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The Spitfire marks 70 years.

// News about the fact that the Spitfire marks 70 years.

The Supermarine Spitfire, a plane that became an emblem for the British and Canadian air forces in the Second World War, marked its 70th anniversary Sunday (March 5, 2006).

Alex Henshaw, now with 93-year-old, was the chief test pilot for the plane making sure successive versions of the plane were able to take on the Germans, first in the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 and then all over the world.

  At 4:35 yesterday afternoon, he sat again in a two-seat version of the Spit, as it is affectionately known, and took to the skies over the fighter's Southampton birthplace, accompanied by four other Spitfires in a V formation.

The eight-minute flight recreated the scene on March 5, 1936, when one of the world's most celebrated warplanes took off for the first time from Eastleigh airfield - now Southampton International Airport. The aircraft had been designed by the famous RJ Mitchell, at Supermarine's factory in the Hampshire city.

March 6, 2006

Scotsman Heritage&Culture

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