Late in 1944 a number of high-back full-span Mk XIVEs were converted by the Forward Repair Unit (FRU) to have a single camera fitted, facing to port or starboard; a conversion identical to that used on the FRU-converted FR Mk IXC. The Battle of Britain was an effort by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) during the summer and autumn of 1940 to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom in preparation for the planned amphibious and airborne forces invasion of Britain by Operation Sea Lion. A total of 957 of all variants were produced. They were extended by eight inches, meaning that with a straighter trailing edge, the wings were not the same elliptical shape as previous Spitfires. [32], The Mk XIV was used by the 2nd Tactical Air Force as their main high-altitude air superiority fighter in northern Europe with six squadrons operational by December 1944. Jeffrey Quill, Supermarine's chief test pilot, was the first to fly the Mk IV/Mk XII prototype DP845. F Mk IIc its multitude of variants Spitfire VIIIs. With the success of the trials it was decided to use this version of the Merlin in the Mk. By late 1944, Spitfire XIVs were fitted with an extra 33 gal in a rear fuselage fuel tank, extending the fighter's range to about 850 miles (1,370 km) on internal fuel and a 90 gal drop tank. These were soon removed and a mock up of a proposed six-cannon armament was fitted, three in each wing. 329 Squadron RAF was a Royal Air Force fighter squadron founded upon the personnel and traditions of the French 1/2 fighter squadron Storks, having markings "5A" 1944-1945. Starting in early 1945 most Spitfire Mk XIVs also used clipped wingtips, mainly in an effort to reduce wrinkling of the wing's skin; again the LF prefix was not applied to these aircraft. The original production variants of the Merlin used an SU manufactured carburettor in which the fuel flow was metered through a float. Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament. [38] The Mk 18s saw little action apart from some involvement against guerrillas in the Malayan Emergency. They had a single 85 gal main fuel tank, giving a short range of little over 380 miles (610 km) on internal fuel. The Tempest emerged as one of the most powerful fighters of World War II and was the fastest single-engine propeller-driven aircraft of the war at low altitude. The Supermarine Spitfire, the only British fighter to be manufactured before, during and after the Second World War, was designed as a short-range fighter capable of defending Britain from bomber attack and achieved legendary status fulfilling this role during the Battle of Britain. "The Spitfire and its Wing: Article and scale drawings. The basic airframe proved to be extremely adaptable, capable of taking far more powerful engines and far greater loads than its original role as a short-range interceptor had allowed for. It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire's role during the Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane inflicted 60 per cent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, and fought in all the major theatres of the Second World War. Type numbers (such as type 361) are the drawing board design numbers allocated by Supermarine. Another important feature of the Griffon-engine Spitfires was the entirely flush-riveted finish which was progressively introduced on all Spitfires. A supercharger can be thought of either as artificially increasing the density of the air by compressing it - or as forcing more air than normal into the cylinder every time the piston moves down.[4]. After the first 25 (type 389s) were produced, later aircraft were also fitted with the pressurised cabin of the Mk X and the fuel capacity was increased to 256 gallons, three-and-a-half times that of the original Spitfire This version was the type 390. Mark XVI or Mark 16 often refers to the 16th version of a product, frequently military hardware. Handling, however, was considered to be better than previous Spitfire marks, and the clipped wings conferred excellent manoeuvrability through enhanced aileron response. The full remedy was to use the Bendix-Stromberg pressure carburettor, which allowed more precise metering of the amount of fuel used by the engine and prevented the problem of fuel starvation. The Griffon variants were manufactured in fewer numbers to its Merlin counterpart, in a batch of around 79 aircraft which were delivered in 1945. Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. The Supermarine Seafang was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon–engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification N.5/45. Because it was used mainly at low altitudes the "production" FR Mk XIVE had clipped wingtips. Conclusions The critical trimming characteristics reported on the production Spitfire 21 have been largely eliminated by the modifications carried out to this aircraft. In spite of the difficulties pilots appreciated the performance increases. The first batch of aircraft to fly with the Griffon 60 series engines were six converted Mk VIIIs JF316 to JF321 which were called Mk VIIIG. Griffon-powered variants of the Supermarine Spitfire. These figures were only true to the first prototypes, as serial production examples were fitted with a Griffon 65 with different supercharger gearing. [39]. It partly cured the problem of fuel starvation in a dive. [46], Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark 22 at Wikimedia Commons, The Mk 22 was identical to the Mk 21 in all respects except for the cut-back rear fuselage, with the tear-drop canopy, and a more powerful 24 volt electrical system in place of the 12 volt system of all earlier Spitfires. [50], Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark 24 at Wikimedia Commons. Merlin 63, 66 or 70 engine with a two-stage, two—speed supercharger. The next essential ... was an improvement in the directional stability and control and a new fin was drawn out with a substantial increase in area (7.42 sq. 57 Related Articles [filter] Supermarine Spitfire. Although the first version of the Seafire, the Seafire Ib, was a straight adaptation of the Spitfire Vb, successive variants incorporated much needed strengthening of the basic structure of the airframe and equipment changes in order to survive the demanding maritime environment. The first true Mk 21 prototype, PP139 first flew in July 1943, with the first production aircraft LA187 flying on 15 March 1944. Spitfire L.F Mk Vb of 316(Polish) "Warszawski" Squadron. Even with full aileron, elevator and rudder, this brute of a fighter took off slightly sideways. Information as to when the first production aircraft emerged is from the serial number lists provided in Morgan and Shacklady 2000. The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most outstanding fighter aircraft of the Second World War. The Supermarine Spiteful was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon-engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification F.1/43 during the Second World War as a successor to the Spitfire. It was a further development of Supermarine's famous Spitfire and Spiteful aircraft, which by that point was a 10-year-old design following a rapid period of aviation development in history. The Royal Indian Air Force purchased 20 ex-RAF Mk 18s in 1947. Changes of trim with changes of power were much more in evidence, both directionally and longitudinally, and the aeroplane sheared about a bit during tight manoeuvres and simulated dog-fights. [11], On 4 December 1939, the Supermarine design staff produced a brochure which mooted the idea of converting the Spitfire to use the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine. By 1943, Rolls-Royce engineers had developed a new Griffon engine, the 61 series, with a two-stage supercharger. The Vickers Supermarine Seafire was an urgent development of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire to generate a high performance carrier-based fighter aircraft. The Cobi Supermarine Spitfire IX Set parts all work with the “other major brand.” You will be pleasantly surprised with the great quality and detail of this Cobi set. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; nearly 60 remain airworthy, and many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world. As the Spitfire gained more power and was able to fly at greater speeds the risk of aileron reversal was increasing so the Supermarine design team set about redesigning the wings to counter this possibility. To help balance the new engine, the radio equipment was moved further back in the rear fuselage and the access hatch was moved from the left fuselage side to the right. Spitfire X: Pressurised version of PR-XI with Merlin 77 - one example with HF wing. In 1951, Hainan Island (People's Republic of China) was targeted at the behest of US Naval Intelligence for RAF overflights, using Spitfire PR Mk 19s based at Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong. As an example, the maximum power generated by the Merlin 61 was 1,565 hp (1,167 kW) at 12,250 feet (3,730 m) (critical altitude) at M.S. [51] The breakdown of production figures is taken from Air International 1985, p. 187. The aircraft was soon renamed Mk XX, to avoid confusion with a renamed PR type, then it became the Mk XII. The last 45 or so Mk XIIs, were based on Mk VIIIs with two wing fuel tanks, each containing a maximum fuel load of 14 gal, and featured the larger horn balances, retractable tailwheel and undercarriage legs with torque-links, "dished" leg fairings and the stronger Dunlop AH10019 four spoke wheels. The Griffon IIs or VIs used a single-stage supercharger generating maximum power at low altitudes. The last Mk 24 to be built was delivered in February 1948 and were used until 1952 by 80 Squadron. (article and images). This specific COBI Spitfire set, honors the Polish Fighting Team of pilots that flew alongside British Spitfire … Like the Mk XIV there were fighter and fighter reconnaissance variants built. It is considered that the modifications to the Spitfire 21 make it a satisfactory combat aircraft for the average pilot. However 12 squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force used the variant and continued to do so until March 1951. The mark numbers XV and XVII (15 and 17) were reserved for the naval version, the Seafire , in an effort to reconcile the Spitfire numbering scheme with that of the Seafire. The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). Spitfire Variants: The prototype Spitfire (K5054) was flown unpainted by chief test pilot 'Mutt' Summers at Eastleigh airfield (now Southampton airport) on March 5th 1936. However the tests were disappointing and, after discussions at Supermarine, it was decided to build a new prototype using the Mk 21 prototype PP139: in this form the prototype was designated F Mk 23, and was to be renamed the Supermarine Valiant. Better VHF radio equipment allowed for the aerial mast to be removed and replaced by a "whip" aerial further aft on the fuselage spine. [44], Spitfire 21s became operational on 91 Squadron in January 1945. [12] [18]. The final Spitfire variant, the Mk 24, was similar to the Mk 22 except that it had an increased fuel capacity over its predecessors, with two fuel tanks of 33 gal (150 l) each installed in the rear fuselage. The new wing was torsionally 47 per cent stiffer, allowing an increased theoretical aileron reversal speed of 825 mph (1,328 km/h). The first Mk XIXs entered service in May 1944, and by the end of the war the type had virtually replaced the earlier Mk XI. Spitfire F Mk XIIs of 41 Sqn. [43]. Concepts for adapting the Spitfire to take the new engine had begun as far back as October 1939; Joseph Smith felt that "The good big 'un will eventually beat the good little 'un." To avoid the expansion of fuel in hot weather damaging the wing, pressure relief valves, incorporating small external vent pipes, were fitted near the wing tips. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants), Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. However, constant problems with the development of the Griffon meant that the decision to proceed with building a Spitfire with this engine didn't come to fruition until 1942, with the successful flight trials of the Mk IV. In these engines the carburettor injected fuel at 5 psi through a nozzle direct into the supercharger and the compressed air—fuel mixture was then directed to the cylinders. The main Castle Bromwich factory was also aided by a smaller number of the shadow factories. It was analogous in concept to the Hawker Sea Hurricane, a navalised version of the Spitfire's stablemate, the Hawker Hurricane. [8][nb 3], An intercooler, was required to stop the compressed mixture from becoming too hot and either igniting before reaching the cylinders (pre-ignition knocking) or creating a condition known as knocking or detonation. [9] Finally, an extra radiator (mounted in the starboard radiator duct under the wing of the Spitfire) was used to dissipate the intercooler's excess charge temperature. ft) and a much larger rudder and fitted to the second aircraft JF317. It certainly put the cat among the pigeons and among the VIPs. [34]. [2] In 1944 100/150 grade fuels enabled the Merlin 66 to produce 1,860 hp (1,387 kW) at low altitudes in F.S gear. [3] Several versions of the Spitfire, including Mk XIV and Mk XVIII had extra 13 gallon integral fuel tanks in the wing leading edges, between the wing-root and the inboard cannon bay. Up to 2 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs (wing racks), plus 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) bomb (centre-section rack). The Mk.1 Spitfire had a 1,030-hp Merlin II engine and eight Browning 0.303-in machine guns. [4], The Hispano Mk.II cannons were now belt fed from box magazines allowing for 120 rpg (the "Chattellerault" system). The Mk 18 missed the war. K9795, the 9th production Mk I, with 19 Squadron. The increased cooling requirements of the Griffon engine meant that all radiators were much bigger and the underwing housings were deeper than previous versions. gear required approximately 200 hp (149 kW) to drive it. "Johnnie" Johnson it was the best conventional defensive fighter of the war. The Mk XIV could climb to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) in just over five minutes and its top speed, which was achieved at 25,400 ft (7,700 m), was 446 mph (718 km/h). As well as A and B type wings, the Mk V introd… This Spitfire has the "cropped" Merlin 45 series engine and the "clipped" wings. The Griffon engine drove an 11 ft (3.4 m)-diameter five-bladed propeller, some 7 in (18 cm) larger than that fitted to the Mk XIV. Although initially based on the Mk VIII airframe, common improvements made in aircraft produced later included the cut-back fuselage and tear-drop canopies, and the E-Type wing with improved armament. The modifications over the Mk XIV made the Mk 21 sensitive to trim changes. [12]. The Mk XIV differed from the Mk XII in that the longer, two-stage supercharged Griffon 65, producing 2,050 hp (1,528 kW), was mounted 10 inches (25.4 cm) further forward. [31], The first test of the aircraft was in intercepting V1 flying bombs and the Mk XIV was the most successful of all Spitfire marks in this role. Its handling qualities have benefitted (sic) to a corresponding extent and it is now considered suitable both for instrument flying and low flying. [40] The last operational sortie by a Mk 19 was in 1963 when one was used in battle trials against an English Electric Lightning to determine how best a Lightning should engage piston-engined aircraft. Because the Americans measured their boost ratings using inches of Mercury (" Hg), their boost gauges more accurately recorded the absolute pressures being generated by the superchargers at all altitudes.[13]. ... Supermarine Spitfire … No. Two-stage refers to the use of two impellers[nb 2]on a common driveshaft, constituting two superchargers in series; as air was drawn through the air intake fuel was pumped into the airstream by the carburettor. 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon with 120 rounds-per-gun (rpg) in the outer bays combined with 2 ×, 4 × 20 mm Hispano cannon with 120 rpg (this configuration was rarely fitted.). The majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used three basic wing types — the C through to the E types. Using 100 Octane fuel and +12 lb/in² boost the Merlin III was capable of generating 1,310 hp (977 kW). The evolution of high octane aviation fuels and improved supercharger designs enabled Rolls-Royce to extract increasing amounts of power from the same basic designs. Spitfire, also called Supermarine Spitfire, the most widely produced and strategically important British single-seat fighter of World War II. The Spitfire was the only British plane to be in constant production before, during and after World War II. [19] [35] It was this type which was rumoured to have been buried at an airfield in Burma after the war. I found that it had a spectacular performance doing 445 mph at 25,000 ft, with a sea-level rate of climb of over 5,000 ft per minute. The lower cowling lost its "pigeon-chested" appearance, with a shallower curve up to the spinner. As a result the maximum power generated by the Merlin 61 in F.S. All had the larger "Spiteful" tail units; modifications were also made to the trim tab gearings to perfect the F Mk 24's handling. It is notable that throughout the entire development process, which took place over twelve years, from 1935 through to 1948, there were no outstanding failures of the basic design: this is a real testament to the original genius of Reginald J. Mitchell, his successor Joseph Smith, and the design teams they led.[1]. Some aircraft had less than five hours flying time. [13] Apart from these differences the Mk IV airframe was closely related to that of the Merlin-powered Mk III. Hurricane vs Spitfire: Costs After looking at the Hurricane and Spitfire’s specifications, it may be tempting to draw a conclusion as to which is the better aircraft. Otherwise this version of the FR Mk XIVE was essentially the same as the standard aircraft. In operational service many pilots initially found that the new fighter could be difficult to handle, particularly if they were used to earlier Spitfire marks. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries before, during and after World War II. A similar contra-rotating propeller unit was later used on production Seafire 46 and 47s. The designers used a system of levers to shorten the undercarriage legs by about 8 in (20 cm) as they retracted, because the longer legs did not have enough space in which to retract; the levers extended the legs as they came down. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. LF F or HF wings, B, C or E armament. It was hoped that this would improve the pilot's view over the nose in flight and increase the high speed and dive performance of the aircraft. [42], The first production Mk 21s used the same airframe as the Mk XIV. A top speed of 423 mph (681 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,639 m) was predicted. This was the final mark of Spitfire powered by a Griffon 85 driving a five bladed Rotol propeller. Neither the German leader Adolf Hitler nor his High Command of the Armed Forces believed it was possible to carry out a successful amphibious assault on Britain until the RAF had been neutralised. For example, even relatively minor damage on the wing leading edges could drastically reduce top speed. Animated 3D model VB Specifications Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB Except for the first two variants of the Supermarine Spitfire (the Mk I and 2), it is a remarkable fact that the most used and, generally, the most successful variants of this fighter were those originally developed as ‘stop gap’ types. [2], The undercarriage mountings were redesigned and the undercarriage doors were bowed in cross section allowing the legs to sit lower in the wells, eliminating the upper-wing blisters over the wheel wells and landing gear pivot points. When the Mk XII was able to engage in combat it was a formidable fighter and several Fw 190s and Bf 109-Gs fell victim to it. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XIX at Wikimedia Commons The Mk XIX was the last and most successful photographic reconnaissance variant of the Spitfire. [9], With the two-stage, two-speed supercharger two sets of power ratings can be quoted. The basic airframe proved to be extremely adaptable, capable of taking far more powerful engines and far greater loads than its original role as a short-range interceptor had allowed for. The British measured boost pressure as lbs./sq.inch (or psi). The F Mk 24 achieved a maximum speed of 454 mph (731 km/h) and could reach an altitude of 30,000 ft (9,100 m) in eight minutes, putting it on a par with the most advanced piston-engined fighters of the era. Secondary objectives were to destroy aircraft production and ground infrastructure, to attack areas of political significance, and to terrorise the British people into seeking an armistice or surrender. [42] The Mk 21 armament was standardised as four 20mm Hispano II cannon with 150 rpg and no machine guns. Chief among the changes was the upgraded 1,175 hp (876 kW) Merlin XII engine. With the end of the war, most orders for the Mk 21 were cancelled and only 120 were completed. The most fundamental change made to the later Merlin (60, 70, 80 and 100 series) and Griffon engines (60 and 80 series) was the incorporation of a two-stage, two-speed supercharger, which provided a considerable increase in power, especially at higher altitudes. Jeffrey Quill commented that, The AFDU were quite right to criticise the handling of the Mark 21 ... Where they went terribly wrong was to recommend that all further development of the Spitfire family should cease. When 150 octane fuel was introduced in mid-1944 the "boost" of the Griffon engine was able to be increased to +25 lbs (80.7"), allowing the top speed to be increased by about 30 mph (26 kn; 48 km/h) to 400 mph (350 kn; 640 km/h) at 2,000 ft (610 m). A four blade Rotol propeller of 10 ft 5 in (3.1 m) was used. The second Mk XX, DP851, initially had a Griffon II engine and made its first flight in August 1942. ten main factories and several smaller workshops, Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II, Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin-powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin-powered variants),,, Alan Le Marinel hosts Supermarine Spitfire, K5054 – Supermarine Type 300 prototype Spitfire & production aircraft history. The fuel injected Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine gave the Bf 109 especially an advantage over the carburettor-equipped engine; no Spitfire could simply "bunt" and dive away from an opponent as the 109 could. The lower thrust line and larger capacity of the new engine meant that the contours of the engine cowling were completely changed, with more prominent blisters over the cylinder heads, plus a third tear-drop shaped blister on the upper forward cowling to clear the magneto, and a deeper curve down to the spinner, which was much longer than previous types. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVIII at Wikimedia Commons. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. Chapel, Charles Eward; Bent, Ralph D; McKinley, James L. Lovesey, A C. "Development of the Rolls-Royce Merlin from 1939 to 1945. However, there was a problem with the British system of measuring boost, in that in an aircraft the pressure gauges should measure absolute pressure within the engine's supercharger, rather than showing atmospheric pressure at sea level, plus the supercharger's pressure; at sea level this was a reasonable measure but, in engines that were used through different altitudes this method becomes completely arbitrary. This article adopts the convention of using Roman numerals for the Mks I–XX and Arabic numerals for the Mks 21–24. [6] The improved armament was more effective for both air-to-air engagements and air-to-ground attacks.