Flightglobal Archive

The Flightglobal Archive invites you to explore 100 years of aviation history as it appeared in the original pages of Flight Magazine from 1909-2005

War & Defence

See our War & Defence category page chronicling historical events in aviation including World Wars I & II, plus the aircraft involved

70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Flightglobal collates the news, from its archive, as the Battle of Britain unfolded 70 years ago on 10 July.

Read from our rich historical aviation source about the battle for Britain's skies, with in-depth analysis on the fighting aircraft used by allies and the enemy.

Keep up to date with news, images, video interviews about the proposed new Battle of Britain Beacon, to be built in north London at the RAF Museum on the site of the former Hendon Aerodrome

On this aircraft page we bring you the information about the aircraft involved in the Battle of Britain from our own archive.

See our original coverage of the battle, read an article about the training of German pilots, technical information of some of the aircraft flown by allies and enemies in the battle and see cutaway drawings

Read for yourself in the 18 July issue how Flight recorded the beginning of the battle and how the British acknowledged that the German's will perform a "massed attack...."

We wrote: “The Battle of France has been lost. The Battle of Britain is to come. It may be a battle on land, it will certainly be one in the air. The raids so far conducted against this country are only preliminary bouts.

“The great assault is still impending. It will be a massed attack. The Germans, we may be sure, are organising with all their diabolical thoroughness a network of air bases in Northern France, Belgium, Holland and Norway for the purpose of launching a vast onslaught upon this island. We shall be hard put to it to stem the overflowing waves of assault.

"Our interceptors are splendid. “Our anti-aircraft guns and searchlights are efficient in the extreme. Still, some raiders must come through, and if huge masses start, flying very high, then large numbers will evade our defence, simply because the sky is wide and high….”


Hawker Hurricane

Flight wrote in its 31 October 1940 issue, “has the distinction not only of having brought down more enemy aeroplanes than any other type (the figure is believed to be well over 1,500 confirmed victories) but of having borne the brunt of the battle during the earlier stages of the war. It is continuing its good work now.”



Supermarine Spitfire

Flight wrote in its 14 September 1944 issue, "The Spitfire XIV may be expected to prove equal to the task of guarding against any surprises. What has made the new high-altitude fighter possible is the introduction by the Rolls-Royce firm of a two-speed, two-stage supercharger for the Griffon."



German Aircraft

Flight wrote in its 14 September 1939 issue, "EXCEPTING possibly Russia, Germany has been more reticent on the subject of her air force than any of the great Powers. Despite this, Flight has managed to collect and correlate a good deal of information on current types of German military aircraft."



Related blog

The Flight Blog: Allied and enemy aircraft of the Battle of Britain (including links to images, cutaway drawings and technical descriptions)

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