11 episodes

Before a plane could save a country, the people had to build it. This is the story of a beautiful and deadly icon of resistance, built and flown against extraordinary odds.

Spitfire: The People’s Plane BBC

    • History
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Before a plane could save a country, the people had to build it. This is the story of a beautiful and deadly icon of resistance, built and flown against extraordinary odds.

    Scramble

    Scramble

    15th September 1940 was the moment the Germans chose to drive the Spitfire from the battlefield. The people on the ground, guiding the Spitfires - spotters, plotters and fitters- will play a vital role in a day that changed the course of World War Two.

    Presenter: Tuppence Middleton
    Producers: Alasdair Cross and Emily Knight
    Editors: Chris Ledgard and Kirsten Lass

    • 18 min
    Teenage pilots

    Teenage pilots

    How does it feel to fly the plane that won the war? Two Spitfire pilots - one 18 year old from the Battle of Britain, one from today’s
    RAF - compare their experiences of unparalleled ecstasy and paralysing fear.

    Presenter: Tuppence Middleton
    Producers: Alasdair Cross and Emily Knight
    Editors: Chris Ledgard and Kirsten Lass

    • 18 min
    Faster and higher

    Faster and higher

    It wasn’t just Spitfire production that needed to escape the bombs; the designers of the plane also need to find a safe place to improve the Spitfire to deal with Germany’s latest fighter developments.

    Presenter: Tuppence Middleton
    Producers: Alasdair Cross and Emily Knight
    Editors: Chris Ledgard and Kirsten Lass

    • 18 min
    New planes, new rules

    New planes, new rules

    Ramping up Spitfire production requires another new factory. Bigger, better, full of cutting-edge machinery and the best workers in the business. But it’s a catastrophe – one that nearly costs Britain dearly.

    • 18 min
    The Shilling factor

    The Shilling factor

    As brilliant as the Spitfire is, it has one major flaw. Take her into a steep dive and fuel can’t reach the engine. A solution is urgently needed. That’s a job for the fastest woman in Britain: champion motorcycle racer and pioneering engineer, Beatrice Shilling.

    Presenter: Tuppence Middleton
    Producers: Alasdair Cross and Emily Knight
    Editors: Chris Ledgard and Kirsten Lass

    The audio for this programme was updated on 16 June 2020.

    • 17 min
    Women take control

    Women take control

    The new Spitfires need to be flown to RAF bases desperate for reinforcements. That’s the job of the ATA Girls - the female flyers of World War Two, some of the first women in Britain to receive the same wages as their male counterparts.

    Presenter: Tuppence Middleton
    Producers: Alasdair Cross and Emily Knight
    Editors: Chris Ledgard and Kirsten Lass

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Top Podcasts In History

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC