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supermarine spitfire variants

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. This specific COBI Spitfire set, honors the Polish Fighting Team of pilots that flew alongside British Spitfire … The inner gun bays allowed for two weapon fits; The 20 mm Hispano cannon were moved outboard and a more effective .50 calibre Browning .50 cal M2/AN heavy machine gun with 250 rpg was added to the inner gun-bay replacing the outer Browning .303s. Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. 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 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. 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 Hawker Tempest is a British fighter aircraft primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the Second World War. The wings were redesigned with a new structure and thicker-gauge light alloy skinning. It was built up until early 1946 but it was not until January 1947, that an RAF squadron, 60 Squadron which operated from RAF Seletar, Singapore, was re-equipped with the variant. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened … 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon with 120 rounds-per-gun (rpg) in the outer bays combined with 2 ×, 4 × 20 mm Hispano cannon with 120 rpg (this configuration was rarely fitted.). Animated 3D model VB Specifications Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB Except for the first two variants of the Supermarine Spitfire (the Mk I and 2), it is a remarkable fact that the most used and, generally, the most successful variants of this fighter were those originally developed as ‘stop gap’ types. 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. Impellers were often referred to as "rotors" . It certainly put the cat among the pigeons and among the VIPs. This would lead to 19 marks of Spitfire and 52 sub-varia… [18]. The name Seafire was derived from the abbreviation of the longer name Sea Spitfire. The use of these prefixes did not change according to the wings, which could be fitted with "clipped" tips, reducing the wingspan to about 32 ft 6 in (9.9 m) (this could vary slightly), or the "pointed" tips which increased the wingspan to 40 ft 2 in (12.29 m). 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. [11], On 4 December 1939, the Supermarine design staff produced a brochure which mooted the idea of converting the Spitfire to use the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine. The first true Mk 21 prototype, PP139 first flew in July 1943, with the first production aircraft LA187 flying on 15 March 1944. Depending on the supercharger fitted engines were rated as low altitude (e.g. The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most outstanding fighter aircraft of the Second World War. 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). The Mark IV DP845 first flew on 27 November 1941. 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 type has the distinction of being the first jet fighter to enter operational service with the FAA. 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. Replaced by 2 x .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns 250 rpg Mk XIVE and FR Mk XIV. 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. These were used on modified undercarriage legs which had reduced "toe-in” for the axles, which reduced tyre scrub. With the success of the trials it was decided to use this version of the Merlin in the Mk. Wing Commander Peter Brothers, O/C Culmhead Wing in 1944–1945 and a Battle of Britain veteran; It was truly an impressive machine, being able to climb almost vertically – it gave many Luftwaffe pilots the shock of their lives when, having thought they had bounced you from a superior height, they were astonished to find the Mk XIV climbing up to tackle them head-on, throttle wide open! [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. 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. It was analogous in concept to the Hawker Sea Hurricane, a navalised version of the Spitfire's stablemate, the Hawker Hurricane. 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 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. "The Early Griffon Spitfires part 1: Article and scale drawings", Cooke, Peter. "Johnnie" Johnson it was the best conventional defensive fighter of the war. 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. Mark XVI or Mark 16 often refers to the 16th version of a product, frequently military hardware. In spite of the difficulties pilots appreciated the performance increases. There were also zero-point fittings for rocket projectiles under the wings. As a result the later Seafire variants were usually heavier and, in the case of the Seafire XV/XVII and F. 47 series, they were very different aircraft to their land-based counterparts. Its handling was also nearly identical and so it was not put through any performance tests. For engines equipped with a single-stage supercharger the air being forced through the supercharger air intake was compressed by the supercharger's impeller. Supermarine Spitfire – History of a legend (RAF Museum), last viewed: 17 January 2014. 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. However 12 squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force used the variant and continued to do so until March 1951. [31] Mk XIVs with "tear-drop" canopies had 64 gal. 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. 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. A total of 287 Mk 22s were built: 260 at Castle Bromwich and 27 by Supermarine at South Marston. ... Supermarine Spitfire … In the summer of 1939 an early Mk I K9788 was fitted with a new version of the Merlin, the XII. [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. [12]. The Supermarine Seafang was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon–engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification N.5/45. Some 300 F Mk 18s and FR Mk 18s were built, before production ended in early 1946. [4], The Hispano Mk.II cannons were now belt fed from box magazines allowing for 120 rpg (the "Chattellerault" system). Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. [21] [22]. Up until the end of 1942, the RAF always used Roman numerals for mark numbers. 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. 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. [14]. 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 first Mk XIXs entered service in May 1944, and by the end of the war the type had virtually replaced the earlier Mk XI. The Spitfire was the only British plane to be in constant production before, during and after World War II. ... and this was transmitted to the rear propeller (which was rotating in the opposite direction) through the transitional bearing mechanism. Information as to when the first production aircraft emerged is from the serial number lists provided in Morgan and Shacklady 2000. 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. Mk XIIs were manufactured from Mk VC and Mk VIII airframes: early production aircraft had the fixed tail wheels, Dunlop AH2061 pattern "five spoke" mainwheels and small elevator balances. [8][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 new wing of the Spitfire F Mk 21 and its successors was designed to help alleviate this problem; the wing's stiffness was increased by 47%, and a new design of aileron using piano hinges and geared trim tabs meant the theoretical aileron-reversal speed was increased to 825 mph (1,328 km/h). Because the Americans measured their boost ratings using inches of Mercury (" Hg), their boost gauges more accurately recorded the absolute pressures being generated by the superchargers at all altitudes.[13]. British Spitfire References. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. All were fitted with the larger, pointed tip rudder. "Spitfire: Simply Superb part three" Air International Volume 28, Number 4, April 1985. 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. From 1948 onwards, Arabic numerals were used exclusively. 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. 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 Griffon IIB which powered the Mk IV was a single-stage supercharged engine of 1,735 hp (1,293 kW). Unlike the Merlin engines the Griffons used superchargers which were designed to achieve maximum performance over a wider altitude band; as such there were no Griffon engined L.F. or H.F. Spitfire variants. This information was needed in case RAF Lightnings might have to engage P-51 Mustangs in the Indonesian conflict of the time. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. 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. Thus, the Spitfire PR Mk XIX became the PR 19 after 1948. A total of 225 were built with production ceasing in early 1946, but they were used in front line RAF service until April 1954. Barbic, Vlasco. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries before, during and after World War II. ; 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). [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. was 1,390 hp (1,036 kW) at 25,900 feet (7,900 m) using + 15 lb/in² of boost.[7][10]. 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 resulting aircraft provided a substantial performance increase over the Mk IX. The Spitfire Mk.I reached No.19 Squadron at Duxford in 1938. 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. gear, which drove the impellers faster, thus compressing a greater volume of the air-fuel mixture. 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. 4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, 350 rpg. It combined features of the Mk XI with the Griffon engine of the Mk XIV. 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. [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. [1] The first of the Griffon-engined Spitfires flew on 27 November 1941. 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 Mk XII flew operationally with their rounded wingtips replaced by shorter, squared off fairings; the single-stage supercharger of the Griffon II or IV used in the Mk XIIs meant that it was rated and used as a low altitude fighter, and the LF prefix used by Merlin-powered Spitfires was never applied. 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. The standard armament was now four 20mm Hispano IIs or the shorter, lighter Hispano V cannons, each with 150 rounds per gun. [19] [35] It was this type which was rumoured to have been buried at an airfield in Burma after the war. 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 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. [8] [9] [10]. 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. 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. 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 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. The main Castle Bromwich factory was also aided by a smaller number of the shadow factories. 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. Later, other squadrons in the Far East and Middle East would receive them. 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. 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. speed, using + 15 lb/in² "boost". 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. Because the first XIVs were converted from existing Mk VIII airframes the first true production serial No. 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 entire Spitfire family may be divided by the generation of Rolls-Royce engines which powered the aircraft. These covered the Spitfire in development from the Merlin to Griffon engines, the high speed photo-reconnaissance variants and the different wing configurations. 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. ... 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 first trial installation of the installation (modification 1029) was made in BS118, a Mark XI in November 1943. Some of the squadron's aircraft went to the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force where they were operated until 1955. "Rolls-Royce Griffon (65)" (article and images). It partly cured the problem of fuel starvation in a dive. One feature of the Griffon engine which was to catch a lot of pilots out was that the propeller rotated in the opposite direction to that of the Merlin; i.e.,: to the left, from the pilot's perspective, rather than to the right. The pitch control mechanism controlled the pitch on the front propeller. In total, 957 Mk XIVs were built, over 430 of which were FR Mk XIVs. 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. By 1943, Rolls-Royce engineers had developed a new Griffon engine, the 61 series, with a two-stage supercharger. [17]. The ailerons were 5 per cent larger and the Frise balanced type were dispensed with, the ailerons being attached by continuous piano-hinges. I, II and V as the most prominent fighter variants. When the new fighter entered service with 610 Squadron in December 1943 it was a leap forward in the evolution of the Spitfire. The Hawker Hurricane was a British single-seat fighter aircraft designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. Handling, however, was considered to be better than previous Spitfire marks, and the clipped wings conferred excellent manoeuvrability through enhanced aileron response. The aircraft was soon renamed Mk XX, to avoid confusion with a renamed PR type, then it became the Mk XII. 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. It is considered that the modifications to the Spitfire 21 make it a satisfactory combat aircraft for the average pilot. [N 2]Some Mk IIA aircraft were fitted with a 40 UK gallon long range fuel tank under the outer starboard wing, and were known as the Type 343. 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. Supermarine were seriously concerned because Castle Bromwich had been converted to produce Mk 21s and more were coming off the production lines daily. Its handling qualities have benefitted (sic) to a corresponding extent and it is now considered suitable both for instrument flying and low flying. 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 Rolls-Royce Griffon is a British 37-litre capacity, 60-degree V-12, liquid-cooled aero engine designed and built by Rolls-Royce Limited. Type numbers (such as type 361) are the drawing board design numbers allocated by Supermarine. 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 modifications over the Mk XIV made the Mk 21 sensitive to trim changes. [34]. 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 keeping with company convention, the Griffon was named after a bird of prey, in this case the griffon vulture.

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