New from Pen & Sword Books is “The Spitfire: An Icon of the Skies,” by Philip Kaplan.
The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire, together with its partner the Hawker Hurricane, saved Britain from Nazi invasion in the summer of 1940 and changed the course of the Second World War.
This new book celebrates one of history’s most important weapons in a new light. A British national icon, the Spitfire is the best-known symbol of the war years for generations of Britons. From the deep, haunting growl of its Rolls-Royce engine, to the elegant style of its elliptical wing, it is perhaps the most famous and revered combat airplane ever built.
Kaplan investigates just what it is that fuels the Spitfire’s compelling mystique. During wartime, it held an unrivaled reputation amongst Allied and Axis airmen. Today, it continues to hold aviation enthusiasts in thrall.
The origin and evolution of the plane are tracked, and the story of the Merlin engine that powered so many Spitfires through those challenging war years and beyond is brought to life.
Kaplan considers the phenomenon of the burgeoning warbird movement, a worldwide effort to restore, preserve and display scores of Spitfires and many other military aircraft types for hundreds of thousands of air show visitors the world over.
There are only a few airworthy Mark I Spitfires today and this book centers round the Mk Ia AR213, whose total restoration to flying status was completed in 2008.
Kaplan has written and co-authored 47 books on aviation, military and naval subjects.
The hardback, 232-page book is available for $44.95.