The Spitfire is probably the most legendary aircraft of World War II. Over 22,500 of them were built continuously in countless variants until well after the end of the Second World War. The 12-cyl. developed for the Spitfire. Initially producing 1,175 hp, the Merlin engine was so outstanding that it was built under license in the USA. At the beginning of World War II, the RAF had already introduced the Spitfire Mk. I to their fighter units, which proved its effectiveness in the Battle of Britain. In August 1940 the first Spitfire Mk. II left the factory in Castle-Bromwich. She was now equipped with a 3-blade propeller as standard and received additional armor for the pilot. A total of 990 Mk. II machines were built. In addition to its role as an interceptor, the Spitfire also served as a fighter-bomber and photo-reconnaissance aircraft.