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      Supermarine Spitfire Fighter / Fighter-Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft  

    Supermarine Spitfire Fighter / Fighter-Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft


    The Supermarine Spitfire became the undisputed champion of the British cause during World War 2.





     Updated: 4/23/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com


    The Supermarine Spitfire the legendary British fighter aircraft developed prior to World War 2. The type earned its status as one of the finest fighter aircraft ever made thanks to its involvement in the Battle of Britain and forged its legacy through the dark years of World War 2. The type survived the war in a plethora of variants - the notable marks numbering 20 - and was developed into a navalized form as the "Seafire". Tens of thousands were ultimately produced and rivaled the qualities of the competing German Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf 190 types. The aircraft also claimed several of the German jet fighters and was used in interception of high-speed German rockets headed to English soil. Highly regarded by friend and foe alike- and rightly so - the Spitfire went on to see extended service in the post-war years which further solidified its stature in the annals of military aviation history.

    NOTE 1: While the Spitfire production line relied on roman numeral "marks" to identify each type, these did not necessarily appear in chronological order as one might suspect. After 1942, the Royal Air Force moved away from Roman numeral designation marks.

    NOTE 2: The Spitfire was primarily produced with four various wing types which directly dictated available armament options. The Type A wing fitted 8 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns while the Type B wing allowed 2 x 20mm Hispano cannons along with 4 x 7.7mm machine guns. The Type C proved the "universal win" fit intended to speed production and allow for flexible armament options: 8 x 7.7mm machine guns, 2 x 20mm cannons with 4 x 7.7mm machine guns or 4 x 20mm cannons. Additionally provision for 250lb bombs was added. The final wing - the D Type - was generally fitted to reconnaissance models which lost their wing armament and gained additional internal fuel stores for increased ranges.


    Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Va Technical Specifications


    Service Year: 1938
    Type: Fighter / Fighter-Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft
    National Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer(s): Supermarine / Westland / Castle Bromwich - UK
    Production Total: 20,351



    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)


    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 29.92 feet (9.12 meters)
    Width: 36.84 feet (11.23 meters)
    Height: 9.91 feet (3.02 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 4,998 lb (2,267 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 6,418 lb (2,911 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance


    Engine(s): 1 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 liquid-cooled V-12 piston engine developing 1,478 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 369 mph (594 kph; 321 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,135 miles (1,827 km)
    Service Ceiling: 36,499 feet (11,125 meters; 6.91 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 2,666 feet-per-minute (813 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    VARIABLE - dependent on production model:
    (A) 8 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns in wings
    (B) 2 x 20mm Hispano cannons and 4 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns in wings.
    (C) 4 x 20mm Hispano cannons in wings
    (E) 2 x 20mm Hispano cannons and 2 x 12.7mm Browning heavy machine guns OR 4 x 7.7mm Browning machine guns in wings.

    Fighter-Bomber forms introduced provision for 1 x 500lb drop bomb under centerline fuselage and 2 x 250lb drop bombs under the wings (one to a wing). Support for high-explosive air-to-surface rockets was added later. Fuel drop tanks were also available on specific production marks.

    Global Operators / Customers


    Australia; Belgium; Burma; Canada; China; Czechoslovakia; Denmark; Egypt; France; Greece; Hong Kong; India; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Malaya; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Rhodesia; South Africa; Soviet Union; Sweden; Syria; Thailand; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Yugoslavia

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)


    F.Mk I - Initial Production Model; Merlin II 1,030hp engine and 8 x .303 (7.7mm) machine guns.

    F.Mk IB - 4 x 7.7mm machine guns and 2 x 20mm cannons.

    F.Mk II - Fitted with the Merlin XII at 1,175hp.

    F.Mk VA - 8 x 7.7mm machine guns; Merlin 45 (1,440 hp) and Merlin 50 (1,470hp) powerplants; medium-altitude variant.

    LF.Mk VA - 8 x 7.7mm machine guns; Merlin 45 (1,440 hp) and Merlin 50 (1,470hp) powerplants; low-altitude variant.

    F.Mk VB - 4 x 7.7mm machine guns and 2 x 20mm cannons; Merlin 45 (1,440 hp) and Merlin 50 (1,470hp) powerplants; medium-altitude variant.

    LF.Mk VB - 4 x 7.7mm machine guns and 2 x 20mm cannons; Merlin 45 (1,440 hp) and Merlin 50 (1,470hp) powerplants; low-altitude variant.

    F.Mk VC - 4 x 20mm cannons; Merlin 45 (1,440 hp) and Merlin 50 (1,470hp) powerplants; medium-altitude variant.

    LF.Mk VC - 4 x 20mm cannons; Merlin 45 (1,440 hp) and Merlin 50 (1,470hp) powerplants; low-altitude variant.

    HF.Mk VI - High-altitude interceptor variant with pressurized cockpit; Merlin 47 (1,415hp) engine.

    HK.Mk VII - High-altitude interceptor variant with pressurized cockpit; Merlin 61, 64 or 71 two-stage engines.

    LF.Mk VIII - Low-altitude variant; Merlin 61, 63, 66 or 70 two-stage engines without pressurized cockpit.

    F.Mk VIII - Medium-altitude variant; Merlin 61, 63, 66 or 70 two-stage engines without pressurized cockpit.

    HF.Mk VIII - High-altitude interceptor variant; Merlin 61, 63, 66 or 70 two-stage engines without pressurized cockpit.

    LF.Mk IX - Low-altitude variant; Mk V model airframe with Merlin 61, 63 or 70 two-stage engines.

    F.Mk IX - Medium-altitude variant; Mk V model airframe with Merlin 61,63 or 70 two-stage engines.

    HF.Mk IX - High-altitude variant; Mk V model airframe with Merlin 61,63 or 70 two-stage engines.

    LF.Mk XVI - Low-altitude variant; Mk IX airframe with reduced-length rear fuselage; bubble canopy; Packard-produced Merlin 226 engine.

    F.Mk XVI - Medium-altitude variant; Mk IX airframe with reduced-length rear fuselage; bubble canopy; Packard-produced Merlin 226 engine.

    LF.Mk XI - Low-altitude variant; Griffin II or IV (1,735hp) engines.

    LF.Mk XIV - Low-altitude variant; Griffon 65 or 66 (2,050hp) engines; bubble canopy.

    F.Mk XIV - Medium-altitude variant; Griffon 65 or 66 (2,050hp) engines; bubble canopy.

    F.Mk XVIII - Griffon two-stage engine with bubble canopy.

    F.Mk 21 - Griffon 61 or 64 engines.

    F.Mk 22 - Griffon 85 (2,373hp) engine driving a counter-rotating propeller unit.

    F.Mk 24 - Improved Mk 22.

    PR Mk IV / Mk X / Mk XI / Mk XIII / Mk XIX - Unarmed Photo-Reconnaissance (PR) Models with Merlin 61, 63, 63A or 70 (high-altitude) engines.

    "Seafire" - Naval version of the Spitfire.

    Seafire Mk IB - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Merlin engines; 4 x 7.7mm machine guns and 2 x 20mm cannons.

    Seafire Mk IIC - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Merlin engines; 4 x 20mm cannons.

    Seafire Mk III - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Merlin engines.

    Seafire Mk XV - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Griffon engines.

    Seafire Mk XVII - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Griffon engines.

    Seafire Mk 45 - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Griffon engines.

    Seafire Mk 46 - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Griffon engines.

    Seafire Mk 47 - Naval version of the Spitfire with the Griffon engines.

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