Eastleigh, March 1936
As is widely known, the entire Spitfire family originated from one prototype aircraft. By the time it was constructed and rolled out prior to its maiden flight, it was referred to as Supermarine Type 300 – the name hadn’t yet been chosen for the new aircraft. It was assigned the RAF serial K5054.
With a two-bladed fine pitch propeller, exterior metal finish unpainted and its fabric-covered ailerons, elevators and rudder doped in silver, K5054 awaited its maiden flight at Eastleigh on March 5, 1936, and it is in this state that the aircraft is depicted in this colour profile.
K5054 had many features which distinguish it from later production machines: fine-pitch propeller, slightly different shape of the nose, flush engine exhausts, tail skid, diagonal balance horn at the top of the rudder, solid wheel hubs, different shape of the radiator housing, fully covered wheels when retracted, tail skid.
Piloted by Captain Joseph “Mutt” Summers, the first flight of the future Spitfire lasted a total of 8 minutes.