Filmed during the dark days of 1942, this is the immortal story of the Spitfire which had helped to win the Battle of Britain the previous year. Leslie Howard stars as R.J. Mitchell, the inventor of the Spitfire, whose aircraft designs were turned down for funding by Whitehall because they were too revolutionary. A chance meeting with Messerschmitt in the early 1930's gives Mitchell the inspiration to build Britain's fastest and deadliest fighter plane. But first he must find a devil-may-care pilot to risk his life on the test flights. Salvation comes in the form of Geoffrey Crisp (David Niven), an out of work veteran fighter pilot from the First World War. Together they build the aircraft that so many will owe their lives to. However, as Mitchell strives to perfect his fighter plane, he is rocked by the news that he has only one-year to live unless he stops working. His stark choice is to save himself or save his country.