Anatomy of the Spitfire Cockpit

Spitfire Site

The control column with the famous RAF-standard “spade grip”. The gun button at the top of it was actually a multi-position air valve – ...

Anatomy of the Spitfire Cockpit

The control column with the famous RAF-standard “spade grip”. The gun button at the top of it was actually a multi-position air valve – the guns in the Spitfire were operated pneumatically. Pressing the upper part of the button would fire the cannon, the lower part fired the “.303 Browning guns. The pilot could also select the raised middle portion of the button, thus firing a salvo of all armament simultaneously. The three pneumatic lines can be seen running down the control column.

This particular Spitfire has also a camera-only operating button placed in the lower part of the grip.

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