An account of the birth and production history as told by the principal test pilot for Vickers, Jeffrey Quill. This account details the continual process of upgrading the Spitfire that led to its being in production throughout World War II; Quill’s tale of the development of the later Griffon-engined Spitfires is very telling, especially the incident where he took the prototype Griffon-engined Spitfire to a demonstration which was intended to show the Spitfire to be outmoded when put up against the best German fighter of the day (the Fw.190) and the aircraft Hawker’s were trying to promote, the Typhoon. Much to everyone’s surprise, the Spitfire won..
If this book has a fault, it is that it concentrates on the development history and accompanying politics connected with the Spitfire, and neglects the production process and some of the service background. But it is nonetheless a fascinating account of an iconic aircraft.