Evaluation of the recorded flight data suggested he achieved a speed of 690 mph (1,110 km/h), (Mach 0.96) in the dive, which would have been the highest speed ever reached by a propeller-driven aircraft if the instruments had been considered more reliable. He oversaw a group of 10 to 12 pilots responsible for testing all developmental and production Spitfires built by the company in the Southampton area. Normal armament was two 20mm cannon and four machine-guns. The two radiator flaps were now operated automatically by a thermostat. The L.F. was the low-altitude version of the Mk.IX, configured with a Merlin 66 engine and clipped elliptical wings. Each of these nine frames was oval, reducing in size towards the tail, and incorporated several lightening holes to reduce their weight as much as possible without weakening them. On 3 June 1936, the Air Ministry placed an order for 310 aircraft, at a cost of £1,395,000. [nb 10] Designers and pilots felt that having ailerons which required a degree of effort to move at high speed would avoid unintended aileron reversal, throwing the aircraft around and potentially pulling the wings off. Supermarine Spitfire IX: Fourth major production fighter variant (Supermarine Type 361), combining Mk VC airframe with two-stage two-speed Merlin 60 series engine but lacking other improvements designed for (later) Supermarine Spitfire VIII. The Spitfire continued to play increasingly diverse roles throughout the Second World War and beyond, often in air forces other than the RAF. [19] After the fourth flight, a new engine was fitted, and Summers left the test flying to his assistants, Jeffrey Quill and George Pickering. Another PR Mk 19, PS853, which is now owned by Rolls-Royce, was on gate-guard duties at Binbrook, having been retired from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) one year before. [30], The first production Spitfire came off the assembly line in mid-1938[1] and was flown by Jeffrey Quill on 15 May 1938, almost 24 months after the initial order. The Mk VII and Mk VIII would use a redesigned fuselage, and this meant that they would take too long to produce. IX in Detail. A purpose-built works, specialising in manufacturing fuselages and installing engines, was built at Star Road, Caversham in Reading. [141] Like the Spitfire, the Seafire also had a relatively narrow undercarriage track, which meant that it was not ideally suited to deck operations. In any case, it would have been simply asking for trouble to have copied a wing shape from an aircraft designed for an entirely different purpose. R. J. Mitchell designed the Supermarine Type 224 to fill this role. The two orders covered the K, L, and N prefix serial numbers. For example, the Spitfire became the first high-speed photo-reconnaissance aircraft to be operated by the RAF. [37] Beaverbrook immediately sent in experienced management staff and workers from Supermarine, and gave control of the factory to Vickers-Armstrong. IXs, although the intended “c” type was four cannon and no machine gu… Price 1996, pp. [104], The key aim of Fighter Command was to stop the Luftwaffe's bombers; in practice, whenever possible, the tactic was to use Spitfires to counter German escort fighters, by then based in northern France, particularly the Bf 109s, while the Hurricane squadrons attacked the bombers. [65] The undercarriage legs were attached to pivot points built into the inner, rear section of the main spar, and retracted outwards and slightly backwards into wells in the non-load-carrying wing structure. Normal armament was two 20mm cannon and four machine-guns. This meant a Luftwaffe fighter could simply "bunt" into a high-power dive to escape an attack, leaving the Spitfire behind, as its fuel was forced out of the carburettor by negative "g". That Southeast Asia was a lower-priority area also did not help, and it was allocated few Spitfires and other modern fighters compared to Europe, which allowed the Japanese to easily achieve air superiority by 1942. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire served in several roles, including interceptor, photo-reconnaissance, fighter-bomber, and trainer, and it continued to serve in these roles until the 1950s. The use of the “c” suffix is fairly established today to distinguish aircraft with the universal wing and the standard armament of two belt-fed cannon and four .303-calibre guns – typically carried by series production Mk. Their Supermarine Aircraft Spitfire is supplied in kit form and is the only all-aluminium reproduction Spitfire in production. 72 Squadron RAF until June 1940, when it was damaged in a wheels-up landing. The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928. This site also had an aircraft assembly hangar where many prototype and experimental Spitfires were assembled, but since it had no associated aerodrome, no Spitfires ever flew from Hursley. [90] Supermarine estimated that the new wing could give an increase in speed of 55 mph (89 km/h) over the Spitfire Mk 21. Aircraft performance and design (pdf file) pp. [73], All the main flight controls were originally metal structures with fabric covering. The essence of aircraft design is compromise, and an improvement at one end of the performance envelope is rarely achieved without a deterioration somewhere else. It allowed the RAF to go back onto the offensive in occupied Europe, and resume the “circus”, “ramrod” and “rodeo” raids. The Spitfire achieved legendary status during the Battle of Britain, a reputation aided by the "Spitfire Fund" organised and run by Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production. "[62][nb 8], The wing section used was from the NACA 2200 series, which had been adapted to create a thickness-to-chord ratio of 13% at the root, reducing to 9.4% at the tip. [83][84], As the Spitfire gained more power and was able to manoeuvre at higher speeds, the possibility that pilots would encounter aileron reversal increased, and the Supermarine design team set about redesigning the wings to counter this. But I have to admit that the later marks, although they were faster than the earlier ones, were also much heavier and so did not handle so well. When the Mk VIII appeared later in 1942, its performance was very similar to that of the Mk IX. [98], The operational history of the Spitfire with the RAF began with the first Mk Is K9789, which entered service with 19 Squadron at RAF Duxford on 4 August 1938. "Spitfire con Coccarde Italiane (Spitfire in Italian service)." The managements of Supermarine and Vickers were able to convince the Air Ministry that production problems could be overcome, and a further order was placed for 200 Spitfires on 24 March 1938. The same day P7666 was delivered to the Squadron, 23 November 1940, Finlay destroyed a Bf 109 on his first operational sortie in the aircraft. The elliptical wing was decided upon quite early on. [nb 11][82], The ellipse also served as the design basis for the Spitfire's fin and tailplane assembly, once again exploiting the shape's favourable aerodynamic characteristics. [127] Martindale successfully glided the Spitfire 20 mi (32 km) back to the airfield and landed safely. Its service ceiling rose from 36,200 feet to 43,000 feet. 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. In 1936, this informal request for major manufacturing facilities was replaced by a formal scheme, known as the shadow factory plan, to boost British aircraft production capacity under the leadership of Herbert Austin. [97] Supermarine did not fix the problem until October 1938, when they added hot air ducts from the rear of the wing-mounted radiators to the guns, and bulkheads around the gunbays to trap the hot air in the wing. Early, Merlin-powered Spitfires were not the only aircraft to suffer from this problem, as other prewar aeroplanes also used carburettors containing a float chamber. [137], The final version of the Spitfire, the Mk 24, first flew at South Marston on 13 April 1946. The Mk IX was a significant improvement on the Mk V. It had a top speed of 409 mph at 28,000 feet, an increase of 40 miles per hour. The German government approved the deal, but only in return for a number of. világháborúban nagy számban alkalmazták, majd azt követően főként a brit Nemzetközösség tagjainál állt szolgálatban, egészen az 1950-es évek végéig. The symbol of Britain's refusal to give up during that dark summer of 1940, the Spitfire won the hearts of both pilots and public in World War II. Red fabric patches were doped over the gun ports to protect the guns from cold, dirt, and moisture until they were fired. In 1941 and 1942, PRU Spitfires provided the first photographs of the Freya and Würzburg radar systems, and in 1943, helped confirm that the Germans were building the V1 and V2 Vergeltungswaffen ("vengeance weapons") rockets by photographing Peenemünde, on the Baltic Sea coast of Germany. The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. [138] Currently several of the trainers are known to exist, including both the T Mk VIII, a T Mk IX based in the US, and the "Grace Spitfire" ML407, a veteran flown operationally by 485(NZ) Squadron in 1944. In April 1944, the same aircraft suffered engine failure in another dive while being flown by Squadron Leader Anthony F. Martindale, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, when the propeller and reduction gear broke off. [7] Of the seven designs tendered to F7/30, the Gloster Gladiator biplane was accepted for service. He co-ordinated a team of 25 pilots and assessed all Spitfire developments. [123] Spitfire MKVIIIs took part in the last battle of World War II involving the Western allies in Burma, in the ground attack role, helping defeat a Japanese break-out attempt. Further improvements were introduced throughout the Merlin series, with Bendix-manufactured pressure carburettors, designed to allow fuel to flow during all flight attitudes, introduced in 1942. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Edward "Ted" Powles,[131] was on a routine flight to survey outside air temperature and report on other meteorological conditions at various altitudes in preparation for a proposed new air service through the area. [91] The new wing was initially fitted to a Spitfire Mk XIV. When the Spitfire took on a role as a high-altitude fighter (Marks VI and VII and some early Mk VIIIs), the standard wing tips were replaced by extended, "pointed" tips which increased the wingspan from 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m) to 40 ft 2 in (12.24 m). IXB ser. By June 1939, most of these problems had been resolved, and production was no longer held up by a lack of wings. In 1942, the United States acquired a flyable, Japanese, This aircraft survived the war, only to be scrapped in 1945. Replacing the fabric covering with light alloy dramatically improved the ailerons at high speed. [72] The complex wing design, especially the precision required to manufacture the vital spar and leading-edge structures, caused some major delays in the production of the Spitfire at first. [94], Due to a shortage of Brownings, which had been selected as the new standard rifle calibre machine gun for the RAF in 1934, early Spitfires were fitted with only four guns, with the other four fitted later. Also included are colorful, easy to read detailed instructions. Celebrating 21 years of hobby news and reviews. Over the next month, other raids were mounted until, on 26 September 1940, both factories were destroyed,[41] with 92 people killed and a large number injured. [9] It then went through a series of changes, including the incorporation of an enclosed cockpit, oxygen-breathing apparatus, smaller and thinner wings, and the newly developed, more powerful Rolls-Royce PV-XII V-12 engine, later named the "Merlin". Later, a new fuselage was designed, with the new fighter becoming the Supermarine Spiteful. A fibreglass replica of a Spitfire Mk IX has been mounted on a pylon in Jackson Park, One of the few remaining Supermarine Spitfires with a wartime record is on display (alongside a Hawker Hurricane) at the, A fibreglass replica of a Spitfire Mk IX is mounted to the roof of the speciality shop, Spitfire Emporium, in, There is a replica of a Spitfire (and of a Hurricane) at the entrance to the, A fibreglass replica of Spitfire VB BL924 is on display at. Between 1940 and 1946, Henshaw flew a total of 2,360 Spitfires and Seafires, more than 10% of total production.[46][47]. However, the Mk. [4] A production aircraft cost about £9,500. Green, Peter. [96] Early tests showed that, while the guns worked perfectly on the ground and at low altitudes, they tended to freeze at high altitude, especially the outer wing guns, because the RAF's Brownings had been modified to fire from an open bolt. The L.F. was the low-altitude version of the Mk.IX, configured with a Merlin 66 engine and clipped elliptical wings. Invented by Beatrice "Tilly" Shilling, it became known as "Miss Shilling's orifice". Pilots who forgot to raise the flaps after landing often found themselves paying a fine. ", History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Koga's Zero: The Fighter That Changed World War II, The Spitfire Site – resource library about the Supermarine Spitfire, Spitfire/Seafire Serial Numbers, production contracts and aircraft histories, K5054 – Supermarine Type 300 prototype Spitfire & production aircraft history, Supermarine Spitfire – History of a legend (RAF Museum), The Supermarine Spitfire in Indian Air Force Service, Spitfire Pilots, articles about Spitfires and its pilots, RAF Museum Spitfire Mk VB walk-around photos, Examples of Photographic Reconnaissance Spitfires, Pacific Spitfires – The Supermarine Spitfire in RAAF Service, A photograph of the 1939 "Speed Spitfire" in, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supermarine_Spitfire&oldid=995400266, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2020, Articles needing additional references from April 2018, All articles needing additional references, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. At the time, British Commonwealth forces were involved in possible action against Indonesia over Malaya and Nicholls decided to develop tactics to fight the Indonesian Air Force P-51 Mustang, a fighter that had a similar performance to the PR Mk 19. [18], K5054 was fitted with a new propeller, and Summers flew the aircraft on 10 March 1936; during this flight, the undercarriage was retracted for the first time. 1 Wing RAAF helped defend the port town of Darwin against air attack by the Japanese Naval Air Force,[122] suffering heavy losses largely due to the type's limited fuel capacity. I went into production in 1937 and was operational in June, 1938. To carry out the mission of home defence, the design was intended to allow the Spitfire to climb quickly to intercept enemy bombers. [98] If one cannon seized, the recoil of the other threw the aircraft off aim. [85][87][88] Alongside the redesigned wing, Supermarine also experimented with the original wing, raising the leading edge by 1 inch (2.54 cm), with the hope of improving pilot view and reducing drag. [155][156], There are 54 Spitfires and a few Seafires in airworthy condition worldwide, although many air museums have examples on static display, for example, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has paired a static Spitfire with a static Ju 87 R-2/Trop. One of these was the improbable. From 1944 some were built with the “e” wing, which replaced the four .303in machine guns with two .50in heavy machine guns. At the time the wing was designed, this D-shaped leading edge was intended to house steam condensers for the evaporative cooling system intended for the PV-XII. He is a German Luftwaffe ace with 81 confirmed victories on the Eastern front. IX BR601 History – Born into conflict as few aircraft are, the sixth Mk. On 20 February 1948, almost twelve years from the prototype's first flight, the last production Spitfire, VN496, left the production line. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the Spitfire's development throughout its multitude of variants. Supermarine Spitfire Jeff Ethell’s Pireps. These were referred to as Mk IX UTI and differed from the Supermarine proposals by using an inline "greenhouse" style double canopy rather than the raised "bubble" type of the T Mk VIII. 11–13, 17, 42, 64, 67–68, 92. [65], Ahead of the spar, the thick-skinned leading edge of the wing formed a strong and rigid, D-shaped box, which took most of the wing loads. With the Mark II or the Mark V one got two-and-a-half flick-rolls but the Mark IX was heavier and you got only one-and-a-half. Initially, these were refurbished aircraft, but subsequent shipments were factory new. "[117] Although not as fast as the Spitfire, the Zero could out-turn the Spitfire with ease, could sustain a climb at a very steep angle, and could stay in the air for three times as long. [79] The wing tips used spruce formers for most of the internal structure with a light alloy skin attached using brass screws. An elliptical planform is the most efficient aerodynamic shape for an untwisted wing, leading to the lowest amount of induced drag. Edwardes-Jones' report was positive; his only request was that the Spitfire be equipped with an undercarriage position indicator. That any operational aircraft off the production line, cannons sprouting from its wings and warts and all, could readily be controlled at this speed when the early jet aircraft such as, Articles and topics related to the Supermarine Spitfire, Manufacturing at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, Search for reported surviving Spitfires in Burma. This was also the last known flight of a piston-engined fighter in the RAF. This design was submitted to the Air Ministry in July 1934, but was not accepted. [70] This caused the wing roots to stall before the tips, reducing tip-stall that could otherwise have resulted in a wing drop, often leading to a spin. Vickers Aviation could not keep up with demand and most of Britain’s manufacturers began building Spitfires. As the war progressed, the C wing became more common. The initial solution was to subcontract the work. British company Historic Flying Limited has either restored or built from scratch a significant proportion of the Spitfires that are now airworthy. [55], The Spitfire's airframe was complex. [116] In 1944, the USSR received the substantially improved Mk IX variant, with the first aircraft delivered in February. [8], The Type 224 was a big disappointment to Mitchell and his design team, who immediately embarked on a series of "cleaned-up" designs, using their experience with the Schneider Trophy seaplanes as a starting point. ", "Monument campaign for WWII female auxiliary pilots", "Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum, Malton, North Yorkshire", "How realistic are Dunkirk's Spitfire flight scenes? On 5 October 1944 Spitfire Mk IXs of 401 Squadron were the first allied aircraft to shoot down an Me 262 Jet. Here, Flight Lieutenant Humphrey Edwardes-Jones took over the prototype for the RAF. In July 1942 an early Mk IX was flown against a captured Fw 190A, and the two aircraft were discovered to have very similar capabilities. [151] The last operational sortie of an RAF Spitfire was flown on 1 April 1954, by PS888 a PR Mk 19 Spitfire of 81 Squadron.It was flying from RAF Seletar, in Singapore to photograph an area of jungle in Johore, Malaysia, thought to contain Communist guerrillas. While this prevented overheating of the cordite used in British ammunition, it allowed cold air to flow through the barrel unhindered. In early marks of the Spitfire (Mk I to Mk VI), the single flap was operated manually using a lever to the left of the pilot's seat. [136] Although the Spitfire continued to improve in speed and armament, its limited fuel capacity restricted range and endurance: it remained "short-legged" throughout its life except in the dedicated photo-reconnaissance role, when its guns were replaced by extra fuel tanks. The removable wing tips were made up of duralumin-skinned spruce formers. Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault noted: "The RAF pilots were trained in methods that were excellent against German and Italian equipment, but suicide against the acrobatic Japs. [118] To counter the Zero, Spitfire pilots had to adopt a "slash and run" policy and use their faster speed and diving superiority to fight, while avoiding classic dogfights. This frame also tied the four main fuselage longerons to the rest of the airframe. IXs. [4][nb 13] The Spitfire achieved legendary status during the Battle of Britain, a reputation aided by the "Spitfire Fund" organised and run by Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Aircraft Production. [119][120][121] Over the Northern Territory of Australia, Royal Australian Air Force and RAF Spitfires assigned to No. "Technical Note: A CFD Evaluation of Three Prominent World War II Fighter Aircraft. It was introduced in Update 1.35. German bombers would have to fly to the UK over the North Sea, and Germany did not have any single-engine fighters with the range to accompany them. After repair, it was used for training until August 1944, when it became one of several Battle of Britain aircraft veterans that were allocated to the Air Historical Branch for future museum preservation. With the later and still heavier versions, one got even less. During the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe made concerted efforts to destroy the main manufacturing plants at Woolston and Itchen, near Southampton. In June 1939, a Spitfire was fitted with a drum-fed Hispano in each wing, an installation that required large blisters on the wing to cover the 60-round drum. [42] The drawing office in which all Spitfire designs were drafted was relocated to Hursley Park, near Southampton. Three marks of Spitfire would be developed from this experimental aircraft. [25] He had been given orders to fly the aircraft and then to make his report to the Air Ministry on landing. At the end of the trials, RAF pilots found that Firestreak infra-red guided missiles had trouble acquiring the Spitfire due to a low exhaust temperature, and decided that the twin ADEN 30 mm (1.2 in) cannons were the only weapons suited to the task, which was complicated by the tight turning circle of the Spitfire, and the Lightning's proclivity for over-running the Spitfire. A típust a II. The Merlin 46 and Merlin 50 were also used in the VB. [151], In late 1962, Air Marshal Sir John Nicholls instigated a trial when he flew Spitfire PM631, a PR Mk 19 in the custody of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, against an English Electric Lightning F 3 (a supersonic jet-engined interceptor) in mock combat at RAF Binbrook. The aircraft fetched a record £3.1 million at auction on 9 July, beating the previous record for a Spitfire of £1.7 million set in 2009.[163]. What he meant was that he wanted nothing touched, especially the control settings, until he had consulted with Mitchell and the design team and suggested some improvements. The fuselage plating was 24, 20, and 18 gauge in order of thickness towards the tail, while the fin structure was completed using short longerons from frames 20 to 23, before being covered in 22 gauge plating. The French Dewoitine D.520[52] and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109, for example, were designed to take advantage of new techniques of monocoque construction, and the availability of new, high-powered, liquid-cooled, in-line aero engines. 8 × .303 in Browning Mk II* machine guns (350 rounds per gun), 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II (60 rounds per gun), 4 × .303 in Browning Mk II* machine guns (350 rounds per gun), 4 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon (120 rounds per gun), 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II (120 rounds per gun), 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II cannon (120 rounds per gun), 2 × .50 in M2 Browning machine guns (250 rounds per gun), Brown, Eric.