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Fighting High Books

Spitfire: Flying the Icon


Spitfire: Flying the Icon

by Jarrod Cotter

Hardback - 275 x 210mm. 176pp and 200 colour and b&w photographs.

World Rights - Fighting High Ltd. ISBN - 978-0-9932129-8-7.


The Supermarine Spitfire is not only one of the most famous British icons, but it is arguably the most widely-recognised and popular aircraft in the history of aviation. For many generations it was said to be ‘every schoolboy’s dream’ to fly a Spitfire, and Flying the Icon: Spitfire aims to give the reader an insight into what that requires.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the first flight of Prototype K5054 on 5 March 1936, author Jarrod Cotter presents something entirely different from the previously published histories of the Spitfire. Having spent a great deal of time talking to Spitfire pilots past and present, attending flight operations briefings and Spitfire pilot training courses, he has used his ‘insider’s’ perspective to produce a book solely on flying this most iconic of all fighters.

With the use of original wartime Air Ministry Pilot’s Notes, historic flight test documents, modern flight reference cards and pilot’s reports, this book details how the Spitfire was and is flown, and what the pilots thought and think of it nowadays. Included are quotes from test pilot Jeffrey Quill, one of the most respected and well-known personalities who flew this icon.

To provide an extreme range of the fighter’s evolution, the variants included comprise Prototype K5054, the Mk.I, Mk.IIa, Mk.Vb, Mk.VIII Mk.IXe/XVIe, PR.XIX and the post-war F.18/22/24. To keep with the theme of the book, it is comprehensively illustrated with pictures of Spitfires flying and pilots in Spitfires. This book is a must-have guide, giving enthusiasts the best possible idea of how to fly the icon that is the Spitfire!


Jarrod Cotter served in the Royal Air Force during the 1980s and 1990s, spending the majority of his service working on Harrier and Tornado squadrons overseas. He then trained in publishing and became the Deputy Editor of FlyPast magazine, the launch Editor of Aviation Classics and the Editor of Aeroplane Monthly. He now enjoys work as a freelance author and has numerous books to his name. Jarrod made a solo flight aged 17 and has since flown in many historic aircraft types including the Tiger Moth, Chipmunk, Harvard, P-51 Mustang, Harrier, Lightning and Spitfire.


Officer Commanding Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Squadron Leader Ian Smith MBE.

‘There are numerous reasons why the Supermarine Spitfire rightly deserves the title of 'Icon'.  The superlative creation is the subject of literally hundreds of books covering every single angle of its history.  This one is different, however, and I personally think Jarrod has found exciting new ground with Flying the Icon: Spitfire.  It is a beautifully presented book which is well written and knowledgeable and filled with stunning images, both old and new, air to air and from the ground.  It is a fascinating insight into actually flying a Spitfire rather than its history or the history of which it played such a significant role.  I commend it to you.  Why am I qualified to comment?   I was Squadron Leader Ian Smith and I remain honoured to have 'flown the Icon'.’

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