The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft. It was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire was designed by R. J. Mitchell as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft. There were more Spitfires made than any other British aircraft and it was the only British fighter that was being made throughout the war.
The Spitfire's elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Speed was seen as essential to carry out the mission of home defence against enemy bombers. The original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp (768 kW).