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Supermarine Spitfire MkIV
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WORLD WAR II
SPECIAL COMMEMORATION
One of the 25 airplanes that won it
still flying 70 years after victory.

AIR&SPACE Smithsonian, May 2015
13:48 4/21/2015
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I'd Rather Be Flying From Hangar 18
in the...
Supermarine Spitfire MkIV
(Featuring some of the Ol'Kunnel's favorite airplanes!)


Supermarine Spitfire
  "Johnnie" Johnson is pictured leading Mark IX Spitfires of his Canadian Wing in a strafing attack against a Luftwaffe airfield in this painting by Michael Turner. The Spitfire was not suitable for such missions, as the glycol coolant tank under the nose was especially vulnerable to ground fire. If this tank was holed, it was only a matter of minutes before the engine seized.
The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the best all-round aircraft to emerge during World War II. Because of constant improvement which lasted for the duration of production, the Spitfire always kept a margin of superiority over its adversaries and, in its final form, remained in the front-line service with the Royal Air Force well into the 50s. Spitfires were constructed in about 40 different models with a final total of 20,351; and, more than any other British WWII aircraft.
The Spitfire had its origins in a series of sea planes which were created by Reginald J. Mitchell in the second half of the twenties and culminated in the Supermarine S6B, winner of the last Schneider Trophy race on September 13, 1931. The prototype Spitfire, powered by a Roll's Merlin engine, flew for the first time in March, 1936. It's performance outstripped all expectations and in the month of June, an order was placed for 310 of the aircraft.
The Mark I, the first production series, was in production in 1937 and became operative with Fighter Command in June 1938. At the outbreak of war there were only 9 squadrons had Spitfires with this growing to 19 in the period immediately preceding the Battle of Britain.

For more information on the Battle of Britain; including Sptifire participation Royal Air Force Museum --OK--

-- References provided by John Kirk
Specifications:
  • Nation: Britain
  • Manufacturer: Supermarine Division of Vickers-Armstrong Ltd.
  • Type: Fighter
  • Year: 1938
  • Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin 11 12-cylinder V liquid-cooled, 1,030 hp.
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.22 m)
  • Length: 29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.48 m)
  • Weight: 5,332 lb (2,415 kg) (loaded)
  • Maximum speed: 355 mph (571 km/h) at 19,000 ft (5,800 m)
  • Ceiling: 34,000 ft (10,360m)
  • Range: 500 miles (805 km)
  • Armament: 8 machine guns
  • Crew: 1
In March, 1941 the construction of the Mark V was started. They were equipped with a more powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin engine (1,440 hp) which increased the speed of the aircraft to 602 km/h (374 mph) at an altitude of 4,000 m (13,120 ft).
Specifications: (Mark VB)
  • Nation: Britain
  • Manufacturer: Supermarine Division of Vickers-Armstrong Ltd.
  • Type: Fighter
  • Year: 1941
  • Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 12-cylinder V liquid-cooled, 1,440 hp.
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.22 m)
  • Length: 29 ft 11 in (9.12 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.48 m)
  • Weight: 6,417 lb (2,911 kg) (loaded)
  • Maximum speed: 374 mph (602 km/h) at 13,000 ft (4,000 m)
  • Ceiling: 37,000 ft (11,280m)
  • Range: 470 miles (750 km)
  • Armament: 2 20mm cannons; 4 machine guns
  • Crew: 1
In July, 1942 the Mark IX series (see the above painting) made its appearance. It was built to challenge the superiority of the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 fighter. [Note: Germany produced 29,001 Fw-190s during WW II.]
Specifications:
  • Nation: Britain
  • Manufacturer: Supermarine Division of Vickers-Armstrong Ltd.
  • Type: Fighter
  • Year: 1942
  • Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 12-cylinder V liquid-cooled, 1,515 hp.
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.22 m)
  • Length: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.48 m)
  • Weight: 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) (loaded)
  • Maximum speed: 408 mph (656 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
  • Ceiling: 44,000 ft (13,400m)
  • Range: 434 miles (700 km)
  • Armament: 2 20mm cannons; 4 machine guns
  • Crew: 1
In 1943 a new Rolls-Royce engine (the Griffon) gave a new power surge to the Spitfire. The Mark XIV using this engine with a great 5-bladed propeller was able to stand the strain of this 2,050 hp power plant and became one of the fastest Spitfires of the war. It not only offered a serious challenge to the latest types of German jet fighters, it was also able to attack the V-1 jet-powered flying bomb.
Specifications:
  • Nation: Britain
  • Manufacturer: Supermarine Division of Vickers-Armstrong Ltd.
  • Type: Fighter
  • Year: 1944
  • Engine: Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 12-cylinder V liquid-cooled, 2,050 hp.
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 10 in (11.22 m)
  • Length: 32 ft 8 in (9.95 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
  • Weight: 8,500 lb (3,850 kg) (loaded)
  • Maximum speed: 448 mph (721 km/h) at 26,000 ft (7,900 m)
  • Ceiling: 44,500 ft (13,560m)
  • Range: 460 miles (740 km)
  • Armament: 2 20mm cannons; 4 machine guns; 1,000 lbs (454 kg) of bombs
  • Crew: 1
[Note: Britain produced 20,351 Spitfires during WWII.]
Spitfire 30 feet...
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