Per ardua ad astra

The history of the Spitfire is a catalogue of triumph against adversity. Its designer, the aeronautical engineer RJ Mitchell, died in 1937, three years before his creation’s finest hour. Throughout its history, the Royal Air Force had been dismissive of fighter aircraft, hewing to the conventional wisdom that the bomber would always get through. When, in 1931, the British Air Ministry put out its original request for new fighters, F7/30, three designs were selected, and none of them proved to be much good. The Air Ministry briefly considered ordering aircraft from Poland instead.

Per ardua ad astra