Until 20 February 2022

IWM Duxford

Air Space Conservation Hall

Free event with general admission

See a world first at IWM Duxford – the largest collection of Spitfires under one roof at the historic airfield that keeps making history.

From 27 December until 20 February, get up close to twelve Spitfires of varying marks side by side on display for a limited time only.

Spitfire: Evolution of an Icon will celebrate how this aircraft captured the hearts of the home front and became synonymous with the hope and protection of the British Isles.

A symbol for the nation

Spitfire: Evolution on an Icon exhibition overhead view
© IWM

A symbol for the nation

Characterised by its graceful curves, elliptical wings and the sound of its powerful Rolls Royce engine, the Spitfire has remained a British icon since its heroic efforts in the Battle of Britain in 1940.

Continual evolution

Close up view of later Mark Spitfire tails
© IWM

Continual evolution

Discover how the iconic warbird evolved throughout the Second World War, undergoing continual refinement to keep pace with German aircraft development, and delve deeper into the Spitfire’s history, entwined with the story of RAF Duxford.

Get closer than ever

Visitors looking at a Spitfire within the exhibition
©IWM

Get closer than ever

Get up close to IWM’s own Mk Ia Spitfire –one of the few remaining airworthy Spitfires to have seen conflict in the Second World War– plus a Mk V, Mk IX and Mk XIV among the iconic line-up, all legends of the skies.

Often referred to as "The Home of the Spitfire", IWM Duxford’s historic airfield was the base of the very first RAF fighter squadron to receive the aircraft in 1938.

Thank you to the private owners who have made Spitfire: Evolution of an Icon a reality, bringing them ‘home’ to Duxford this winter for your enjoyment.

Events and Experiences

Close up of a Spitfire Propeller
Talks & Tours

Evolution of an Icon: The Spitfire Tour

IWM Duxford
Selected dates

Photograph of Spitfire N3200, an airworthy combat veteran Spitfire in the Battle of Britain hangar at IWM Duxford
Activities & Experiences

In the Cockpit: Spitfire N3200

IWM Duxford
Selected dates

A spitfire photographed at night with red-pink lighting underneath
Activities & Experiences

Duxford In a Different Light: The Spitfire Special

IWM Duxford
19 February 2022

An archive image of a Spitfire in flight
© IWM CH 5291
Conferences & Study Days

The Spitfire Conference: Evolution of An Icon

IWM Duxford
22 January 2022

Find out more about the Spitfire

RAF Duxford and The Spitfire
Battle of Britain

The Fascinating Story Of Duxford And The Spitfire

Duxford and the Supermarine Spitfire have a shared history. RAF Duxford's No. 19 Squadron was the first RAF squadron to re-equip with the new Supermarine Spitfire, and the first Spitfire was flown into RAF Duxford in August 1938
Spitrefire taking off from Duxford
IWM, Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a, IWM Duxford
Second World War

The Spitfire lost for almost 50 Years

Spitfire N3200 flew its first and only operation on 26 May 1940, piloted by Geoffrey Stephenson as he led his squadron on a patrol to cover the evacuation of Allied forces from the beaches of Dunkirk.  
Supermarine Spitfire Mk I of No. 19 Squadron at Fowlmere in Cambridgeshire, 21 September 1940.
© IWM (CH 1447)
Second World War

9 Iconic Aircraft From The Battle Of Britain

Learn about the RAF Fighter Command’s aircraft during the Battle of Britain from the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane, to the Bf 109 (named the best fighter in the world), the 'Flying Pencil' and the infamous ‘Stuka’.

Learn about some of the highlights

Learn about some of the highlights

In this video, expert Graham Rodgers looks at how the Spitfire evolved by taking us through a few on display at Duxford including marks 1, 5, 9, 14, and 24, many of which will be featured in the exhibition.