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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 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. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened … 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 … The Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. Some aircraft had less than five hours flying time. . This wing entered service on the Spitfire XXI. Spitfire L.F Mk Vb of 316(Polish) "Warszawski" Squadron. The most common variant of the Hawker Hurricane is the Hawker Hurricane MK IIC. 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. Spitfire F.24 of 80 Squadron. 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. F Mk IIc its multitude of variants Spitfire VIIIs. 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 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). II which, it was decided, would be the first version to be produced exclusively by the huge new Nuffield “shadow” factory at Castle Bromwich. , The single-stage Griffon engine (II or IV) gave the aircraft superb low and medium level performance, although the Mk XII's performance declined at higher altitudes: because of this all production aircraft had "clipped" wings. 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 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. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants), Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)(late production larger fin and rudder), 12,530 lb (5,683 kg) with 50 gal drop tank and two 500 lb (230 kg) bombs, The Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon engines. The original production variants of the Merlin used an SU manufactured carburettor in which the fuel flow was metered through a float. The Mk.1 Spitfire had a 1,030-hp Merlin II engine and eight Browning 0.303-in machine guns. 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 main Castle Bromwich factory was also aided by a smaller number of the shadow factories. 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. According to fighter ace J.E. The modifications over the Mk XIV made the Mk 21 sensitive to trim changes. British Spitfire References. 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. 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. The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British liquid-cooled V-12 piston aero engine of 27-litres capacity.  The improved armament was more effective for both air-to-air engagements and air-to-ground attacks. 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 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. The majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used C, D and E wing types. A similar contra-rotating propeller unit was later used on production Seafire 46 and 47s. The Spitfire was also adopted for service on aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy; in this role they were renamed Supermarine Seafire.  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. 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 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. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. , 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. . I, II and V as the most prominent fighter variants. K9795, the 9th production Mk I, with 19 Squadron. The Spitfire was the only British plane to be in constant production before, during and after World War II. 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. a8x .303 inch (7.7 mm) Browningmachine guns, 300 rounds/gun b2x 20 mm Hispano HS.404 cannons, 60 rounds/gun 4x .303 inch (7.7 mm) Browning M1919machine guns, 350 rounds/gun c- universal wing allowing either "a," "b," or 4x 20 mm Hispano HS.404 cannon armament. Stronger main longerons were needed to cope with the weight of the Griffon and it required a bigger radiator and oil cooler, although it kept the asymmetric under-wing radiator layout of the single stage Merlin marks. The Spitfire Mk.I reached No.19 Squadron at Duxford in 1938. [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. 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). The Mk 18 missed the war. Better VHF radio equipment allowed for the aerial mast to be removed and replaced by a "whip" aerial further aft on the fuselage spine. When the new fighter entered service with 610 Squadron in December 1943 it was a leap forward in the evolution of the Spitfire. Some versions were built in Canada by the Canada Car and Foundry Co Ltd. Spitfire used five different wing types, designated "a" through "e," which had the same dimensions but different arrangements of armament and fuel tanks. The majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used three basic wing types — the C through to the E types. They were quite unqualified to make such a judgement and later events would prove them totally wrong. The early Spitfire variants powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon were adaptations of Mk VC (early Mk XII) or Mark VIII (late Mk XII and Mk XIV) airframes. Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. and Ernest Hives of Rolls-Royce thought that the Griffon would be "a second power string for the Spitfire". Air International (article). They had a single 85 gal main fuel tank, giving a short range of little over 380 miles (610 km) on internal fuel. The ailerons were 5 per cent larger and the Frise balanced type were dispensed with, the ailerons being attached by continuous piano-hinges. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVIII at Wikimedia Commons. 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 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. 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. Redesigned upper wing gun bay doors incorporated "teardrop" shaped blisters to clear the cannon feed motors and the lower wings no longer had the gun bay heating vents outboard of the gunbays. , The Mk 22 was used by only one regular RAF unit, 73 Squadron  based on Malta. Since it had diverged considerably from the Typhoon, it was renamed Tempest. 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. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. 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 debut of the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in late 1941 had caused problems for RAF fighter squadrons flying the latest Spitfire Mk Vb. The second stage starting was often accompanied by a noticeable jolt, which inexperienced pilots often mistook for some type of engine malfunction. Factors such as weight, external fittings, airframe and engine condition, among others, influenced how an aircraft performed. There were 24 marks of Spitfire and many sub-variants. A total of 957 of all variants were produced. Bromley, Kent UK. As well as A and B type wings, the Mk V introd…  Mk XIVs with "tear-drop" canopies had 64 gal. This would lead to 24 marks of Spitfire, and many sub-variants within the marks, being produced throughout the Second World War and beyond, in continuing efforts to fulfill Royal Air Force requirements and successfully combat ever-improving enemy 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. 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. These figures were only true to the first prototypes, as serial production examples were fitted with a Griffon 65 with different supercharger gearing. Protracted development of the Mk 21 meant that this variant did not reach operational service until January 1945. 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. This, though not ideal, produced a very marked improvement in directional characteristics and we were able to introduce minor changes thereafter and by various degrees of trimmer tab and balance tab to reach an acceptable degree of directional stability and control. 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). 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. Media related to Supermarine Spitfire Mark XIV at Wikimedia Commons. The Supermarine Seafang was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon–engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification N.5/45. This armament later became standard for all Spitfire Mk XIVs used by 2 TAF as fighters. The wheels were occasionally fitted with disc-style covers. 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. This information was needed in case RAF Lightnings might have to engage P-51 Mustangs in the Indonesian conflict of the time. It is considered that the modifications to the Spitfire 21 make it a satisfactory combat aircraft for the average pilot. 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.. This engine included a Coffman cart… 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. "The Spitfire and its Wing: Article and scale drawings. 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. A total of 81 Mk 24s were completed, 27 of which were conversions from Mk 22s. , 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. Replaced by 2 x .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns 250 rpg Mk XIVE and FR Mk XIV. However 12 squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force used the variant and continued to do so until March 1951. 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. There were also zero-point fittings for rocket projectiles under the wings. , With the two-stage, two-speed supercharger two sets of power ratings can be quoted. 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.  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. This Spitfire has the "cropped" Merlin 45 series engine and the "clipped" wings.  As the Spitfire was no longer to be used as a night fighter, the retractable landing lights were no longer fitted. The Spitfire was to be a sort of datum pacemaker – 'Mr Average Contemporary Fighter' – and its job would be to come in last, the real excitement of the proceedings being by how much it would be beaten by the Fw 190 and the Typhoon, and which of these two bright stars would beat the other and by how much. 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.  In 1946 forty Spitfire 21s were delivered to Shoeburyness; once there their leading edges were removed and destroyed in "lethality" tests. 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.   It was this type which was rumoured to have been buried at an airfield in Burma after the war. Mark XX was given to the original Mk IV Griffon engine prototype DP845 to avoid confusion with the retitled Spitfire PR Mk IVs. In the summer of 1939 an early Mk I K9788 was fitted with a new version of the Merlin, the XII. The last Mk 24 to be built was delivered in February 1948 and were used until 1952 by 80 Squadron. 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 British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most popular fighter aircraft of the Second World War.wikipedia. For example, even relatively minor damage on the wing leading edges could drastically reduce top speed. . ; Merlin 66, Griffon III), where the engine produced its maximum power below about 10,000 feet (3,000 m), medium altitude (Merlin 45), where the engine produced its maximum power up to about 20,000 feet (6,100 m), and high altitude (Merlin 70), where the engine produced its maximum power above about 25,000 feet (7,600 m). 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. Fighter/ Fighter reconnaissance/ Photo reconnaissance. Information as to when the first production aircraft emerged is from the serial number lists provided in Morgan and Shacklady 2000.  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. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened Dunlop AH10019 "four spoke" pattern mainwheels. ... Supermarine Spitfire … Main landing gear was strengthened and moved 2 inches (5 cm) forward to … 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" patt… 57 Related Articles [filter] Supermarine Spitfire. They were extended by eight inches, meaning that with a straighter trailing edge, the wings were not the same elliptical shape as previous Spitfires. The next major variant was the Mk V (Type 349) with Merlin 45 engine. No. A top speed of 423 mph (681 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,639 m) was predicted. 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. 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. 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.  The first of the Griffon-engined Spitfires flew on 27 November 1941.  The Mk XII's speed advantage at lower altitudes again became useful near the end of its front line service in summer 1944, in which it shot down a respectable number of V-1 Flying Bombs, 82.5  The Mk XII variant was retired in September 1944. The first Griffon-powered Spitfires suffered from poor high altitude performance due to having only a single stage supercharged engine. The first true Mk 21 prototype, PP139 first flew in July 1943, with the first production aircraft LA187 flying on 15 March 1944. The Spitfire was also adopted for service on aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy; in this role they were renamed Supermarine Seafire. There were eventually 26 variants of Spitfire, not including the carrier based version, the Supermarine Seafire. 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. Mark XVI or Mark 16 often refers to the 16th version of a product, frequently military hardware. 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 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. Thus, the Spitfire PR Mk XIX became the PR 19 after 1948. The Vickers Supermarine Seafire was an urgent development of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire to generate a high performance carrier-based fighter aircraft. 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. . was 1,390 hp (1,036 kW) at 25,900 feet (7,900 m) using + 15 lb/in² of boost.. , 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.
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