In an exclusive interview with the RAF Benevolent Fund, Spitfire pilot and Battle of Britain veteran Squadron Leader Nigel Rose reveals his feelings about flying the Spitfire.
"It was a beautiful aircraft to fly," he says, "it had no bad habits, it had its own personality, and as some people have said once you were sitting in the cockpit and strapped in, you felt part of it and it felt part of you."
Rose had initially trained with biplane Hawker Harts and Hawker Hinds in the flying that he had done before the war, but these were antiquated machines compared with the state-of-the-art Supermarine Spitfire.
The 1940 incarnation of the Spitfire had just over 1040 horsepower – almost twice as much as the machines that Rose had learnt in – though the power in later versions increased to 2000 horsepower.
"Even the people nowadays who fly Spitfires ... they all decide that this is something out of this world. It did what it was told and seemed to enjoy it."