Around the world people regard the Supermarine Spitfire as THE fighter aircraft. Even German fighter pilots asked for Spitfires and those shot down, often by a Hawker Hurricane, refused to accept that anything but a Spitfire could have been responsible for their defeat. When it first flew it was the most beautiful of aircraft and even seventy years later it still looks beautiful. It was to serve in the RAF throughout WWII and on into peacetime and the Cold War. The Seafire variant performed a similar outstanding service with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. It was to serve under many colours and continue in combat into the 1950s and well into the age of the jet. Through its production life, it increased in weight and the engine power more than doubled. It was loved by its pilots and is much admired on the air show circuits. This outstanding and unique reputation has made the Spitfire an enduring icon without equal and inspired a deluge of books about it, its pilots and its exploits. Each new book seems to be an instant success even when it adds very little to what has already been written. This new book deserves to sell very strongly around the world, taking a novel approach to its subject and adding much new information. Few readers will have the funds to buy a real Spitfire or to resurrect a Spitfire from wreckage. A fully restored example will sell for well in excess of one million British pounds and a major restoration is likely to take many years and reach a similar cost. A few more may be fortunate to fly a Spitfire or take a ride in one of the few flying two-seat versions. A larger number may own a model from a small plastic or metal replica to a powered radio controlled replica with a wing span of more than two metres. Many will simply enjoy reading this book for the pleasure of learning more about an amazing machine. Haynes Publications core business has been the publication of very high quality owners’ manuals and restoration manuals for road vehicles, where they produce a practical engineering manual from stripping a vehicle and examining every component, photographing every step. They have applied this approach to the Spitfire and the result works extremely well. Full colour has been used throughout and although some images are only available in single colour much is available in full colour. There are detailed drawings and well-scripted captions to all illustrations. Many of the images will not have been seen before in any previous Spitfire book. The book begins by looking at the family of Spitfires.