This would lead to 19 marks of Spitfire and 52 sub-varia… [14]. This wing was structurally modified to reduce labour and manufacturing time plus it was designed to allow mixed armament options, A type, B type or four 20 mm Hispano cannon. [2] To provide room for the belt feed system of the cannon, the inner machine gun bays were moved outboard between ribs 13 and 14. Another important feature of the Griffon-engine Spitfires was the entirely flush-riveted finish which was progressively introduced on all Spitfires. Protracted development of the Mk 21 meant that this variant did not reach operational service until January 1945. [37] After the war, second hand Mk XIVs were exported to a number of foreign air forces; 132 went to the Royal Belgian Air Force, 70 went to the Royal Indian Air Force and 30 of its reconnaissance variant went to the Royal Thai Air Force. "A Case For Standardisation: Puzzle of the Boost Gauge; British Unit an Anachronism: "Centibar" Suggested" (article and images). 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. [45] In 1946 forty Spitfire 21s were delivered to Shoeburyness; once there their leading edges were removed and destroyed in "lethality" tests. The squadron had little opportunity to engage the Luftwaffe before the war ended but scored a rare success on 26 April 1945, when two Spitfire Mk 21s shot up and claimed to have sunk a German midget submarine which they caught on the surface. [27] [28]. [12]. [7]. The British measured boost pressure as lbs./sq.inch (or psi). As the critical altitude was passed a pressure-operated aneroid capsule operated the gearbox which changed speed to Full Supercharger (F.S.) Spitfire XI: Unarmed reconnaissance aircraft with Merlin 61, 63 or … SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during and after World War II. The normal atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.6959 psi, although this can vary from day to day: a reading of +6 meant that the air/fuel mix was being compressed by a supercharger blower to 20.7 (rounded figure) psi before entering the engine; +25 meant that the air/fuel mix was being compressed to 39.7 psi. 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 was a British single-seat fighter aircraft designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. This armament later became standard for all Spitfire Mk XIVs used by 2 TAF as fighters. Jeffrey Quill flew the first production aircraft, RB140 in October 1943: So the Mk XIV was in business, and a very fine fighter it was. 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. Depending on the supercharger fitted engines were rated as low altitude (e.g. A similar contra-rotating propeller unit was later used on production Seafire 46 and 47s. The Spitfire Mk.I reached No.19 Squadron at Duxford in 1938. I, II and V as the most prominent fighter variants. Vickers Supermarine Spitfire HFVII AB450 prototype in flight Numerically, the most important marks were the MK.I, MK.V, MK.VII, MK.IX and MK.XIV, of which the MK.V (Merlin 45) and MK.IX (with Merlin 61 and two-speed / two-stage supercharger) contributed more than half of the production total. The oil tank (which had been moved from the lower cowling location of the Merlin engine variants to forward of the fuselage fuel tanks) was increased in capacity from 6 to 10 gal. Title: Supermarine Spitfire IX Variants (206) Page 02-960 File name: Supermarine Spitfire IX Variants (206)_Page_02-960.jpg Dimensions: 703 x 960 px Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. In spite of the difficulties pilots appreciated the performance increases. At low altitude it was one of the fastest aircraft in the world; in one speed trial, held at Farnborough in July 1942 DP485 (now referred to as the Mk XII) piloted by Jeffrey Quill raced ahead of a Hawker Typhoon and a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190, to the amazement of the dignitaries present. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants), Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. This article adopts the convention of using Roman numerals for the Mks I–XX and Arabic numerals for the Mks 21–24. 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. Structurally unchanged from the C wing, the outer machine gun ports were eliminated, although the outer machine gun bays were retained and their access doors were devoid of empty cartridge case ports and cartridge case deflectors. As a result the prefixes which were used on most later Spitfire variants, L.F. Mark..., F. Mark.. and H.F Mark indicated whether the engines fitted were suited for low, medium or high altitude. Spitfire F Mk XIIs of 41 Sqn. 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. In total, 957 Mk XIVs were built, over 430 of which were FR Mk XIVs. Stronger undercarriage legs were raked 2 inches (5.08 cm) forward, making the Spitfire more stable on the ground and reducing the likelihood of the aircraft tipping onto its nose. [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. [6] The improved armament was more effective for both air-to-air engagements and air-to-ground attacks. 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. A later model IFF was fitted, replacing the aerials from the tailplane tip to fuselage with a rod aerial under the starboard wing. The aircraft was also used as a fighter-bomber, carrying 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) and 2 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs, with rocket-projectile launch rails fitted as standard. [5]. Most of the Mk 22s were built with enlarged tail surfaces, similar to those of the Supermarine Spiteful. 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. [4], The Hispano Mk.II cannons were now belt fed from box magazines allowing for 120 rpg (the "Chattellerault" system). In the case of the Merlin II/III, XII and 40 series as the air was being compressed it was mixed with fuel which was fed through an SU carburettor before being fed into the engine's cylinders. By 1943, Rolls-Royce engineers had developed a new Griffon engine, the 61 series, with a two-stage supercharger. 1,720 hp (1,283 kW) at 11,000 ft (3,353 m), 2,050 hp (1,530 kW) at 9,800 ft (2,987 m), 2,120 hp (1,771 kW) at 12,250 ft (3,734 m), 404 mph (650 km/h) at 21,000 ft (6,400 m), 397 mph (639 km/h) at 17,800 ft (5,425 m), 448 mph (717 km/h) at 25,900 ft (7,894 m), 454 mph (731 km/h) at 26,000 ft (7,802 m), 4,745 ft/min (24.1 m/s) at 10,000 ft (3,048 m), 3,760 ft/min (19.1 m/s) at 2,600 ft (792 m), 4,580 ft/min (25.2 m/s) at sea level (0 m), 4,100 ft/min (21.0 m/s) at 17,000 ft (5,182 m), 1,415 hp (1,055 kW) at 14,000 ft (4,267 m), 342 mph (297 knots), (550 km/h) at 20,700 ft (6,309 m), 359 mph (312 knots), (578 km/h) at 5,100 ft (1,514 m), 392 mph (341 knots), (631 km/h) at 12,800 ft (3,901 m), 452 mph (393 knots), (727 km/h) at 20,500 ft (6,250 m), 2,380 ft/min (12.0 m/s) at 16,000 ft (4,876 m), 3,460 ft/min (17.5 m/s) at 4,000 ft (1,219 m), 4,600 ft/min (23.4 m/s) at 4,000 ft (1,219 m), 4,800 ft/min (24.4 m/s) at sea level (0 m), 1,475 mi (2,374 km) with 90 gal drop tank, 8 × 0.303" Browning machine guns; 350 rpg, 4 × 0.303" Browning machine guns; 350 rpg, 2 × 250 lb (113 kg) or 1 × 500 lb (227 kg) bombs, 2 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Hispano II cannon; 60 round drum, 2 × 0.50 cal Browning M2 machine guns; 250 rpg. Fighter/ Fighter reconnaissance/ Photo reconnaissance. 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. 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. It had a new wing design, to improve its critical Mach number and allow safe operations at higher speeds. Spitfire X: Pressurised version of PR-XI with Merlin 77 - one example with HF wing. The Griffon IIs or VIs used a single-stage supercharger generating maximum power at low altitudes. A total of 287 Mk 22s were built: 260 at Castle Bromwich and 27 by Supermarine at South Marston. is listed. When retracted the wheels were fully enclosed by triangular doors which were hinged to the outer edge of the wheel wells. The Supermarine Spitfire was a single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by Great Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. The first of 100 Supermarine-built production aircraft started appearing in October 1942; two RAF squadrons in total were equipped with the XII. Up until the end of 1942, the RAF always used Roman numerals for mark numbers. 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 new wing was torsionally 47 per cent stiffer, allowing an increased theoretical aileron reversal speed of 825 mph (1,328 km/h). However pilots found it difficult to exploit this advantage in combat as German pilots were reluctant to be drawn into dogfights with Spitfires of any type below 20,000 feet (6,100 m). [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. 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. These were used on modified undercarriage legs which had reduced "toe-in” for the axles, which reduced tyre scrub. "Your exciting Journey into digital world of aviation starts " This specific COBI Spitfire set, honors the Polish Fighting Team of pilots that flew alongside British Spitfire … "The Early Griffon Spitfires part 1: Article and scale drawings", Cooke, Peter. [7] The F.S. 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. [30], F Mk XIVs had a total of 109.5 gal of fuel consisting of 84 gal in two main tanks and a 12.5 imp gal fuel tank in each leading edge wing tank; other 30, 45, 50 or 90 gal drop tanks could be carried. [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. [13] Apart from these differences the Mk IV airframe was closely related to that of the Merlin-powered Mk III. Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament — Spitfire Role Fighter Manufacturer Supermarine Designer R. J. Mitchell First flight 5 March 1936 Introduction 1938 Retired 1955, RAF Primary user Royal Air Force … Wikipedia LA201's poor flight control qualities during trials in late 1944 and early 1945, led to a damning report from the Air Fighting Development Unit, ...it must be emphasised that although the Spitfire 21 is not a dangerous aircraft to fly, pilots must be warned ... in its present state it is not likely to prove a satisfactory fighter. Other changes included a larger fin to improve the somewhat marginal stability of Griffon Spitfires and changes to the mounting of the engine to tilt it down slightly for better visibility over the nose. Late production aircraft were built with the lighter, short-barrelled, electrically fired Mark V Hispano cannon. British Spitfire References. The only respect in which the XIV fell short was in its range. The Mark IV DP845 first flew on 27 November 1941. ... Supermarine Spitfire … 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. The Mark numbers used in the aircraft designations did not necessarily indicate a chronological order; for example, the Mk IX was a stopgap measure brought into production before the Mks VII and VIII. Spitfire F.24 of 80 Squadron. 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. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XIV at Wikimedia Commons. "Johnnie" Johnson it was the best conventional defensive fighter of the war. Like the Mk XIV there were fighter and fighter reconnaissance variants built. Some of the squadron's aircraft went to the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force where they were operated until 1955. This was because the petrol in the float was being thrown away from the feed pipe to the supercharger. 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). For engines equipped with a single-stage supercharger the air being forced through the supercharger air intake was compressed by the supercharger's impeller. 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. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened Dunlop AH10019 "four spoke" pattern mainwheels. Mark XVI or Mark 16 often refers to the 16th version of a product, frequently military hardware. The first true Mk 21 prototype, PP139 first flew in July 1943, with the first production aircraft LA187 flying on 15 March 1944. The undercarriage legs also had a 7.75 in (19.7 cm) wider track to help improve ground handling. All were fitted with the larger, pointed tip rudder. The top section of the engine bulkhead was angled forward, creating a distinctive change of angle to the upper cowling's rear edge. Using 100 Octane fuel and +12 lb/in² boost the Merlin III was capable of generating 1,310 hp (977 kW). [6] At low to medium altitudes the supercharger was in Moderate Supercharger or M.S. The air at higher altitudes weighs less per cubic centimetre than it does at sea-level. The Royal Navy, noting both the success of the Spitfire in land-based service, and also the success of their own Sea Hurricanes, ordered the production of the Seafire, a carrier-based version of the Spitfire. It was analogous in concept to the Hawker Sea Hurricane, a navalised version of the Spitfire's stablemate, the Hawker Hurricane. With the end of the war, most orders for the Mk 21 were cancelled and only 120 were completed. The resulting aircraft provided a substantial performance increase over the Mk IX. On reflection the general scheme became clear. "The Spitfire and its Wing: Article and scale drawings. 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. The second article describes Spitfire variants powered by later Merlins, with two-stage, two-speed superchargers, while the final article describes the Spitfires powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon engines. The Vickers Supermarine Seafire was an urgent development of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire to generate a high performance carrier-based fighter aircraft. "A British Masterpiece." 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. This article describes the Griffon-powered Spitfire variants. 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. 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. Rolls-Royce Merlin 66: 150 Octane fuel, +25 lb/in² boost. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XII at Wikimedia Commons, The Mk XII was the first Spitfire powered by a Griffon engine to go into service. Don Healy of 17 Squadron, based at Madura recalled that the Mk XIV was; ...a hairy beast to fly and took some getting used to. The Mk 18 was a refinement of the Mk XIV. [2] As the Spitfire was no longer to be used as a night fighter, the retractable landing lights were no longer fitted. Air International (article). Rolls-Royce engineers were already working on a new version of the Merlin incorporating a two-stage supercharger; the combination of the improved Merlin and the Spitfire Mk VC airframe in a "stop-gap" design allowed the RAF to combat the Fw 190 on equal terms. 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. Spitfire L.F Mk Vb of 316(Polish) "Warszawski" Squadron. Type numbers (such as type 361) are the drawing board design numbers allocated by Supermarine. The main Castle Bromwich factory was also aided by a smaller number of the shadow factories. 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 original wing design had a theoretical aileron-reversal speed of 580 mph (930 km/h), [8] which was somewhat lower than that of some contemporary fighters. In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. Better VHF radio equipment allowed for the aerial mast to be removed and replaced by a "whip" aerial further aft on the fuselage spine. 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. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries during and after the Second World War. The Spitfire was also adopted for service on aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy; in this role they were renamed Supermarine Seafire. Spitfire Performance Testing, Last Viewed: 16 January 2014. 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), http://www.spitfireperformance.com/JF319_Report_P3792.pdf, http://www.spitfireperformance.com/spitfire-XIV-ads.jpg, Alan Le Marinel hosts Supermarine Spitfire, K5054 – Supermarine Type 300 prototype Spitfire & production aircraft history. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced … The modifications over the Mk XIV made the Mk 21 sensitive to trim changes. speed, using + 15 lb/in² "boost". 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." Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark 21 at Wikimedia Commons 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. Handling, however, was considered to be better than previous Spitfire marks, and the clipped wings conferred excellent manoeuvrability through enhanced aileron response. [51] The breakdown of production figures is taken from Air International 1985, p. 187. This new carburettor was used from the Merlin 66 series and on all Griffon engines. Spitfire used five different wing types, designated "a" through "e," which had the same dimensions but different arrangements of armament and fuel tanks. [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. [38] The Mk 18s saw little action apart from some involvement against guerrillas in the Malayan Emergency. We still had some work to do to improve its longitudinal and directional characteristics, but it was powerful and performed magnificently. However the new wing gave less than perfect handling characteristics and so the Mk 23 was never built from the Mk 22 airframe as intended. The enlarged fin of JF317 had a straight leading edge but for production a more elegant curved line was introduced. 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. If this failed the pitch of the rear propeller was no longer under control and might do anything which was potentially dangerous. It partly cured the problem of fuel starvation in a dive. When the new fighter entered service with 610 Squadron in December 1943 it was a leap forward in the evolution of the Spitfire. Spitfire Mk VIII. In most circumstances this proved to be sufficient but during the air battles over Dunkirk and during the Battle of Britain it was found that whenever the Merlin was subjected to negative "g" forces, such as a quick "bunt" into a dive, the engine would briefly lose power through petrol starvation. It was outmoded by jet aircraft, and only 18 were built. The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most outstanding fighter aircraft of the Second World War.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.