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Spitfire 40 128
Full title Spitfire 40
Also known as Spitfire '40
Year of release 1985
Publisher Mirrorsoft Ltd (UK)
Re-released by Alternative Software Ltd (UK)
Zafi Chip (Spain)
Z Cobra (Spain)
Author(s) Mr. Micro Ltd (Phil, Issi, John May)
Machine type ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Number of players 1
Controls Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor and Keyboard
Message language English
Original publication Commercial
Original price £9.95
Budget price £2.99
Availability Available as both Perfect TZX and non-TZX
Protection scheme None
Additional info Appeared on tape 1, side A of the compilation Flight Ace (Gremlin Graphics Software Ltd)
Appeared on side A of the compilation Spitfire 40 + Strike Force Harrier (Alternative Software Ltd)
Features Vector Graphics
Also listed on Freebase
Other systems This title was also advertised for and/or published on the Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, BBC Micro, Commodore 64 and MSX
Spitfire 40 INLAY TEXT
Spitfire 40 is not only the closest you're likely to come to flying one
of the most famous aircraft of all time - it's a spectacular war-time
adventure as well.
Taking the part of a young Spitfire pilot in 1940, you must undergo
thorough training in the techniques and practice of flying a Spitfire before
going into practice combat and then full combat for real.
You can save all your practice and combat experiences too, allowing you
to rise through the ranks of the RAF towards the coveted position of Group
Captain, VC, DSO, and DFC.
Your personal pilot's log is included with the program, together with
keyboard guide and quick reference flight checklist.
© 1985 Mirrorsoft Ltd. The computer program contained in Spitfire 40 and
its associated documentation and materials are protected by National and
International Copyright Law. All rights of the author and owner are reserved
Spectrum 48K/Spectrum Plus Keyboard Controls
Normal up, and down, left and right movements and fire button apply.
Controls are given for a standard 48K Spectrum. Where these differ for the
Spectrum Plus, they are given in brackets.
Joystick up P (cursor up)
Joystick down L (cursor down)
Joystick left A (cursor left)
Joystick right S (cursor right)
Fire Shift (or
Left rudder Z
Right rudder X
Increase power Q
Decrease power W
Screen switch Space
Extended map N
LOAD "" and press ENTER.
Loading saving your log:
Insert a new tape and follow the on-screen instructions. Do not forget to
press ENTER after typing your name.
Flight Check List for Your Spitfire
1 Brakes off
2 Engine revs 3,400 RPM
3 Lift off at 90 MPH
4 Retract gear
1 Reduce speed to 140 MPH
2 Lower flaps and gear
3 Final approach between 80 MPH and 100 MPH
Varies with height
200 MPH at 2,850 RPM giving 2,500 ft per minute
200 MPH at 1,900 RPM
Level flight is achieved between speeds of 90 MPH and 350 MPH
STALL: Approx 65 MPH with gear and flaps down
DIVING: 450 MPH
LOOP: Enter with a speed of greater than 250 MPH
ROLL: Between 180 MPH and 300 MPH. Nose just above Horizon. Higher speed
for an upward roll.
CEILING: 35,000 ft
Out of Control and Disorientated:
1 Reduce power.
2 Apply joystick in opposite direction to turn indicator.
3 If appropriate apply rudder in direction of slip indicator. Centralise
when indicator at zero.
4 Ease back on joystick if in a dive
Spitfire '40 is not only the closest you're likely to come to flying one of
the most famous aircraft of all times - it's a spectacular war-time adventure
Picture the scene - it is the Summer of 1940 and you are a newly trained
pilot, posted to a Spitfire Squadron somewhere in the South East of England.
Like so many of those young men in 1940, you will learn that a Spitfire is
no ordinary plane. You will discover its special capabilities and, most
important of all, how to handle it in combat. As you learn, you can save your
growing experience on disk or cassette. With practice and your increasing
skill, you can rise through the ranks, gaining medals, to reach for the
highest accolade - to achieve the rank of Group Captain and the coveted VC,
DSO and DFC medals.
Spitfire '40 gives you not just valuable experience in the principles and
techniques of flight and combat; it's a lot of fun, too!
Loading Spitfire '40:
See above for details. When the program has loaded, you will then be asked
Use joystick and fire button to make your choice. See above for loading a
You will be shown a list of pilots' names on the flight log. Choose your
pilot by moving the joystick and pressing the fire button.
The log of the pilot you have chosen will be shown, including his rank,
medals, flying hours and victories.
Press the fire button and you will then see a menu of FLIGHT MODES:
Make your selection with joystick and fire button.
This option puts you into the cockpit at the take off point on the runway to
enable you to practise flying your Spitfire before you head off into combat.
If you can then land successfully on a runway, you can save your log on
cassette or disk to start building up your experience. To save, follow the
screen instructions and then press RETURN. You should read the flying and
landing notes thoroughly first.
This mode is the heart of the program. On selection, you will be given your
combat instructions, eg:
ENEMY 3 (No. of aircraft)
INTERCEPT 14 (The distance in miles)
BEARING 200 (The bearing from the runway)
HEIGHT 6000 (The enemy's height)
Now you must take off and engage the enemy in combat. The enemy will
remain at roughly the height first given in the combat instructions. If you
are successful and return to a runway safely, you can save your combat
record to build your experience record progressively.
The purpose of this option is to enable you to gain some elementary
experience in handling the Spitfire in combat. You will find yourself at
10,000 feet with enemy aircraft coming at you in frontal attacks. Practise
following and firing at them, allowing for deflection shooting, which
requires you to judge where the enemy will be by the time your bullets have
reached the target.
Your successes in combat practice are not recorded, and you can return to
the main menu by pressing RETURN or by crashing.
Clockwise from the upper left of the panel, the instruments are:
Fuel Gauge: Indicates the amount of fuel remaining. You have enough for 45
Airspeed Indicator: Indicates air speed in units of 100 mph.
Artificial Horizon: Represents the view from the cockpit, with blue for the
sky and brown for the ground. The Spitfire's attitude is indicated.
Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI): Represents vertical speed and vertical
movement at intervals of 1000 feet per minute in the climb or descent
Engine Rev Indicator: This indicates the engine speed in 100's of revolutions
Slip & Turn Indicator: The top needle represents the sideways movement
through the air (slip). The bottom needle measures the rate of turn; the more
displaced the needle, the higher the rate of turn.
Compass: Indicates compass heading.
Altimeter: Shows height above the ground. The large needle indicates 100's
of feet and the small needle 1000's of feet.
The instrument panel view is a faithful reproduction of that in the
original Spitfire. However, two additional instruments have been included for
ease of use:
Rudder Indicator: Shows the position of the rudder.
Pitch Indicator: Represents a sideways view of the Spitfire. Although this
duplicates part of the function of the artificial horizon, it does also
assist orientation when diving or climbing steeply.
The forward and backward movement of the joystick controls the Spitfire's
elevators. Pulling the joystick backwards will raise the nose of the
aircraft; pushing the joystick forwards lowers it. This is known as altering
the pitch of the aircraft. The sideways movement of the joystick controls the
ailerons, which in turn will make the Spitfire roll or bank to the left or
right. A secondary effect of rolling is that it causes the aircraft to turn
and change direction. The joystick fire button activates the eight Browning
machine guns mounted in the wings.
The screen image of the Spitfire's joystick will assist you in judging how
much joystick movement has been applied. The aircraft's joystick is
self-centering when the computer's joystick is in the central position.
You should be aware that there is an inevitable time lag between the
movement of the joystick and the reaction of the aircraft, particularly when
applying an opposite correction such as reversing the joystick when rolling
the aircraft back to strait and level flight after completing a turn.
[SPACE BAR] Switches the screen between the cockpit view and instrument
[Q][W] Increases/decreases power; the exact power level can be
gauged from the engine speed indicator on the instrument
[Z][X] Turns the rudder left/right; the exact position of the
rudder is shown on the instrument panel. After applying a
rudder key, the first press of the opposite rudder key will
initially centralise the rudder. This additional feature is
particularly useful in situations where there is no time to
make a visual check.
[F] Toggles the flaps up or down; the current position is
indicated on the instrument panel by the letters U and D.
Putting the flaps down will lower the stalling speed of the
aircraft, but they should not be lowered at speeds of over
[G] Toggles the undercarriage up or down; the current position is
indicated on the instrument panel (red for up, green for
down). You should not attempt to fly with the undercarriage
down at speeds much above 160 mph.
[B] Toggles the brakes on or off; the current position is
indicated on the instrument panel (red for on, green for
[M] Toggles the map screen on or off; the map is a representation
of the South East of England. A red aircraft symbol indicates
the Spitfire's current position, and the black aircraft
symbol shows the position of the enemy. The three squares
represent areas which can be examined in greater detail
Looking at the map also has the effect of freezing the simulation and can
therefore be used as a pause key.
Expanding the Areas:
[N] If the Spitfire is within one of the three squares, then
pressing N will show the ground detail; further presses will
first expand the area, and then contract it. Ground detail
is shown in a position relative to the Spitfire's current
When the Spitfire is below 800 feet, you will see a thin black line at the
bottom right hand corner of the screen. This is an indication of your height
when close to the ground.
At the bottom of the screen there are white dots on either side of the
cockpit. The left-hand dot indicates speed, whilst the right-hand dot
indicates rudder position.
Handling and Flying Notes
If you have chosen Practice or Combat mode, the Spitfire will be positioned
on the runway ready to take off.
2_______________Push throttle to give power of 1,800 rpm
4_______________Increase power to 3,200 rpm
5_______________As speed approaches 90 mph switch to cockpit view
6_______________Ease gently back on the joystick
7_______________When the Spitfire lifts off, retract undercarriage. Check the
instrument panel to see that the red light is on.
8_______________Do not attempt a steep climb until the speed is over 140 mph
9_______________After completing your climb, reduce power to around 2,900 rpm
for cruising speed and level flight.
The rate at which the Spitfire climbs is shown on the VSI. This rate is
controlled by the power of the engine and the angle of climb.
The optimum rate of climb for this type of Spitfire was 185 mph at
approximately 2,850 rpm, giving 2,500 feet per minute. At this attitude you
will not be able to see the horizon out of the cockpit. The ceiling height
for this aircraft was approximately 35,000 feet.
Experiment with various attitudes and power settings to gain experience.
If you attempt too steep a climb with insufficient power, you will find the
speed drops until a stall occurs.
The stalling speed of the Spitfire was 75 mph with the undercarriage and
flaps up and 65 mph with them down.
Remember that if the aircraft is too close to the ground, the consequent
loss of altitude will cause a crash.
Straight & Level Flight:
Straight and level flight is achieved with the wings horizontal and the VSI
at zero. Level flight is achieved by adjusting the attitude of the aircraft
first, and when level, adjusting the speed using the throttle. Practise
flying at various speeds viewing the instrument panel, then switch to the
cockpit view and note the position of the actual horizon. As power is
increased, the nose of the Spitfire will tend to rise; with a reduction of
power it will drop. This can be compensated for with the joystick.
Zooming around at maximum power, however tempting, is not recommended if
you want to succeed as a Spitfire pilot. The optimum cruising speed is
approximately 200 mph, but check this out. Remember, there is only a limited
amount of fuel for each sortie.
You may find yourself in a full power vertical dive during aerobatics or
combat, and pulling back on the joystick will have no effect. Reduce power
and you will find that control will return to the joystick.
The direction of flight can be changed by banking the aircraft with the
joystick. The Spitfire will remain at a fixed angle of bank when the
joystick is released, and the rate at which the aircraft turns is dependent
on the angle of the bank. The turn can also be tightened by using the
appropriate rudder at the same time. The nose tends to drop in a turn; this
can be corrected by easing the joystick back slightly.
The aircraft can be returned to level flight by applying the opposite
joystick movement. At first, you may find there is a tendency to apply too
much opposite joystick and the aircraft will end up banked in the opposite
direction. It is vital during combat to learn to anticipate the movement
of the aircraft and small repeated movements of the joystick are far more
effective than one large movement.
The direction of the aircraft can also be changed in level flight by
using the rudder alone. However, as the wings are level, this also has the
adverse effect of skidding the aircraft sideways in the opposite direction.
Nevertheless, careful use of the rudder alone can be helpful in certain
situations, particularly during an approach to a landing.
It is possible for the Spitfire to slip sideways and lose height whilst
maintaining a constant heading. To check out this feature, fly the Spitfire
at a safe height while viewing the instrument panel. Put the Spitfire into
a left turn, then apply right rudder until the compass stops moving. If you
look at the slip and turn indicator, you will see that the turn needle is
in the neutral position and the slip needle is to the left.
The recommended procedure for landing the Spitfire was to start the approach
by reducing speed to 140 mph and lowering the undercarriage and flaps. The
final part of the approach was made at a speed of 90 mph, descending at
1,000 feet per minute. Just before the landing, the joystick was eased back
to bring the aircraft level, and the throttle reduced.
But, as in most things, the practice is rather more difficult than the
theory, and landing is one of the trickiest parts in flying the Spitfire.
There are three main principles to stick to:
1. Achieve a speed of 90-100 mph with a constant rate of descent.
2. Position the Spitfire on the approach path to the runway.
3. Reach the beginning of the runway at a height just above zero.
Try the following exercises to develop your landing skills:
Climb to 5,000 feet and cruise at 200 mph. Reduce power and hence speed.
(Raising the nose slightly will drop your speed quickly.) Lower the
undercarriage and flaps. When the speed drops to 100 mph, adjust the
throttle and nose attitude so that constant speed is maintained and the VSI
reads 1,000 feet per minute. The power setting should be around 600 rpm.
Note the position of the horizon against the cockpit. Level out at a
predetermined height and maintain speed and altitude. If you find difficulty
in raising the nose despite pulling back on the joystick, then a quick
burst of power will help.
The next stage is to practice flying the Spitfire so that you are lined
up on the runway and flying over it at a predetermined height. Approach the
runway from a distance so that you have plenty of time to alter your line of
approach. As you gain experience, you will learn to use the ground objects
as reference points to turn into the approach. There are no wind effects in
this program to worry about. The accepted practice in landing was to fly
parallel to the runway in the opposite direction to your final approach.
You can then turn through 180 degrees and adjust your position so that you
are lined up for the final approach. You will find that very gentle use of
the rudder will assist in achieving the correct line.
The final stage of landing is a combination of the skills previously
gained so that you reach ground level at a straight and level attitude, with
a low flying speed.
You will find that in the early stages, the program is forgiving of
errors in landing. However, as your experience and performance records
builds up, your skill must increase accordingly or you may crash when
You can land away from runways, and take off again, but your experience
and additional flying hours are not logged unless you land on a runway.
It is assumed in this simulation that there is a level of haze in the
sky and ground detail disappears above 3,000 feet.
As an exercise in navigation, you may find it useful to fly over the areas
and draw the maps, entering the relevant distances and bearings between
objects. After combat, this information could be critical in getting back
The procedure for entering combat mode has already been explained.
It is important, however, to understand something of the air combat
techniques that were relevant in 1940.
There were four golden rules in air combat:
1_______________Climb quickly to give yourself a height advantage in attack.
This enabled the pilot to climb away after an attack, as the
speed gained in diving could be translated into momentum
to regain height.
2_______________Never fly straight and level in the combat zone for more than
a few seconds - weave about as much as possible. This
increased the areas of the sky observed and made the Spitfire
a moving rather than a static target. The key was to watch
your mirror constantly.
3_______________In reality, attacks usually came from the rear and at an
angle. To evade these, it was necessary to turn as sharply
as possible towards the direction of attack, increasing speed
if possible. Turning in the opposite direction would place
the defender in a stationary position in relation to the
More often than not, air combat ended up as a dog-fight with
two aircraft trying to out-turn each other in ever-tightening
circles, inevitably reducing height. Maintaining accurate
turns was therefore a vital factor.
4_______________Another method of escaping attack was to drive away. In 1940,
this was an option open to the enemy fighters but not to the
Spitfire. In the Spitfire, pushing the nose forward caused
the engine to cut (under negative G) and valuable seconds
were lost, whereas enemy fighters did not suffer this
problem. This is the reason why films of the period will
show Spitfires rolling on their backs before diving (hence
maintaining positive G). Such problems do not occur in this
In Spitfire 40, the enemy appear in different colours; each colour identifies
different speeds and skills. They will also appear in different positions,
flying at a variety of speeds. Some may be approaching, and some flying away;
you will have to vary your tactics accordingly.
The key rules of air combat have been built into the simulation.
If you are under attack from behind, the enemy aircraft will appear in the
mirror. Try to increase speed to escape and turn as sharply as possible. Use
your rudder to induce slip or skid.
If you lose contact with the enemy during combat, get back to the height
of the original contact and check the map. In keeping with one of the key
rules, a climbing turn is preferable in regaining height.
There is a much higher chance of hitting an enemy aircraft the closer you
are to it.
If you manage to shoot some or all of the enemy aircraft down, you can
return and, on landing safely, save your latest status.
A number of interesting aerobatic manoeuvres can be carried out on the
Spitfire, some of which could be of considerable assistance in combat. For
At a speed of over 250 mph and full power, ease the joystick back gently.
As you invert, reduce power and continue easing the joystick back until you
are flying straight and level. Reapply power to come out of the loop.
Loop with Roll Off the Top:
Enter the manoeuvre as for a loop. When you are inverted at the top of the
climb, roll the Spitfire left or right until you are level. Use the joystick
to keep the nose at a fixed position on the horizon as you roll out. You can
use this manoeuvre to escape an enemy, gain height and reverse your
Raise the Spitfire's nose slightly above the horizon. Apply left or right
joystick. Keep rolling until the Spitfire is again straight and level.
Practise using the joystick to roll the plane whilst keeping the nose
pointing at a fixed part of the scenery. Applying opposite rudder assists in
keeping a constant heading.
Roll over until the Spitfire is inverted. Then pull the joystick back until
the horizon appears and you are flying level. You will have lost height and
reversed your direction.
The Theory of Flight
This complex subject cannot be dealt with in a few words but it is necessary
that you should understand the basic principles so that you may be better
able to fly this simulation correctly.
Aircraft designers shape the top of a wing like the back of a spoon, so
thaty air passing under a wing is slowed and pushed down as it hits the
underside. This is the opposite of what is happening above the wing, so the
pressure rises, pushing the wing up. With suction above and pressure below,
lift is created. When this lifting force is greater than the weight of the
aircraft, it will leave the ground. Lift and weight and only two of the
forces that act upon the aircraft: the others are thrust and drag. In order
to accelerate to a speed at which lift can overcome weight, a powered
aircraft needs an engine to provide thrust. Just as lift needs to overcome
weight, thrust has to overcome the resistance of the air to the aircraft
moving through it. This force is called drag and it can be reduced by
streamlining the shape of the aircraft or increased by spoiling the shape
with the undercarriage and flaps.
These are the basic facts about the theory of flight for all powered
aeroplanes. In addition, the most important criteria for a fighter such as
the Spitfire are: manoeuverability, speed and instability.
Speed and manoeuverability are obvious needs for such an aircraft, but
instability requires some explanation. Stability in an agile fighter would
spell disaster because, when attacked out of the blue, the fighter pilot
needs his aircraft to react immediately. So the designers built this
instability into the plane; it's harder to keep them straight and level
than to throw them all around the sky.
If you bear this in mind when playing Spitfire '40, you will understand
better why things seem difficult at first. With a little practice, you too
will be able to complete all the complex manoeuvres for which the Spitfire is
The Supermarine Spitfire is, perhaps, the most famous aeroplane ever built -
both a legend in its own time and a most beautiful machine. But your chance
to 'fly' this tremendous machine is only a part of the whole story. Concieved
by R J Mitchell in 1925, the Spitfire was far in advance of the technology
then available. It was not until 1936, when Rolls Royce developed the Merlin
engine and a second World War was feared, that the impetus was there to turn
the idea into a prototype aircraft.
The first flight was in March 1936, revealing a revolutionary aircraft
design with a top speed of 350 mph and superb manoeuverability, two factors
which are the crux of all fighter designs.
By the outbreak of the Second World War, a total of 2,160 Spitfires were
on order and on October 16 the first combat occurred over Scotland. Then, in
May 1940, the Germans pushed strongly towards the Low Countries and France,
and the RAF retreated further until the final withdrawl from Dunkirk. Britain
was alone, facing the most successful fighting machine since the Roman
Empire across just 21 miles of water.
Hitler was well aware of the importance of superiority in the air. He was
convinced by the Chief of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, that his pilots and
machines would soon gain a decisive victory over the Royal Air Force which
the Luftwaffe outnumbered three to one.
The average age of a wartime Spitfire pilot was twenty, and some went to
operational squadrons with as little as ten flying hours to their credit.
Despite this, the Battle of Britain was won by three means: technology,
spirit and, paradoxically, mistakes.
The advanced technology of the Spitfire enabled the RAF to arrest attacks
- radar assisted in accurate interceptions being made. The spirit of the
young pilots is legendary. German mistakes were the result of bad
intelligence reports and an underestimation of the British resolve. Once the
Germans altered their tactics to bombing civilian targets in the Blitz, the
Battle was won.
The Spitfire continued as a front-line fighter in the RAF until the
advent of jet propelled aircraft. Over 20,000 were built, and quite a number
are still flown today.
THE LEGEND OF THE SPITFIRE WILL LIVE FOREVER.
The publishers of this program would like to thank Micheal A Fopp and the
Battle of Britain Museum for assistance and advice during the preparation of
There are three Spitfires on display at the Royal Air Force Museum,
Hendon, including the earliest surviving Mk I aircraft and the post-war Mk 24
version. The Battle of Britain Museum, also at Hendon, tells the whole story
of this famous battle, around which this program is written.
Numerous books have been consulted and the following are of particular
interest for those wishing to learn more:
* Flight Briefing for Pilots - Vol 1 by N Birch & A Branson Publisher: Pitman
* Spitfire: A Test Pilot's Story by Jeffrey Quill Publisher: John Murray
* The Spitfire Story by Alfred Price Publisher: Jane's
* Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain by Len Deighton Publisher:
* Fighter Pilot Tactics by M Spick Publisher: Patrick Stephens
* Pilot's Notes - Spitfire IIA Air Publications HMSO Available through Air
Data Publications, St Annes-on-Sea, Lancs.
COMMENTS : "An excellent simulation which should appeal to arcade players too".
RATING : 90% (CRASH #28, March 1986)
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