Wednesday, March 08, 2006

70 Years of Spitfires

Kim Du Toit notes that the 70th anniversary of the first flight of the British Supermarine Spitfire was a few days ago on March 4th. They're perhaps the most beautiful and graceful airplanes ever. They're also very loud as this work-unsafe clip can attest.

UPDATE: I did some basic math and eyeballing. The wingspan of a spitfire is about 37 feet. Which means that Spitfire was flying at about 12 to 15 feet. Given the size of the propeller and the theoretic height of the television host, I calculate that he probably had to change those nice white pants after shooting the clip.

UPDATE2: Ok here's a Battle of Britian joke:
In the early aerial battles of WWII, a Swedish immigrant to Great Britain was working his way to becoming a flying ace. His battles were often ferocious, as he took on multiple bandits in free-wheeling dogfights. Interviewed by a reporter, he described his latest battle against the Huns.

“I sees one of the Fokkers bearing down on me from above, but I turns into him and shoots the Fokker down. Then his wingman gets on my tail, but I turns the tables on him, and I shoots that Fokker down too!”

The reporter interjects, “The Germans were flying Fokkers?”

“Nah,” he replies. “Der Fokkers vas flying Messerschmidts!”

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