and using my experience from working on Flight International's aircraft cutaways.The result is that I recently completed the first cutaway of the Spitfire Mk. Ia. which was included alongside the Eurofighter Typhoon cutaway in the Farnborough issue of Flight InternationaI's RAF 100 poster. Each cutaway is meticulously drawn and coloured by hand using the photoshop software and a mouse (not pet!) making them fairly easy to modify. Information has been taken from numerous books, plans, contemporary maintenence manuals, illustrations and photographs, showing stripped down airframes at aircraft restoration facilities from around the world drawing on the wealth of images on the internet.
This is an ongoing project and other marks of Spitfire will be produced. Already completed as cutaways are the Mk.Vc, Mk.VII, Mk.VIII. and Mk.IX. The Mk.VIII & IX have been completed as A2 posters with diagrams and key but will be printed at a future date due to costs. Upcoming Spitfires for 2019 will be the Seafire and the low back bubble canopy variant Mk.XVI. Due to substantial redrawing/modification of the cutaway the later marks of Griffon engined Spitfire from the Mk.XVIII onwards and should be completed about mid 2019 other work permitting. The way they have been put together also means they can be customised to cover different camouflage/paint schemes or equipment fit dependent on a customers requirements.
The poster of the Spitfire Mk. Ia has been printed as an A2 sized (594 x 420mm) lithographic print on 250gsm silk art paper, each signed and numbered by myself, an initial batch of 300 has been printed. Theses are priced at £30 including postage and packaging. A commemorative D-Day A3 poster has also been printed depicting the Spifire Mk. IXc. These are £15 including post and packing. The Spitfire Mk. Ia poster includes detailed diagrams of the engine and cockpit area, a 180 item key of the parts of the aircraft as well as a side elevation and the story of Spitfire Mk Ia and the story of the men and women involved with its development. These details will also be included on all subsequent A2 Spitfires posters.