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Into the gathering storm, black and white version by Gary Eason + Flight Artworks
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Into the gathering storm, black and white version by 


Early Mk I Supermarine Spitfires in RAF ‘vic three’ formation, 1939, climbing into a stormy sky.

The Spitfire entered service as a front line fighter in August 1938, the first 77 being powered by the Merlin II engine and a two-blade, wooden, fixed pitch propeller.

The striking Night and White paint scheme of the undersides went through a number of variations, but early on had this complex pattern of alternating mainplanes-fuselage-tailplanes, and ailerons. Underwing roundels had not yet been introduced.

The tight, V-shaped “vic” formation of three aircraft displayed considerable discipline and was designed to concentrate the fighters’ firepower but was hopelessly impractical – pilots had to worry about not hitting each other, so could not keep a proper lookout. It was gradually abandoned after war broke out, though a pilot’s survival might well depend on how quickly this happened in his squadron.

Tags

aeroplane, aircraft, airplane, aviation, camouflage, clouds, cloudscape, flight, flight artworks, flying, looming, mk i, night and white, spitfire, storm clouds, supermarine spitfire, threatening, underside, underwing, vickers, wwii

I am available for commissions to cover educational and theatrical events in particular – including cast portraits and actors’ headshots.

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