The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft, used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before and after World War II. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft, it was the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; the Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing with cutting-edge sunken rivets to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the Spitfire's development through its multitude of variants.
During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. However, Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes because of the Spitfire's higher performance. During the battle, Spitfires were tasked with engaging Luftwaffe fighters—mainly Messerschmitt Bf 109E-series aircraft, which were a close match for them. After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, saw action in the European, Mediterranean and South-East Asian theatres. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, trainer, it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s; the Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire that served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s.
Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030 hp, it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use powerful Merlins and, in marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340 hp. As a result, the Spitfire's performance and capabilities improved over the course of its service life. In 1931, the Air Ministry released specification F7/30, calling for a modern fighter capable of a flying speed of 250 mph. R. J. Mitchell designed the Supermarine Type 224 to fill this role; the 224 was an open-cockpit monoplane with bulky gull-wings and a large, spatted undercarriage powered by the 600-horsepower, evaporatively cooled Rolls-Royce Goshawk engine. It made its first flight in February 1934. Of the seven designs tendered to F7/30, the Gloster Gladiator biplane was accepted for service; the Type 224 was a big disappointment to Mitchell and his design team, who embarked on a series of "cleaned-up" designs, using their experience with the Schneider Trophy seaplanes as a starting point.
This led to the Type 300, with retractable undercarriage and a wingspan reduced by 6 ft. This design was submitted to the Air Ministry in July 1934, but was not accepted, it went through a series of changes, including the incorporation of a faired, enclosed cockpit, oxygen-breathing apparatus and thinner wings, the newly developed, more powerful Rolls-Royce PV-XII V-12 engine named the "Merlin". In November 1934, with the backing of Supermarine's owner Vickers-Armstrong, started detailed design work on this refined version of the Type 300. On 1 December 1934, the Air Ministry issued contract AM 361140/34, providing £10,000 for the construction of Mitchell's improved Type 300, design. On 3 January 1935, they formalised the contract with a new specification, F10/35, written around the aircraft. In April 1935, the armament was changed from two.303 in Vickers machine guns in each wing to four.303 in Brownings, following a recommendation by Squadron Leader Ralph Sorley of the Operational Requirements section at the Air Ministry.
On 5 March 1936, the prototype took off on its first flight from Eastleigh Aerodrome. At the controls was Captain Joseph "Mutt" Summers, chief test pilot for Vickers, quoted as saying "Don't touch anything" on landing; this eight-minute flight came four months after the maiden flight of the contemporary Hurricane. K5054 was fitted with a new propeller, Summers flew the aircraft on 10 March 1936. After the fourth flight, a new engine was fitted, Summers left the test flying to his assistants, Jeffrey Quill and George Pickering, they soon discovered that the Spitfire was a good aircraft, but not perfect. The rudder was oversensitive, the top speed was just 330 mph, little faster than Sydney Camm's new Merlin-powered Hurricane. A new and better-shaped wooden propeller allowed the Spitfire to reach 348 mph in level flight in mid-May, when Summers flew K5054 to RAF Martlesham Heath and handed the aircraft over to Squadron Leader Anderson of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. Here, Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Edwardes-Jones took over the prototype for the RAF.
He had been given orders to fly the aircraft and to make his report to the Air Ministry on landing. Edwardes-Jones' report was positive.
Richard Atley Donald was a Major League Baseball pitcher. A native of Morton, the right-hander played for the New York Yankees from 1938 to 1945. "Swampy", as he was nicknamed, stood 6 ft 1 in and weighed 186 lbs. Donald was a fourth or fifth starter during his career, sometimes used in relief; the Yankees won two American League pennants while he was on their staff, winning the 1941 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He made his major league debut on April 21, 1938 in a start against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park; the Yankees lost 3 -- 2. He started in one more game for New York that season returned to the minor league Newark Bears. Donald was back for good in 1939, set a league record for consecutive wins by a rookie. On July 25 he defeated the St. Louis Browns 5–1, increasing his record to a perfect 12–0, he finished the season 13–3 with an earned run average of 3.71 and led the league in winning percentage. He remained a consistent winner throughout the remainder of his career and never had a losing season after going 0–1 in 1938.
He finished in the league's top ten twice more for winning percentage with records of 9–5 and 11–3, respectively. In two World Series appearances, however, he was 0–1 with a 7.71 ERA. In 1943 or 44 he was reported to be the fastest pitcher with fast balls measured at 98 mph. Beset by eye and elbow injuries and now 34 years old, Donald made his last major league appearance on July 13, 1945, his season record was 5–4 with the lowest ERA of his career, 2.97. Career totals include a 65–33 record in 153 games pitched, 115 games started, 54 complete games, 6 shutouts, 28 games finished, 1 save, an ERA of 3.52. In 932.1 innings pitched he struck out 369 and walked 369. He hit.160 in 356 at bats with one home run and 23 RBI. Donald was a Yankee scout for many years after retiring as a player, he played college baseball for Louisiana Tech. He died at the age of 82 in Louisiana. Donald scouted New York Yankee pitcher Ron Guidry. In 1978, as a rookie, Guidry won 13 consecutive games, breaking Donald's American League record of 12 consecutive victories by a rookie set in 1939.
Prince Aribert Joseph Alexander of Anhalt was regent of Anhalt from September to November 1918 on behalf of his underage nephew, Duke Joachim Ernst. As regent, following the German revolution, he abdicated in the name of his nephew on 12 November 1918, thus ending the rule of the House of Ascania in Anhalt. Prince Aribert was born in Germany, he was the fourth son of Frederick I, Duke of Anhalt, Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg. Anhalt was a Sovereign Duchy in the German Empire. On 6 July 1891, he married Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Princess Marie Louise was the daughter of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, making her a granddaughter of Queen Victoria; the bride's first cousin, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, had been instrumental in arranging the match. In December 1900, the Duke of Anhalt used his prerogative as reigning Duke to annul the marriage. Princess Marie Louise, on an official visit to Canada at the time returned to England.
According to her memoirs, she regarded. Her memoirs do, indicate rage over her marital experience and an obvious dislike of her former husband. Though contemporary sources did not directly suggest it was a cause of his marriage dissolution, a number of contemporaries and subsequent historical accounts suggest Aribert was bisexual or homosexual, some have suggested an indiscretion with a male attendant was the catalyst for the dissolution and that the marriage had never been consummated. However, other sources suggested he was planning to remarry. Aribert was known to holiday on Capri, an island with a reputation for attracting homosexual liaisons; when his nephew, Joachim Ernst, succeeded his father as Duke of Anhalt on 13 September 1918, Prince Aribert was appointed regent due to the young age of Joachim Ernst. Aribert's brief regency came to an end on 12 November 1918 when he abdicated in the name of his nephew following the German revolution; the duchy subsequently became the Free State of Anhalt.