Spitfire RW388

The City's Spitfire

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Our Spitfire was donated to Stoke-on-Trent in 1972 to honour the city’s connection to aeroplane designer Reginald Mitchell. Find out more about Spitfire RW388 through the pages and links below.

Spitfire RW388

This Spitfire was built in Castle Bromwich in May 1945. It is a Spitfire Mark XVI (16) with shortened, ‘clipped’ wings and an engine tuned for lower altitudes. Fighter planes had to adapt to different roles during the war and there were many Spitfire variants.

This version could be armed with both machine guns and cannons, as well as bombs under the wings and fuselage. Our Spitfire may never have been fitted with weapons due to entering service so late in the war. It was in Germany just after the Second World War ended and later towed targets for Naval ships to aim their guns.

The aeroplane last flew in 1952 when it was damaged during take-off at RAF Middle Wallop, Hampshire. It spent time as a ‘gate guardian’ outside RAF bases before being donated to Stoke-on-Trent in 1972 in honour of Reginald Mitchell.

Spitfire LF Mk XVIE

Type: Single-seat fighter-bomber
Serial Number: RW388
Call-sign: U-U4 (No. 667 sqdn)
Mark: XVI (16)
Designation: LF (Low altitude fighter)
Wing Type: ‘E’ type with clipped wing tips
Engine: Merlin 266 (1,670 hp)
Airscrew: 4 blade constant speed Rotol airscrew
Top Speed: 406 mph
Range: 430 miles (without extra tanks)
Climb Rate: 20,000 ft in 6 minutes 42 seconds
Service Ceiling: 41,500 ft.

Discover More

More information about Spitfires and the history of RW388.

The Spitfire Evolves

The Spitfire Evolves

Comparing the Spitfire Mk.XVI to the original Spitfire Mk.I (Youtube)
Spitfire RW388 – more information

Spitfire RW388 – more information

A detailed history of the City's Spitfire (PDF)
Other City Spitfires

Other City Spitfires

Other Spitfires with a connection to The Potteries (PDF)
Blog: Crash Landings

Blog: Crash Landings

A delve into RW388's crash reports
Blogs: The Restoration

Blogs: The Restoration

RW388 was extensively restored between 2018-2021
Blogs: Science Behind the Spitfire

Blogs: Science Behind the Spitfire

Our series on Spitfire Science

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