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. [43]. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced … The Griffon IIs or VIs used a single-stage supercharger generating maximum power at low altitudes. [4], The Hispano Mk.II cannons were now belt fed from box magazines allowing for 120 rpg (the "Chattellerault" system). The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most popular fighter aircraft of the Second World War.wikipedia. The Westland Whirlwind was a British twin-engined heavy fighter developed by Westland Aircraft. 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 Early Griffon Spitfires part 1: Article and scale drawings", Cooke, Peter. 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]. 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. These were soon removed and a mock up of a proposed six-cannon armament was fitted, three in each wing. [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 pitch control mechanism controlled the pitch on the front propeller. 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. This was precisely the opposite result to that expected, or indeed intended. [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. 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. 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 Mk 18 missed the war. [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. If this failed the pitch of the rear propeller was no longer under control and might do anything which was potentially dangerous. 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. [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. 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 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. This was because the petrol in the float was being thrown away from the feed pipe to the supercharger. This specific COBI Spitfire set, honors the Polish Fighting Team of pilots that flew alongside British Spitfire … 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 majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used C, D and E wing types. Starting in early 1945 most Spitfire Mk XIVs also used clipped wingtips, mainly in an effort to reduce wrinkling of the wing's skin; again the LF prefix was not applied to these 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 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 Spitfire was also adopted for service on aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy; in this role they were renamed Supermarine Seafire. 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. Some of the squadron's aircraft went to the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force where they were operated until 1955. The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the most outstanding fighter aircraft of the Second World War. 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 original Merlin and Griffon engine designs used single-stage superchargers. 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. [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. The first one of these was flown by Jeffrey Quill on 20 January 1943. Information as to when the first production aircraft emerged is from the serial number lists provided in Morgan and Shacklady 2000. 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. The first Griffon-powered Spitfires suffered from poor high altitude performance due to having only a single stage supercharged engine. Although designed as a fighter-interceptor aircraft, the Spitfire proved its versatility in other roles. The original production variants of the Merlin used an SU manufactured carburettor in which the fuel flow was metered through a float. [31] Mk XIVs with "tear-drop" canopies had 64 gal. 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). The majority of Spitfires, from the Mk VIII on, used three basic wing types — the C through to the E types. 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. Spitfire XI: Unarmed reconnaissance aircraft with Merlin 61, 63 or … Its handling qualities have benefitted (sic) to a corresponding extent and it is now considered suitable both for instrument flying and low flying. This was the final mark of Spitfire powered by a Griffon 85 driving a five bladed Rotol propeller. Depending on the supercharger fitted engines were rated as low altitude (e.g. 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 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. "Your exciting Journey into digital world of aviation starts " ten main factories and several smaller workshops, Military history of the United Kingdom during World War II, Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin-powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin-powered variants), http://www.spitfireperformance.com/JF319_Report_P3792.pdf, http://www.spitfireperformance.com/spitfire-XIV-ads.jpg, Alan Le Marinel hosts Supermarine Spitfire, K5054 – Supermarine Type 300 prototype Spitfire & production aircraft history. The new wing was torsionally 47 per cent stiffer, allowing an increased theoretical aileron reversal speed of 825 mph (1,328 km/h). 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. Its handling was also nearly identical and so it was not put through any performance tests. 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. The main Castle Bromwich factory was also aided by a smaller number of the shadow factories. 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 top section of the engine bulkhead was angled forward, creating a distinctive change of angle to the upper cowling's rear edge. [44], Spitfire 21s became operational on 91 Squadron in January 1945. 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. Two-stage refers to the use of two impellers[nb 2]on a common driveshaft, constituting two superchargers in series; as air was drawn through the air intake fuel was pumped into the airstream by the carburettor. [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 first of 100 Supermarine-built production aircraft started appearing in October 1942; two RAF squadrons in total were equipped with the XII. Spitfire X: Pressurised version of PR-XI with Merlin 77 - one example with HF wing. 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. [29]. [21] [22]. Like the Mk XIV there were fighter and fighter reconnaissance variants built. There were 24 marks of Spitfire and many sub-variants. The Griffon variants were manufactured in fewer numbers to its Merlin counterpart, in a batch of around 79 aircraft which were delivered in 1945. The type has the distinction of being the first jet fighter to enter operational service with the FAA. For engines equipped with a single-stage supercharger the air being forced through the supercharger air intake was compressed by the supercharger's impeller. Spitfire Mk VIII. Because the first XIVs were converted from existing Mk VIII airframes the first true production serial No. Handling, however, was considered to be better than previous Spitfire marks, and the clipped wings conferred excellent manoeuvrability through enhanced aileron response. This information was needed in case RAF Lightnings might have to engage P-51 Mustangs in the Indonesian conflict of the time. From 1948 onwards, Arabic numerals were used exclusively. gear (this referred to the gearing, and thus the speed, at which the impellers were operating). Late production aircraft were built with the lighter, short-barrelled, electrically fired Mark V Hispano cannon. 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. [2] 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. [6] At low to medium altitudes the supercharger was in Moderate Supercharger or M.S. 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. and Ernest Hives of Rolls-Royce thought that the Griffon would be "a second power string for the Spitfire". [14]. No further attempts should be made to perpetuate the Spitfire family. Up to 2 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs (wing racks), plus 1 × 500 lb (230 kg) bomb (centre-section rack). Supermarine Spitfire – History of a legend (RAF Museum), last viewed: 17 January 2014. 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). 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 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. 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. A top speed of 423 mph (681 km/h) at 18,500 ft (5,639 m) was predicted. 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. 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. The HS.404 is an autocannon originally designed and produced by Spanish/French company Hispano-Suiza in the mid-1930s. 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. [12]. 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. [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. Better VHF radio equipment allowed for the aerial mast to be removed and replaced by a "whip" aerial further aft on the fuselage spine. Spitfire F Mk XIIs of 41 Sqn. Unless otherwise noted, all Griffon-engined Spitfire variants used the strengthened … It was a splendid aeroplane in every respect. The cowling fasteners were new, flush fitting "Amal" type and there were more of them. The entire Spitfire family may be divided by the generation of Rolls-Royce engines which powered the aircraft. Another important feature of the Griffon-engine Spitfires was the entirely flush-riveted finish which was progressively introduced on all Spitfires. 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 Variants: The prototype Spitfire (K5054) was flown unpainted by chief test pilot 'Mutt' Summers at Eastleigh airfield (now Southampton airport) on March 5th 1936. British Spitfire References. 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. 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. [48] [49], The Mk 23 was to be a Mk 22 incorporating a revised wing design which featured an increase in incidence, lifting the leading edge by 2 inches (51 mm). The remedy, invented by Beatrice "Tilly" Shilling, was to fit a metal diaphragm with a hole in it, across the float chambers. Post-war, the Spitfire's service career continued into the 1950s. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants), Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants), Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment. A total of 81 Mk 24s were completed, 27 of which were conversions from Mk 22s. This would lead to 19 marks of Spitfire and 52 sub-varia… Jeffrey Quill, Supermarine's chief test pilot, was the first to fly the Mk IV/Mk XII prototype DP845. The proposed new design was called the Mk 21, which at first displayed poor flight qualities that damaged the excellent Spitfire reputation. As the Spitfire gained more power and was able to fly at greater speeds the risk of aileron reversal was increasing so the Supermarine design team set about redesigning the wings to counter this possibility. 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. Because it was used mainly at low altitudes the "production" FR Mk XIVE had clipped wingtips. [17]. [18]. II which, it was decided, would be the first version to be produced exclusively by the huge new Nuffield “shadow” factory at Castle Bromwich. 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. 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. I was also easily leaving the Typhoon behind and the eventual finishing order was, first the Spitfire, second the Typhoon, third the Fw 190. It was overshadowed in the public consciousness by the Supermarine Spitfire's role during the Battle of Britain in 1940, but the Hurricane inflicted 60 per cent of the losses sustained by the Luftwaffe in the engagement, and fought in all the major theatres of the Second World War. These covered the Spitfire in development from the Merlin to Griffon engines, the high speed photo-reconnaissance variants and the different wing configurations. 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. 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. Mark XVI or Mark 16 often refers to the 16th version of a product, frequently military hardware. The undercarriage legs also had a 7.75 in (19.7 cm) wider track to help improve ground handling. 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. [36] Later, purpose-built conversions, also known as the FR Mk XIVE, had the later cut-down rear fuselage with its tear drop–shaped canopy, port and/or starboard camera ports (without blisters), and an additional rear fuel tank of 34 gallons which extended the Spitfire's range to about 610 miles (980 km) on internal fuel. According to fighter ace J.E. "A British Masterpiece." 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. As a result the maximum power generated by the Merlin 61 in F.S. 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 armament later became standard for all Spitfire Mk XIVs used by 2 TAF as fighters. 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. [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. 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. In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. In the summer of 1939 an early Mk I K9788 was fitted with a new version of the Merlin, the XII. 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. 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. 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. Although the Griffon-engined Spitfires were never produced in the large numbers of the Merlin-engined variants they were an important part of the Spitfire family, and in their later versions kept the Spitfire at the forefront of piston-engined fighter development. [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. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. 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.