When the Spitfire Chased That Demon

On the 27th of April, 1944; Squadron Leader Anthony F Martindale took off on a highly unusual mission.  To put his Mark XI Spitfire through the wringer and find her true top speed.  The Spitfire, whose beauty and proclivity for speed were well known, had already been put through her paces by Squadron Leader J R Tobin, who had reached an amazing 606mph, or Mach .89, the fastest speed any Spitfire had ever flown…
As Squadron Leader Martindale reached his desired altitude, he pushed the nose of his elliptical winged beauty into a 45-degree dive and watched the airspeed indicator steadily rise.  
As his Spitfire continued its dive and accelerating, without warning, the reduction gearing failed, thus allowing the propeller to quickly overspeed, tearing itself away from the now super high-velocity warbird.
Now freed of the weight of the massive propeller in front, the unchained Spitfire’s nose snapped skyward as its centre of gravity quickly slipped towards the rear of the unconventionally super clean fighter. Now unexpectedly lighter, and faster, with an aft C of G, the induced climb rate, and accompanying crushing G load quickly rendered Squadron Leader Martindale unconscious for the remainder of the Spitfire’s record setting high-speed run.
Squadron Leader Anthony F Martindale awoke at an altitude of 40,000 feet, to an aircraft with newly swept wings, and a streamlined nose section carved by the atmosphere itself.  One thousand, one hundred and forty-nine kilometres per hour, 620 miles per hour, or Mach 0.92 was the speed Martin reached on that day.  
Now humbled by his trusty steed,  Squadron Leader Anthony F Martindale quietly…oh so quietly, flew his unpowered Spitfire glider back to a graceful landing back at base unscathed, and well-armed with a story to tell.

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