Pan American World Airways
, most commonly known as "Pan Am", was the principal international airline
of the United States
from the 1930s
until its collapse in 1991
. Originally founded as a seaplane
service out of Key West, Florida
, the airline became a major company; it was credited with many innovations that shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet aircraft
, jumbo jets
, and computerized reservation systems. Identified by its blue globe logo and the use of "Clipper" in aircraft names and call signs
, the airline was a cultural icon of the 20th century, and the unofficial flag carrier
of the United States. Pan Am went through two incarnations after 1991. The second Pan Am operated from 1996
with a focus on low-cost, long-distance flights between the U.S. and the Caribbean
. The current incarnation, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
and known as the Pan Am "Clipper Connection", is operated by Boston-Maine Airways
. The airline currently flies to destinations in the northeastern United States
, Dominican Republic
, and Puerto Rico
The Supermarine Spitfire was a single-seat fighter used by the RAF and many Allied countries in World War II.
Produced by Supermarine, the Spitfire was designed by R.J. Mitchell, who continued to refine it until his death from cancer in 1937. The elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a faster top speed than the Hurricane and other contemporary designs; it also resulted in a distinctive appearance. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire saw service during the whole of World War II, in all theatres of war, and in many different variants.
More than 20,300 examples of all variants were built, including two-seat trainers, with some Spitfires remaining in service well into the 1950s. It was the only fighter aircraft to be in continual production before, during and after the war.
The aircraft was dubbed Spitfire by Sir Robert MacLean, director of Vickers (the parent company of Supermarine) at the time, and on hearing this, Mitchell is reported to have said, "...sort of bloody silly name they would give it." The word dates from Elizabethan times and refers to a particularly fiery, ferocious type of person, usually a woman. The name had previously been used unofficially for Mitchell's earlier F.7/30 Type 224 design.
The prototype (K5054) first flew on March 5, 1936, from Eastleigh Aerodrome (later Southampton Airport). Testing continued until May 26, 1936, when Mutt Summers (Chief Test Pilot for Vickers (Aviation) Ltd.) flew K5054 to Martlesham and handed the aircraft over to Squadron Leader Anderson of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE).
- Length: 29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)
- Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)
- Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
- Number Built: 20,351 (excluding Seafires)
- Maximum speed: 330 knots (378 mph, 605 km/h)
- Maiden flight: March 5, 1936
- Powerplant: 1× Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 supercharged V12 engine, 1470 hp at 9250 ft (1096 kW at 2820 m)