This mark could nudge 400 mph (640 km/h) in level flight and climb to an altitude of 33,000 ft (10,000 m) in under nine minutes. Like the Mk XIV there were fighter and fighter reconnaissance variants built. It was moved to its current location in 2015 from the previous position at the entrance to the airport where it had been for 50 years. Over a six-year period in the 1990s, this aircraft was slowly restored by Personal Plane Services in England using almost 90% of its original aircraft skins. I realised at once that we should have to correct its directional characteristics and probably its longitudinal stability also, both of which in due time we achieved. Aircraft performance and design (pdf file) pp. Ldr. 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. When the new fighter entered service with 610 Squadron in December 1943 it was a leap forward in the evolution of the Spitfire. Interim reports were later issued on a piecemeal basis. "Spitfire: Simply Superb part three" Air International Volume 28, Number 4, April 1985. Although resolving the problems took time, in June 1940, 10 Mk IIs were built; 23 rolled out in July, 37 in August, and 56 in September. Owner Kermit Weeks insisted that the aircraft be restored as closely as possible to its original condition. It flew operationally with No. [nb 14], The Seafire, a name derived from sea, and Spitfire, was a naval version of the Spitfire specially adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. He climbed to 50,000 ft (15,000 m) indicated altitude, with a true altitude of 51,550 ft (15,710 m).  It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire's distinctive elliptical wing with cutting-edge sunken rivets (designed by Beverley Shenstone) to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. The Mk 18 missed the war. , As American fighters took over the long-range escorting of United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) daylight bombing raids, the Griffon-engined Spitfires progressively took up the tactical air superiority role, and played a major role in intercepting V-1 flying bombs, while the Merlin-engined variants (mainly the Mk IX and the Packard-engined Mk XVI) were adapted to the fighter-bomber role. By early 1942, it was evident that Spitfires powered by the new two-stage supercharged Griffon 61 engine would need a much stronger airframe and wings. Both the elevators and rudder were shaped so that their centre of mass was shifted forward, reducing control-surface flutter. The Hispanos were found to be so unreliable that the squadron requested an exchange of its aircraft with the older Browning-armed aircraft of an operational training unit. 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." , RAE Bedford (RAE) modified a Spitfire for high-speed testing of the stabilator (then known as the "flying tail") of the Miles M.52 supersonic research aircraft. During and after the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire became a symbol of British resistance: for example, Lord Beaverbrook's "Spitfire Fund" of 1940 was one campaign which drew widespread public attention to the Spitfire. Frames 21, 22 and 23 formed the fin; frame 22 incorporated the tailwheel opening and frame 23 was the rudder post. During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. The Merlin Mark I, the first iteration of the engine, produced a little more than 1000 horsepower.  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. All this meant that the throttle needed to be handled judiciously on take-off but, once in the air, the aeroplane had a great feeling of power about it; it seemed to be the airborne equivalent of a very powerful sports car and was great fun to fly. , Although R. J. Mitchell is justifiably known as the engineer who designed the Spitfire, his premature death in 1937 meant that all development after that date was undertaken by a team led by his chief draughtsman, Joe Smith, who became Supermarine's chief designer on Mitchell's death. , The Spitfire's airframe was complex. One feature of the Griffon engine which was to catch a lot of pilots out was that the propeller rotated in the opposite direction to that of the Merlin; i.e.,: to the left, from the pilot's perspective, rather than to the right. ... there was somewhat less ground clearance, resulting in a slight reduction in propeller diameter; the power available for take-off was much greater; and the engine RPM were lower than in the Merlin. During the Chinese Civil War, 80 Squadron's main duty was to defend Hong Kong from perceived Communist threats. Mk XIIs were manufactured from Mk VC and Mk VIII airframes: early production aircraft had the fixed tail wheels, Dunlop AH2061 pattern "five spoke" mainwheels and small elevator balances.  Martindale successfully glided the Spitfire 20 mi (32 km) back to the airfield and landed safely. 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. When the two-stage Merlin was introduced in the Spitfire Mk IX, the radiators were split to make room for an intercooler radiator; the radiator under the starboard wing was halved in size and the intercooler radiator housed alongside. , There are 54 Spitfires and a few Seafires in airworthy condition worldwide, although many air museums have examples on static display, for example, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has paired a static Spitfire with a static Ju 87 R-2/Trop. The majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used C, D and E wing types.  During production of the Mk VIII and Mk IX, a new undercarriage leg was introduced which had external v-shaped "scissor-links" fitted to the front of the leg; this also led to small changes in the shape of the undercarriage bay and leg fairings. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark 21 at Wikimedia Commons  Alex Henshaw, chief test pilot at Castle Bromwich from 1940, was placed in charge of testing all Spitfires built at that factory. A fibreglass replica of a Spitfire Mk IX has been mounted on a pylon in Jackson Park, One of the few remaining Supermarine Spitfires with a wartime record is on display (alongside a Hawker Hurricane) at the, A fibreglass replica of a Spitfire Mk IX is mounted to the roof of the speciality shop, Spitfire Emporium, in, There is a replica of a Spitfire (and of a Hurricane) at the entrance to the, A fibreglass replica of Spitfire VB BL924 is on display at. It was built up until early 1946 but it was not until January 1947, that an RAF squadron, 60 Squadron which operated from RAF Seletar, Singapore, was re-equipped with the variant. Thanks!!! The cabin pressure fell below a safe level, and in trying to reduce altitude, he entered an uncontrollable dive which shook the aircraft violently. Gueli, Marco. With the later and still heavier versions, one got even less. Flaps were normally lowered only during the final approach and for landing, and the pilot was to retract them before taxiing. 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. A top speed of 423 mph (681 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,639 m) was predicted. These were referred to as Mk IX UTI and differed from the Supermarine proposals by using an inline "greenhouse" style double canopy rather than the raised "bubble" type of the T Mk VIII. , 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. , The last non-operational flight of a Spitfire in RAF service, which took place on 9 June 1957, was by a PR Mk 19, PS583, from RAF Woodvale of the Temperature and Humidity Flight. Price, Alfred.  It made its first flight in February 1934. Both restored by American billionaire Thomas Kaplan, one has been donated to the Imperial War Museum and the second was auctioned in July 2015 at Christie's, London. ", History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Koga's Zero: The Fighter That Changed World War II, The Spitfire Site – resource library about the Supermarine Spitfire, Spitfire/Seafire Serial Numbers, production contracts and aircraft histories, K5054 – Supermarine Type 300 prototype Spitfire & production aircraft history, Supermarine Spitfire – History of a legend (RAF Museum), The Supermarine Spitfire in Indian Air Force Service, Spitfire Pilots, articles about Spitfires and its pilots, RAF Museum Spitfire Mk VB walk-around photos, Examples of Photographic Reconnaissance Spitfires, Pacific Spitfires – The Supermarine Spitfire in RAAF Service, A photograph of the 1939 "Speed Spitfire" in, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supermarine_Spitfire&oldid=996755469, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2020, Articles needing additional references from April 2018, All articles needing additional references, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.  Behind the bulkhead were five U-shaped half-frames which accommodated the fuel tanks and cockpit. Air combat was also felt to take place at relatively low speeds and high-speed manoeuvring would be physically impossible. , The Spitfire had detachable wing tips which were secured by two mounting points at the end of each main wing assembly. 1943–1948 was a transition period during which new aircraft entering service were given Arabic numerals for mark numbers but older aircraft retained their Roman numerals. Later, other squadrons in the Far East and Middle East would receive them. Mark XX was given to the original Mk IV Griffon engine prototype DP845 to avoid confusion with the retitled Spitfire PR Mk IVs. In December, it was refitted with a Griffon 61 and re-designated as a Mk 21 initial prototype. It had the full-span C wing combined with a small tail unit and retractable tailwheel, and also had external bracket hinges under the wings, denoting the installation of braking flaps. With the increasing use of hard-surfaced runways in the post-war years, many Spitfires were either manufactured, or retro-fitted with, larger mainwheels which were of a "three spoke" pattern.   Although the later Griffon-engined marks lost some of the favourable handling characteristics of their Merlin-powered predecessors, they could still outmanoeuvre their main German foes and other, later American and British-designed fighters.  The new wing was initially fitted to a Spitfire Mk XIV. Rated at 2,050 hp (1,530 kW), the 12-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled Griffon 61 engine featured a two-stage supercharger, giving the Spitfire the exceptional performance at high altitude that had been sometimes lacking in early marks. The inner gun bays allowed for two weapon fits; The 20 mm Hispano cannon were moved outboard and a more effective .50 calibre Browning .50 cal M2/AN heavy machine gun with 250 rpg was added to the inner gun-bay replacing the outer Browning .303s. Our Spitfires are sold and flying all over the world. I loved the Spitfire in all of her many versions. On 20 February 1948, almost twelve years from the prototype's first flight, the last production Spitfire, VN496, left the production line. This information was needed in case RAF Lightnings might have to engage P-51 Mustangs in the Indonesian conflict of the time.. 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. [nb 12], In March 1941, a metal disc with a hole was fitted in the fuel line, restricting fuel flow to the maximum the engine could consume. , During the Second World War, Spitfires were used by the United States Army Air Forces in the 4th Fighter Group until they were replaced by Republic P-47 Thunderbolts in March 1943. In late 1943 Spitfires powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon engines developing as much as 2,050 horsepower began entering service. During these trials, EN409, flown by Squadron Leader J. R. Tobin, reached 606 mph (975 km/h) (Mach 0.891) in a 45° dive. In total, 957 Mk XIVs were built, over 430 of which were FR Mk XIVs. Some of the squadron's aircraft went to the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force where they were operated until 1955. is listed. However 12 squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force used the variant and continued to do so until March 1951.  Pat Woodward, who was an RAF pilot operating from Burma at the end of the war, reported that no such burying took place. 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). Up until the end of 1942, the RAF always used Roman numerals for mark numbers. The managements of Supermarine and Vickers were able to convince the Air Ministry that production problems could be overcome, and a further order was placed for 200 Spitfires on 24 March 1938. This matter was almost conclusively answered in 1985 by aviation author Alfred Price, who received an account sheet with a handwritten note by Mitchell updating a line from "Not yet flown" to "Flew 5 Mar 36". What he meant was that he wanted nothing touched, especially the control settings, until he had consulted with Mitchell and the design team and suggested some improvements. The trailing edge of the wing twisted slightly upward along its span, the angle of incidence decreasing from +2° at its root to -½° at its tip. , Due to a shortage of Brownings, which had been selected as the new standard rifle calibre machine gun for the RAF in 1934, early Spitfires were fitted with only four guns, with the other four fitted later. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. After intensive test flying, the most serious problems were solved by changing the gearing to the trim tabs and other subtle control modifications, such that the Mk 21 was cleared for instrument flying and low level flight during trials in March 1945. The original aircraft was purchased by the people of the Lytham St Annes in 1940. Between 1940 and 1946, Henshaw flew a total of 2,360 Spitfires and Seafires, more than 10% of total production.. ", "The Supermarine Spitfire, an operational history. After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific, and South-East Asian theatres. A fibreglass replica of the Mk.1 Spitfire Mk1 YT-J (R6675), flown by Supermarine test pilot Jeffrey Quill during his brief period of active service with 65 Squadron, is on display at the. Early, Merlin-powered Spitfires were not the only aircraft to suffer from this problem, as other prewar aeroplanes also used carburettors containing a float chamber. The Mk 22 was also used at Flying refresher schools. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened Dunlop AH10019 "four spoke" pattern mainwheels. , When the last Spitfire rolled out in February 1948, a total of 20,351 examples of all variants had been built, including two-seat trainers, with some Spitfires remaining in service well into the 1950s. Pilots who forgot to raise the flaps after landing often found themselves paying a fine. A key factor which allowed the continued development of the Spitfire was the development of progressively more powerful and improved engines, starting with the Rolls-Royce Merlin and progressing to the bigger and more powerful Rolls-Royce Griffon. , In late 1962, Air Marshal Sir John Nicholls instigated a trial when he flew Spitfire PM631, a PR Mk 19 in the custody of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, against an English Electric Lightning F 3 (a supersonic jet-engined interceptor) in mock combat at RAF Binbrook. These remarkable increases in performance arose chiefly from the introduction of the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine in place of the famous Merlin of earlier variants.  By the time production ended at Castle Bromwich in June 1945, a total of 12,129 Spitfires (921 Mk IIs, 4,489 Mk Vs, 5,665 Mk IXs, and 1,054 Mk XVIs) had been built, at a maximum rate of 320 per month, making CBAF the largest Spitfire factory in the UK and the largest and most successful plant of its type during the 1939–45 conflict. The dive put the aircraft to Mach 0.92, the fastest ever recorded in a piston-engined aircraft, but when the propeller came off, the Spitfire, now tail-heavy, zoom-climbed back to altitude. The British Supermarine Spitfire was facing several challenges by mid-1942. [nb 15], The oldest surviving Spitfire is a Mark 1, serial number K9942; it is preserved at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford in Shropshire. Indeed, DP485 eventually went through many phases of development throughout and I, and others, flew in it a great deal; it became one of our favourite aeroplanes. The fighter's maximum range was just a little over 460 miles (740 km) on internal fuel, since the new Griffon engine consumed much more fuel per hour than the original Merlin engine of earlier variants. The Royal Aircraft Establishment noted that, at 400 mph (640 km/h) indicated airspeed, roughly 65% of aileron effectiveness was lost due to wing twist.  The Mk 21 armament was standardised as four 20mm Hispano II cannon with 150 rpg and no machine guns. If this failed the pitch of the rear propeller was no longer under control and might do anything which was potentially dangerous. They had a single 85 gal main fuel tank, giving a short range of little over 380 miles (610 km) on internal fuel.  In 2016 it was reported that the hunt was continuing.. , The decision on the arming of the Spitfire (and the Hurricane) is told in Captain C. H. Keith's book I Hold my Aim.  Supermarine Aircraft – originally from Brisbane, Australia, and now based in Cisco, Texas – manufacture the 80% scale Spitfire Mk26 and the 90% scale Mk26B replicas. The same day P7666 was delivered to the Squadron, 23 November 1940, Finlay destroyed a Bf 109 on his first operational sortie in the aircraft. These were too late to see service in World War II.  As the Spitfire was no longer to be used as a night fighter, the retractable landing lights were no longer fitted. "Technical Note: A CFD Evaluation of Three Prominent World War II Fighter Aircraft.  On 17 May, Minister of Aircraft Production Lord Beaverbrook telephoned Lord Nuffield and manoeuvred him into handing over control of the Castle Bromwich plant to his ministry. Single stage supercharged engine of 1,735 hp ( 1,293 kW ). monocoque.. And you got only one-and-a-half fishtail '' design of ejector exhaust stub gave way to ones of circular.... 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