The Spitfire and Hurricane were proven in battle and universally regarded as the best British fighter aircraft of their era so it was hardly surprising that the Royal Navy were eager to adapt them for service with the Fleet Air Arm.
The Spitfire - called the Seafire for the naval version - initially proved ill-suited to carrier operations, with its poor pilot visibility and relatively weak undercarriage making carrier landings hazardous. Once modified however, it quickly became the most effective fighter in the Fleet Air Arm.
This DVD features extensive rare footage of the Seafire in operation, including supporting the North African landings, undergoing rocket and catapult-assisted tests, escorting convoys and in pseudo- American markings to fool the French Vichy forces.
On the other hand, the Hurricane was more immediately suited to carrier operations and the Sea Hurricane required less modification. It is seen here in footage working from HMS Eagle in the Mediterranean on typical convoy escort duties as well as in general service and there is even a look at Hurricanes being rail launched from merchant ships in 1939.
Accompanying the profiles of these two formidable Fleet Air Arm fighters are vivid first hand accounts of training, operations and combat by surviving pilots, as well as veteran mechanics who kept the aircraft flying, and extensive colour film of a Seafire demonstrating its role as a target spotter for naval big guns.
Duration: 82 minutes.