This information was needed in case RAF Lightnings might have to engage P-51 Mustangs in the Indonesian conflict of the time. A contemporary of the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane, it was the first single-seat, twin-engined, cannon-armed fighter of the Royal Air Force. 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. Spitfire used five different wing types, designated "a" through "e," which had the same dimensions but different arrangements of armament and fuel tanks. As a result, F and FR Mk XIVEs had a range that was increased to over 610 miles (980 km), or 960 miles (1,540 km) with a 90 gal drop tank. 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. II which, it was decided, would be the first version to be produced exclusively by the huge new Nuffield “shadow” factory at Castle Bromwich. [44], Spitfire 21s became operational on 91 Squadron in January 1945. The hot air—fuel mixture from the supercharger was circulated though and around the coolant tubes and was then passed on to the main induction manifold through which it was fed into the cylinders. 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 Supermarine Seafang was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon–engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification N.5/45. The standard armament was now four 20mm Hispano IIs or the shorter, lighter Hispano V cannons, each with 150 rounds per gun. 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. [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. The lower cowling lost its "pigeon-chested" appearance, with a shallower curve up to the spinner. 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. 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. [12] The last Mk 24 to be built was delivered in February 1948 and were used until 1952 by 80 Squadron. 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. Most of the Mk 22s were built with enlarged tail surfaces, similar to those of the Supermarine Spiteful. The Merlin 66 used in the L.F. Mk IX produced slightly more power but because of the use of slightly different gear ratios driving smaller impellors, the critical altitude ratings of the supercharger stages were lower, 7,000 feet (2,100 m) and 18,000 feet (5,500 m) respectively. With the end of the war, most orders for the Mk 21 were cancelled and only 120 were completed. Main landing gear was strengthened and moved 2 inches (5 cm) forward to … This article adopts the convention of using Roman numerals for the Mks I–XX and Arabic numerals for the Mks 21–24. During the Battle of Britain, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter. The type has the distinction of being the first jet fighter to enter operational service with the FAA. Griffon-powered variants of the Supermarine Spitfire. [33], One problem which did arise in service was localised skin wrinkling on the wings and fuselage at load attachment points; although Supermarine advised that the Mk XIVs had not been seriously weakened, nor were they on the point of failure, the RAF issued instructions in early 1945 that all F and FR Mk XIVs were to be refitted with clipped wings. Spitfire X: Pressurised version of PR-XI with Merlin 77 - one example with HF wing. The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most popular fighter aircraft of the Second World War.wikipedia. (article and images). [2], These were specifically made for the Photo-Reconnaissance Spitfires, including the PR XIX; no armament was fitted and the "D" shaped leading edges of the wings ahead of the main spar, were converted into integral fuel tanks, each carrying 66 gallons. The debut of the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in late 1941 had caused problems for RAF fighter squadrons flying the latest Spitfire Mk Vb. These covered the Spitfire in development from the Merlin to Griffon engines, the high speed photo-reconnaissance variants and the different wing configurations. The Supermarine Attacker is a British single-seat naval jet fighter designed and produced by aircraft manufacturer Supermarine for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA). These figures were only true to the first prototypes, as serial production examples were fitted with a Griffon 65 with different supercharger gearing. 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). The cannon is also referred to as Birkigt type 404, after its designer Marc Birkigt and later versions based on British development are known as 20 mm Hispano. Once the aircraft reached and climbed through a set critical altitude (20,000 feet (6,100 m) for the Merlin 61 and 70 series[7]) the power would start to drop as the atmospheric pressure (the density of air) dropped. 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. Although designed as a fighter-interceptor aircraft, the Spitfire proved its versatility in other roles. [39]. "A Case For Standardisation: Puzzle of the Boost Gauge; British Unit an Anachronism: "Centibar" Suggested" (article and images). Chapel, Charles Eward; Bent, Ralph D; McKinley, James L. Lovesey, A C. "Development of the Rolls-Royce Merlin from 1939 to 1945. 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. Spitfire F Mk XIIs of 41 Sqn. No. was 1,390 hp (1,036 kW) at 25,900 feet (7,900 m) using + 15 lb/in² of boost.[7][10]. There were 24 marks of Spitfire and many sub-variants. Spitfire L.F Mk Vb of 316(Polish) "Warszawski" Squadron.,_performance_and_armament?oldid=4790233, 1,030 hp (770 kW) at 16,000 ft (4,877 m) 87 Octane fuel, +6 lb/in² boost, 1,135 hp (846 kW) at 12,250 ft (3,734 m) 100 Octane fuel, +9 pounds lb/in² boost, 1,470 hp (1,096 kW) at 11,000 ft (3,353 m), 1,585 hp (1,181 kW) at 3,800 ft (1,158 m), 1,415 hp (1,054 kW) at 14,000 ft (4,267 m), 367 mph (582 km/h) at 18,600 ft (5,669 m), 354 mph (570 km/h) at 17,550 ft (5,349 m), 371 mph (597 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,096 m), 350.5 mph (564 km/h) at 5,900 ft (6,096 m), 354 mph (570 km/h) at 17,400 ft (5,349 m), 2,175 ft/min (11.0 m/s) at 9,700 ft (2,956 m), 2,995 ft/min (15.3 m/s) at 10,000 ft (3,962 m), 3,250 ft/min (16.5 m/s) at 15,000 ft (4,572 m), 1,350 ft/min (13.5 m/s) at 28,000 ft (4,267 m), 1,530 mi (2,462 km) with 170 Imp gal (204 US gal) drop tank. 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. 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. 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. The only respect in which the XIV fell short was in its range. In May 1955 the remaining F.22s were declared obsolete for all RAF purposes and many were sold back to Vickers-Armstrongs for refurbishment and were then sold to the Southern Rhodesian, Egyptian and Syrian Air Forces. 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. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. It partly cured the problem of fuel starvation in a dive. "Johnnie" Johnson it was the best conventional defensive fighter of the war. Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. 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 "fishtail" design of ejector exhaust stub gave way to ones of circular section. From 1948 onwards, Arabic numerals were used exclusively. It was widely used as an aircraft, naval and land-based weapon by French, British, American and other military services, particularly during World War II. 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. They were quite unqualified to make such a judgement and later events would prove them totally wrong. The Rolls-Royce Griffon engine was designed in answer to Royal Naval specifications for an engine capable of generating good power at low altitudes. 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. Suddenly I saw sparks and black smoke coming from the Fw 190's exhaust ... and I shot past him and never saw him again. 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. 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. By 1943, Rolls-Royce engineers had developed a new Griffon engine, the 61 series, with a two-stage supercharger. The larger diameter four-spoke main wheels were strengthened to cope with the greater weights; post-war these were replaced by wider, reinforced three spoke wheels to allow Spitfires to operate from hard concrete or asphalt runways. Many variants of the Spitfire were… 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. 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 … 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. 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. In the summer of 1939 an early Mk I K9788 was fitted with a new version of the Merlin, the XII. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. This was the final mark of Spitfire powered by a Griffon 85 driving a five bladed Rotol propeller. [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. The new engine had a lower thrust-line than the Merlin and was set with 2 degrees of downthrust. 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. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened … 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. The second article describes Spitfire variants powered by later model Merlins, featuring two-stage, two-speed superchargers, while the final article covers the later Spitfire variants which were powered by the larger Rolls-Royce Griffon engines. ... Supermarine Spitfire … Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament. The Griffon IIs or VIs used a single-stage supercharger generating maximum power at low altitudes. A later model IFF was fitted, replacing the aerials from the tailplane tip to fuselage with a rod aerial under the starboard wing. [8] [9] [10]. A total of 225 were built with production ceasing in early 1946, but they were used in front line RAF service until April 1954. 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 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. These field-converted aircraft were allocated to 430 squadron RCAF. Spitfire F.24 of 80 Squadron. To achieve this a new hatch, similar to the radio hatch on the port side, was installed on the starboard side, and both hatches were fitted with camera ports in streamlined blisters. The Merlin III produced 1,030 hp (770 kW) at +6¼lb/in² (43 kPa) of "boost" (the "boost" is the pressure to which the air/fuel mixture is compressed before being fed to the cylinders). "The Early Griffon Spitfires part 1: Article and scale drawings", Cooke, Peter. A top speed of 423 mph (681 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,639 m) was predicted. ... 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. 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. [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. [7]. LF F or HF wings, B, C or E armament. 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. is listed. We still had some work to do to improve its longitudinal and directional characteristics, but it was powerful and performed magnificently. The Mk XIV assemblies produced by the Vickers-Armstrongs Supermarine factories at Aldermaston, Chattis Hill, Keevil, Southampton and Winchester appeared in two versions: the F Mk XIV fighter version and the FR.Mk XIV for fighter-reconnaissance work at low altitude. The Griffon IIB which powered the Mk IV was a single-stage supercharged engine of 1,735 hp (1,293 kW). There were eventually 26 variants of Spitfire, not including the carrier based version, the Supermarine Seafire. The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most popular fighter aircraft of the Second World War. The new wing was torsionally 47 per cent stiffer, allowing an increased theoretical aileron reversal speed of 825 mph (1,328 km/h). In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. 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. 4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, 350 rpg. 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 Spitfire was also adopted for service on aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy; in this role they were renamed Supermarine Seafire. [2] 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. This specific COBI Spitfire set, honors the Polish Fighting Team of pilots that flew alongside British Spitfire … With the death of the original designer, Reginald J. Mitchell, in June 1937, all variants of the Spitfire were designed by his replacement, Joseph Smith, and a team of engineers and draftsmen. The Westland Whirlwind was a British twin-engined heavy fighter developed by Westland Aircraft. The British Supermarine Spitfire was the only Allied fighter aircraft of the Second World War to fight in front line service from the beginnings of the conflict, in September 1939, through to the end in August 1945. The pitch control mechanism controlled the pitch on the front propeller. Type numbers (such as type 361) are the drawing board design numbers allocated by Supermarine. 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. These were soon removed and a mock up of a proposed six-cannon armament was fitted, three in each wing. 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 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. 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. British Spitfire References. Some 300 F Mk 18s and FR Mk 18s were built, before production ended in early 1946. One prototype, JF321, was fitted and tested with a Rotol six-bladed contra-rotating propeller unit; although this promised to eliminate the characteristic swing on take-off (caused by the propeller slipstream) the propeller unit was prone to failure. Replaced by 2 x .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns 250 rpg Mk XIVE and FR Mk XIV. The Rolls-Royce Griffon is a British 37-litre capacity, 60-degree V-12, liquid-cooled aero engine designed and built by Rolls-Royce Limited. 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. In spite of the difficulties pilots appreciated the performance increases. 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. 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 Griffon variants were manufactured in fewer numbers to its Merlin counterpart, in a batch of around 79 aircraft which were delivered in 1945. gear, which drove the impellers faster, thus compressing a greater volume of the air-fuel mixture. 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. The British measured boost pressure as lbs./sq.inch (or psi). All had the larger "Spiteful" tail units; modifications were also made to the trim tab gearings to perfect the F Mk 24's handling. Fighter/ Fighter reconnaissance/ Photo reconnaissance. Initially known as the PV-12, it was later called Merlin following the company convention of naming its piston aero engines after birds of prey. 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 wheels were occasionally fitted with disc-style covers. F Mk IIc its multitude of variants Spitfire VIIIs. The next major variant was the Mk V (Type 349) with Merlin 45 engine. Its handling was also nearly identical and so it was not put through any performance tests. 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." [12]. [29]. The ailerons were 5 per cent larger and the Frise balanced type were dispensed with, the ailerons being attached by continuous piano-hinges. [5]. A total of 957 of all variants were produced.

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