Gallery No 18 - Supermarine Spitfire

Aircraft - 4 Images

My thanks to Roger Dunn and the MOD for supplying these images, Wikipedia for text.

The Supermarine Spitfire was one of the best fighter aircraft of its time. Unlike its counterpart, the Hawker Hurricane, it appeared to have immense room for future improvement. This would lead to 24 marks of Spitfire being produced throughout the Second World War in continuing efforts to keep up with the Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force requirements.

In total there were 24 marks of Spitfire and many sub-variants within each mark. This article presents a brief history of the Spitfire through all its variants. It should be noted that the numbering of the variants does not necessarily imply a chronological order; for example, the Mk. IX was a stop gap measure brought into production before the marks VII and VIII to address the urgent needs of the air force which could not wait for the more ambitious designs of the preceding marks. It is sometimes difficult to identify the variant of an individual Spitfire as many aircraft were built as one variant and later modified to be like another variant.

There is an apparent discrepancy in Spitfire numbering schemes in that sometimes Roman numerals are used and sometimes Arabic numerals are used. This is down to changes in RAF numbering schemes. Up until the end of 1942 the RAF would always use Roman numerals for mark numbers. From 1943 to 1948 was a transition period during which new aircraft entering service were given Arabic mark numbers but older aircraft retained their Roman numerals. From 1948 onwards Arabic numerals were used exclusively. This article adopts the convention of using Roman numerals for the marks I through XVI and Arabic numerals for the marks 17 through 24.

Role Day fighter
Crew one, pilot
First flight March 5, 1936
Entered Service August, 1938
Manufacturer Supermarine
Length 29 ft 11 in 9.1 m
Wingspan 36 ft 10 in 11.2 m
Height 11 ft 5 in 3.9 m
Wing area ft² m²
Empty 5,000 lb 2300 kg
Loaded lb kg
Maximum takeoff 6,400 lb 3100 kg
Engine Rolls-Royce Merlin 45
Power 1,470 hp 1096 kW
Maximum speed 374 mph 602 km/h
Combat range 470 miles 760 km
Ferry range miles km
Service ceiling 35,000 ft 11,300 m
Rate of climb ft/min m/min
Wing loading lb/ft² kg/m²
Power/Mass hp/lb kW/kg
Guns 2 × 20 mm cannon
4 × .303 inch (7.7 mm) machine guns
Bombs 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) bomb

.Some aircraft may appear identical but there are differences which will not be discernible from the image.

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66 Squadron Mk2
72 Squadron
616 Squadron Mk2
Serial #: PS915
Construction #:
Civil Registration:
Model: PR Mk. XIX
Name: None
Status: Airworthy
Last info: 2002
RAF Memorial Flight, RAF Biggin Hill, June 1957.
RAF West Malling, Aug. 31, 1957-1960.
- Gate Guard.
RAF Leuchars, 1966-1975.
- Gate Guard.
RAF Henlow, 1967.
- Used in movie "Battle Of Britain" for static scenes, 1968.
RAF Leuchars, Aug. 1969-1975.
- Gate guard.
RAF Coningsby, 1975-1980.
- Engine test bed for BBMF.
RAF Brawdy, 1975-1984
- Gate guard.
RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight, June 1984-2002.
- Arrived Salmesbury for restoration, June 1984.
- First flight, Nov. 20, 1986.
- Flew in 1996 as "JF319".
- Repainted n 1998 as PS915/UM-G.



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