[32], The Mk XIV was used by the 2nd Tactical Air Force as their main high-altitude air superiority fighter in northern Europe with six squadrons operational by December 1944. This engine included a Coffman cart… I, II and V as the most prominent fighter variants. [12]. The Westland Whirlwind was a British twin-engined heavy fighter developed by Westland Aircraft. The most common variant of the Hawker Hurricane is the Hawker Hurricane MK IIC. Also known as the "Universal wing" the new design was standard on the majority of Spitfires built from mid-1942. It was identical in most respects including engine (the Griffon 65) and cockpit enhancements, but it carried extra fuel and had a revised, stronger wing structure. 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. 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. To ensure sufficient ground clearance for the new propeller, the undercarriage legs were lengthened by 4.5 in (11 cm). [16], 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. 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. Spitfire F Mk XIIs of 41 Sqn. 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. [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. For example, even relatively minor damage on the wing leading edges could drastically reduce top speed. The standard armament was now four 20mm Hispano IIs or the shorter, lighter Hispano V cannons, each with 150 rounds per gun. 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. Rolls-Royce designed the engine and first ran it in 1933 as a private venture. Another important feature of the Griffon-engine Spitfires was the entirely flush-riveted finish which was progressively introduced on all Spitfires. The original production variants of the Merlin used an SU manufactured carburettor in which the fuel flow was metered through a float. 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 Rolls-Royce Griffon is a British 37-litre capacity, 60-degree V-12, liquid-cooled aero engine designed and built by Rolls-Royce Limited. The new design also had a modern inwards-retracting undercarriage. 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. 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. 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. Supermarine Spitfire – History of a legend (RAF Museum), last viewed: 17 January 2014. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; nearly 60 remain airworthy, and many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world. 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. Up to 2 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs (wing racks), plus 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) bomb (centre-section rack). 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.[1]. 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. With the end of the war, most orders for the Mk 21 were cancelled and only 120 were completed. By contrast the Merlin 70, which was optimised for high altitude flight, had critical altitudes of 14,000 feet (4,300 m) (M.S) and 25,400 feet (7,700 m) (F.S).[11]. (article and images). 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 … When retracted the wheels were fully enclosed by triangular doors which were hinged to the outer edge of the wheel wells. 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. 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. The ailerons were 5 per cent larger and the Frise balanced type were dispensed with, the ailerons being attached by continuous piano-hinges. The Spitfire was the only British plane to be in constant production before, during and after World War II. Suddenly I saw sparks and black smoke coming from the Fw 190's exhaust ... and I shot past him and never saw him again. [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 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. The modified, hand-built wing was first fitted to a Mk VIII JG204 which was tested from July 1944. The Mark IV DP845 first flew on 27 November 1941. Many variants of the Spitfire were… These covered the Spitfire in development from the Merlin to Griffon engines, the high speed photo-reconnaissance variants and the different wing configurations. Its handling qualities have benefitted (sic) to a corresponding extent and it is now considered suitable both for instrument flying and low flying. 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. 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 interceptorhad called for. Barbic, Vlasco. The intercooler also circulated coolant through passages in the supercharger casing and between the impellers. During the Battle of Britain, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. "A British Masterpiece." 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. 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. Information as to when the first production aircraft emerged is from the serial number lists provided in Morgan and Shacklady 2000. There were eventually 26 variants of Spitfire, not including the carrier based version, the Supermarine Seafire. 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. Spitfire Mk VIII. 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. 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. The later Griffon-engined Spitfire variants embodied new wings, tail units and undercarriages and were very different from any of the earlier Spitfire marks. The entire Spitfire family may be divided by the generation of Rolls-Royce engines which powered the aircraft. 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. [38] The Mk 18s saw little action apart from some involvement against guerrillas in the Malayan Emergency. Outside on the tarmac at Worthy Down stood the inoffensive-looking but highly potent DP485 ... All went according to plan until, when we were about halfway between Odiham and Farnborough and going flat out, I was beginning to overhaul the Fw 190 and the Typhoon. The increased cooling requirements of the Griffon engine meant that all radiators were much bigger and the underwing housings were deeper than previous versions. Otherwise this version of the FR Mk XIVE was essentially the same as the standard aircraft. As well as A and B type wings, the Mk V introd… The Hawker Hurricane was a British single-seat fighter aircraft designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. Thus the first generation was powered by single-stage Merlins, from Merlin II to Merlin 50 and resulted in Spitfires Mks. The Rolls-Royce Griffon engine was designed in answer to Royal Naval specifications for an engine capable of generating good power at low altitudes. Replaced by 2 x .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns 250 rpg Mk XIVE and FR Mk XIV. Griffon-powered variants of the Supermarine Spitfire. The new engine had a lower thrust-line than the Merlin and was set with 2 degrees of downthrust. The Mk 18 was a refinement of the Mk XIV. Fighter/ Fighter reconnaissance/ Photo reconnaissance. It was a splendid aeroplane in every respect. 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. [40] The last operational sortie by a Mk 19 was in 1963 when one was used in battle trials against an English Electric Lightning to determine how best a Lightning should engage piston-engined aircraft. Supermarine were seriously concerned because Castle Bromwich had been converted to produce Mk 21s and more were coming off the production lines daily. 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 first Griffon-powered Spitfires suffered from poor high altitude performance due to having only a single stage supercharged engine. No. The intercooler, which was separate from the engine cooling system with its own supply of glycol and water coolant, was mounted in the induction system, between the outlet of the second-stage supercharger and behind the cylinder blocks. 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. This article adopts the convention of using Roman numerals for the Mks I–XX and Arabic numerals for the Mks 21–24. This would lead to 19 marks of Spitfire and 52 sub-variants being produced throughout the Second World War, and beyond. With the success of the trials it was decided to use this version of the Merlin in the Mk. 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 Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. 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. 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. It was outmoded by jet aircraft, and only 18 were built. Chapel, Charles Eward; Bent, Ralph D; McKinley, James L. Lovesey, A C. "Development of the Rolls-Royce Merlin from 1939 to 1945. 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. 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. 4 × 20 mm Hispano V cannon; 175 rpg inboard, 150 rpg outboard, 2 × 250 lb (110 kg) with 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) bomb, 2 × 20 mm Hispano II: late Seafire IIIs Hispano V cannon; 120 rpg. A total of 81 Mk 24s were completed, 27 of which were conversions from Mk 22s. The Tempest, originally known as the Typhoon II, was an improved derivative of the Hawker Typhoon, intended to address the Typhoon's unexpected deterioration in performance at high altitude by replacing its wing with a thinner laminar flow design. In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. As an example, the maximum power generated by the Merlin 61 was 1,565 hp (1,167 kW) at 12,250 feet (3,730 m) (critical altitude) at M.S. 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. From 1948 onwards, Arabic numerals were used exclusively. [19] [35] It was this type which was rumoured to have been buried at an airfield in Burma after the war. In comparative tests with a Mk IX it was 14 mph (23 km/h) faster at sea level, but above 20,000 ft (6,100 m) it had become slower. 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. Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. [43]. 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. As a fighter, the F Mk 24 armament consisted of 4 × short-barrelled Mk.5 20 mm Hispano cannon – operational experience had proved that the hitting power of these larger weapons was necessary to overcome the thicker armour encountered on enemy aircraft as the war progressed. It had a new wing design, to improve its critical Mach number and allow safe operations at higher speeds. In total, 957 Mk XIVs were built, over 430 of which were FR Mk XIVs. [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. The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British liquid-cooled V-12 piston aero engine of 27-litres capacity. [8] [9] [10]. There were 24 marks of Spitfire and many sub-variants. The Mk XIV differed from the Mk XII in that the longer, two-stage supercharged Griffon 65, producing 2,050 hp (1,528 kW), was mounted 10 inches (25.4 cm) further forward. 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. The second Mk XX, DP851, initially had a Griffon II engine and made its first flight in August 1942. The majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used C, D and E wing types. They had a single 85 gal main fuel tank, giving a short range of little over 380 miles (610 km) on internal fuel. British Spitfire References. [14]. 57 Related Articles [filter] Supermarine Spitfire. 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. A total of 225 were built with production ceasing in early 1946, but they were used in front line RAF service until April 1954. The new wing was torsionally 47 per cent stiffer, allowing an increased theoretical aileron reversal speed of 825 mph (1,328 km/h). [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. They were extended by eight inches, meaning that with a straighter trailing edge, the wings were not the same elliptical shape as previous Spitfires. and Ernest Hives of Rolls-Royce thought that the Griffon would be "a second power string for the Spitfire". 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. They were quite unqualified to make such a judgement and later events would prove them totally wrong. 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. 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. [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. [5] The first-stage impellor compressed the air—fuel mixture and this was then fed to the smaller second-stage impellor which further compressed the mixture. [3] The limitation of the single stage supercharger was that the maximum power dropped quickly as higher altitudes were reached; because air pressure and air density decreases with altitude the efficiency of a piston engine drops because of the reduction in the weight of air[nb 1] that can be drawn into the engine; for example the air density, at 30,000 feet (9,100 m) is 1/3 of that at sea level, thus only 1/3 of the amount of air can be drawn into the cylinder and only 1/3 of the fuel can be burnt. Because the first XIVs were converted from existing Mk VIII airframes the first true production serial No. This specific COBI Spitfire set, honors the Polish Fighting Team of pilots that flew alongside British Spitfire … 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. Most of the Mk 22s were built with enlarged tail surfaces, similar to those of the Supermarine Spiteful. After the destruction of the main Itchen and Woolston works by the Luftwaffe in September 1940, all Supermarine manufactured Spitfires were built in a number of "Shadow Factories"; by the end of the war there were ten main factories and several smaller workshops which built many of the components. [31] Mk XIVs with "tear-drop" canopies had 64 gal. A supercharger can be thought of either as artificially increasing the density of the air by compressing it - or as forcing more air than normal into the cylinder every time the piston moves down.[4]. The fairings over the Hispano barrels were shorter and there was usually a short rubber stub covering the outer cannon port. It combined features of the Mk XI with the Griffon engine of the Mk XIV. [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. [45] In 1946 forty Spitfire 21s were delivered to Shoeburyness; once there their leading edges were removed and destroyed in "lethality" tests. 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). "Rolls-Royce Griffon (65)" (article and images). The Griffon IIB which powered the Mk IV was a single-stage supercharged engine of 1,735 hp (1,293 kW). [34]. [4], The Hispano Mk.II cannons were now belt fed from box magazines allowing for 120 rpg (the "Chattellerault" system). 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 name Seafire was derived from the abbreviation of the longer name Sea Spitfire. 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 Mk 22 was also used at Flying refresher schools. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened Dunlop AH10019 "four spoke" pattern mainwheels. 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 Mk XIV could climb to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) in just over five minutes and its top speed, which was achieved at 25,400 ft (7,700 m), was 446 mph (718 km/h). speed, using + 15 lb/in² "boost". A new five bladed Rotol propeller of 10 ft 5 in (3.18 m) in diameter was used, although one prototype JF321 was fitted with a six bladed contra rotating unit. 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. [29]. For engines equipped with a single-stage supercharger the air being forced through the supercharger air intake was compressed by the supercharger's impeller. [27] [28]. 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. The Hawker Tempest is a British fighter aircraft primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War. The proposed new design was called the Mk 21, which at first displayed poor flight qualities that damaged the excellent Spitfire reputation. The second stage starting was often accompanied by a noticeable jolt, which inexperienced pilots often mistook for some type of engine malfunction.