Interesting Facts about R.J Mitchell

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R.J Mitchell or Reginald Mitchell is famous for his contribution during the Second World War for his design of an aeroplane the ‘œSpitfire’. The plane is said to have been a revolutionary contribution to the war and was associated with Britain.

Here are some lesser known facts about R.J Mitchell.

Mitchell has born in 1895 at Staffordshire in Butt Lane. He left school in the year 1911 after which he is said to have joined a locomotive engineering company named Kerr Stewart and Co. in Stoke.

Although R.J Mitchell is known for his designing of an aeroplane, he had no formal training in the field of aerodynamics.

Having left school he did not lose his passion for studies. He worked during the day and joined a night school to continue his education. There he pursued mechanics, engineering and higher mathematics. He even learned to use the lathe machine for his practical.

Mitchell joined Supermarine Aviation Works in the year 1917. He was employed as a designer for the company and given due recognition for his skills after which he got promoted to Chief Designer within a year. Supermarine Aviation Works later went on to become synonymous with the Spitfire.

Supermarine was known for designing and manufacturing of seaplanes.

Apart from his fame of having designed the Spitfire, Mitchell is also known for having designed Supermarine’s Sea King II and creation of the Sea Lion II.

The latter was known for defeating Italians and winning over the Schneider Trophy, a speed contest that was conducted between seaplane manufacturing companies. Had they not been defeated by the Sea Lion II, Italy would have had the trophy for herself, having won twice consecutively. In the process, Sea Lion even broke 4 speed records.

Having become the Chief Designer for Supermarine, Mitchell helped change the designs of seaplanes almost replacing biplanes for which he was by the Air Ministry to put in a tender for the new fighter plane: the seaplane.

Mitchell is said to have been a shy and humble man who tried to stay away from the limelight and not hesitating to give credit to all the deserving people. Maybe that’s why fewer people hear of his name today.

In the BBC’s Online, TV and radio vote, R.J Mitchell was voted as the ‘œGreatest Midlander’; a poll that was conducted in 2003.

Mitchell had a son named Gordon Mitchell. He is said to be campaigning for his father to get his due credit and recognition from the public.

Sadly, Mitchell never lived to see the revolutionary role that his creation played in the Second World War that helped Great Britain in her battles. He was diagnosed with rectal cancer and died at a young age of 38, in the year 1937. Mitchell continued working till the last days of his life in spite of the fact that his health suffered due to work stress. One year later, his designed plan, the Spitfire took to the skies. Today his name has faded into obscurity but ever since his death; over 23,000 Spitfires have been produced.

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