It is difficult to overestimate the excitement that accompanied the birth of the Spitfire. An aircraft imbued with balletic grace and extraordinary versatility, it was powered by a piston engine and a propeller, yet came tantalisingly close to breaking the sound barrier. First flown in 1936, the Spitfire soon came to symbolize Britain's defiance of Nazi Germany in the summer of 1940. Flown by pilots of many nations, it saw service as far afield as Australia and the Soviet Union.
Spitfire: The Biography is a celebration of a great British invention, of the men and women who flew it and supported its development, and of the industry that manufactured both the aircraft and the Rolls-Royce engines that powered it. It is also about a boy who wished he could have been a Second World War fighter pilot and who was later able to fly the aircraft that took his father into combat.