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Great Britain's Supermarine Spitfire fighter

Photos

  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk I fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk I fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk I fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk I fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIA fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIA fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIA fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIA fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIA fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIB fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIB fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk V fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk V fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk V fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk V fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk V fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VBT fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VII fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk X fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XI fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XI fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XII fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVE fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVE fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV fighter
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI fighter
  • Production comparison.
  • Speed and Range comparison.
  • Supermarine Spitfire prototype
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • Supermarine Spitfire

Design

The Supermarine Spitfire was designed by Reginald J. Mitchell / Reginald Mitchell / R. J. Mitchell. The Spitfire was based on the seaplanes that won the Schneider Trophys.

The design was to meet Air Ministry Specification F.7/30.

Cockpit

The cockpit on the Spitfire had a teardrop hood allowing for good views in the early models. Later models had bubble canopies.

The pilot was protected by a sheet of armor.

Engine

The designers of the Spitfire claimed that the ejector exhaust stubs increased it's speed by 3 mph / 5 kph.

Wing

One of the Spitfire's strengths was it's wing as it had low drag and excellent strength.

Spitfires that were designed for low level attacks had clipped wings to allow for better agility.

Undercarriage

The undercarriage was narrow and retracted outwards. This did not provide a stable platform when landing.

Tail Wheel

In the prototype there was a tail skid, but in the production version a tail wheel replaced it.

Spitfire Mk I

Engine

Early models of the Spitfire Mk I had the Merlin II engine, whereas later models had Merlin III engines. The early models also had a 2 blade propeller, which was later replaced by a 3 blade propeller.

Propellers

The two bladed fixed pitch propeller was replaced by a three bladed variable pitch propeller during 1938-1940.

Spitfire Mk V

The Spitfire Mk V was a design combining the Mk I and Mk II airframe with the Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 engine.

Improvements During Production

The ailerons changed from being fabric covered to metal covered. The Merlin 50 and Merlin 55 engine had negative 'g' carburetors to help eliminate stalls in tight turns and maneuvers. The armor was also increased.

Drop tanks were developed for the Spitfire Mk V.

Tropical Version

A tropical version of the Spitfire Mk V had a large Vokes filter under the nose.

Spitfire Mk VI

The Spitfire Mk VI was designed to intercept high flying German aircraft operating over Britain in 1941.

The Mk VI was based on the Spitfire Mk VB's airframe and wing.

Propeller

The Spitfire Mk VI was the first to have a four blade propeller.

Wings

The wingtips were extended to help with better control at high altitudes.

Cockpit

The cockpit was lightly pressurized (2 psi). This was located between the bulkheads for and aft of the pilot's cabin. The sealed cockpit canopy could not be slid open as it was bolted down and sealed before takeoff.

Fuel

Internal fuel capacity was increased by 33% with the addition of a fuel tank in the rear fuselage.

Spitfire Mk VII

The Spitfire Mk VII was the first substantial redesign of the Spitfire series. Its structure was strengthened.

Engine

The Spitfire Mk VII used a Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series engine. There were 6 port exhausts. The radiators were symmetrical underwing.

Wing

The 'C' wing had shorter span ailerons and additional fuel tanks in the leading edges. The span was longer to help with high altitude work.

Tail

The tail wheel was retractable. Many had the pointed fin and rudder.

Cabin

The cabin was pressurized to work at high altitudes.

Spitfire Mk VIII

The Spitfire Mk VIII was nearly the same as the Mk VII but without the pressurized cabin as its primary function was to be used at lower altitudes.

Tropicallized

During production the Spitfire Mk VIIIs were tropicallized by having a larger carburetor intake under the nose.

Spitfire Mk IX

The Spitfire Mk IX was designed to battle against the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 that appeared in 1941 as the Mk V was outclassed.

New Engine

Rolls-Royce developed two more powerful engines, the 60 and 70, that were fitted to a modified Mk V.

Spitfire Mk XII

There was a need for a fighter that could combat the hit and run raids of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 that were hitting England's south coast. This lead to the installation of the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine.

Early models were based on the Spitfire Mk V airframe with a fixed tail wheel. Later models were based on the Mk VIII with a retractable tail wheel.

Engine

The fitting of the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine required that the engine cowling design be changed.

Wings

The wings were the clipped 'Cs'.

Tail

The tail rudder was pointed.

Spitfire Mk XIV

The Spitfire next had the Rolls-Royce Griffon 65 engine installed. Along with this engine a 5 bladed propeller was used. As a result the nose was longer and the rudder and fin had to be redesigned to compensate for the engine.

Prototype

The Spitfire prototype (K.5054) first flew on March 1936 / March 5, 1936. It had a Merlin engine and a two bladed propellar. The Spitfire prototype was also able to go 350 mph. An order for 310 was placed in June 1936.

Spitfire Mk I

The Spitfire Mk I first flew on May 14, 1938.

Spitfire Mk III

The Spitfire Mk III prototype first flew in March 1940. An initial order for 1,000 was placed, but this was cancelled when the simpler Spitfire Mk V came along.

Spitfire Mk V

The Spitfire Mk V prototype first flew in December 1940.

Spitfire Mk VI

The prototype first flew in June 1941.

Spitfire Mk VII

The prototype of the Spitfire Mk VII first flew in April 1942.

Spitfire Mk IX

The Spitfire Mk IX prototype first flew in early 1942.

Spitfire Mk XII

The prototype first flew on August 24, 1942.

Spitfire Mk XIV

Six Spitfire Mk VIII were converted to prototypes of the Spitfire Mk XIV. The first one flew in early 1943.

Production

Construction of a Spitfire took three times longer to construct than the German Messerschmitt Bf 109.

There were 305 Spitfires completed before World War II started.

Spitfire Mk I

Deliveries to the Royal Air Force (RAF), of the Spitfire Mk I, began in June 1938.

Spitfire Mk V

Production of the Spitfire Mk V started in March 1941. Deliveries of the Spitfire Mk V began in February 1941. Production continued until 1943.

Spitfire Mk VI

Production of the Spitfire Mk V ended in October 1942.

Spitfire Mk VII

Deliveries began in September 1942.

Spitfire Mk XIV

Deliveries of the Spitfire Mk XIV started in January 1944.

  • K.5054 Prototype: 1
  • Spitfire Mk I: 1,567
    • Manufacturer: Supermarine Division of Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd. (1,517), Westland (50)
    • Production: 1937 - ?
  • Spitfire Mk II: 921
    • Spitfire Mk IIA: 751
    • Spitfire Mk IIB: 170
    • Manufacturer: Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory (CBAF) in Birmingham
  • Spitfire Mk III: 2
  • Spitfire Mk IV: 1
  • Spitfire Mk IV/XX: 1
  • Spitfire PR.IV: 229
  • Spitfire Mk V: 6,472, 6,479
    • Spitfire Mk VA: 94
    • Spitfire Mk VB: 3,911
    • Spitfire Mk VC: 2,467
    • Manufacturer: Supermarine (1,348), CBAF (4,489), Westland (635)
  • Spitfire Mk VI: 100
  • Spitfire Mk VII: 140
  • Spitfire Mk VIII: 1,658, 1,685
    • Spitfire LF.VIII: 1,225
  • Spitfire Mk IX: 5,665
    • Spitfire LF.IX: 4,010
    • Spitfire F.IX: 1,255
    • Spitfire HF.IX: 400
    • Manufacturer: Supermarine (561), CBAF (5,140)
  • Spitfire PR.X: 16
  • Spitfire PR.XI: 471
  • Spitfire F.XII: 100
  • Spitfire Mk XIV: 957
    • Spitfire F.XIV, F.XIVE: 527
    • Spitfire RF.XIVE: 430
  • Spitfire PR.XIX: 225
  • Spitfire Mk XVI: 1,054
    • Manufacturer: CBAF
  • Spitfire F.XVII and Spitfire FR.XVIII: 100, 300
  • Total Spitfires: 20,351
  • Total Seafires: 2,334, 2,408
  • Total Spitfires and Seafires: 21,000

A total 22,890 Spitfires and Seafires were produced from 1936 to 1947. 20,017 of them were powered by Merlin engines.

Variants

  • K.5054: Prototype.
  • Spitfire Mk I: Entered service in August 1938.
  • Spitfire Mk IA: Introduced in May 1938. Ceased production in 1941.
  • Spitfire Mk IB: Had mixed cannons and machine guns. Completed in 1940.
  • Spitfire Mk II: Entered service in September 1940.
  • Spitfire Mk IIA:
  • Spitfire Mk IIB:
  • Spitfire Mk IIC: In 1942 50 Mk IIs were converted to air sea rescue aircraft. Could drop flares, dinghies, or smoke bombs.
  • Spitfire Mk III: Structure was modified. Undercarriage was made stronger. Wings were clipped. Tail wheel was retractable.
  • Spitfire PR.III: Photo reconnaissance. Modified Mk IA. Camera was located in the starboard wing. Additional fuel was added. No radio or armament.
  • Spitfire Mk IV: Photo reconnaissance. Had Rolls-Royce Griffon IIB engine. Became Mk XX.
  • Spitfire PR.IV: Photo reconnaissance. Made from Mk IA airframe. No armament. Had three F-24 cameras carried in fuselage.
  • Spitfire Mk V: Entered service in March 1941 / Summer 1941.
  • Spitfire Mk VA:
  • Spitfire Mk VB: Main fighter used from the middle of 1941 to the middle of 1942. Could use drop tranks.
  • Spitfire Mk VC: Fighter bomber. Could carry one 500 lb / 227 kg or two 250 lb / 113 kg bombs. Could use drop tanks.
  • Spitfire LF.VA: Starting in 1943 converted from Mk Vs. Optimized for low altitude work. Used Rolls-Royce Merlin 45M engine.
  • Spitfire LF.VB: Starting in 1943 converted from Mk Vs. Optimized for low altitude work. Used Rolls-Royce Merlin 50M engine.
  • Spitfire LF.VC: Starting in 1943 converted from Mk Vs. Optimized for low altitude work. Used Rolls-Royce Merlin 55M engine.
  • Spitfire Mk VI: High altitude fighter. Longer wingtips. Pressurized cabin. Spars made stronger.
  • Spitfire Mk VII: High altitude fighter. Longer wingtips. Pressurized cabin. Retractable tail wheel. Rudder was made larger.
  • Spitfire PR.VII: Additional fuel storage in the fuselage and no wing tanks. Three F.24 cameras. No radio.
  • Spitfire Mk VIII: Tropicallized for use in the Mediterranean and Far East.
  • Spitfire F.VIII: Standard fighter bomber. Pointed rudder. Retractable tail wheel. Tropical equipped. All sent to Mediterranean and Far Eastern theaters.
  • Spitfire HF.VIII: High altitude fighter. Some had extended wing tips.
  • Spitfire LF.VIII: Low altitude fighter bomber. Some had clipped wing tips.
  • Spitfire Mk IX: Entered service in mid-1942.
  • Spitfire F.IX: Medium altitude work.
  • Spitfire LF.IX: Low altitude work.
  • Spitfire HF.IX: High altitude work.
  • Spitfire PR.IX: Unarmed reconnaissance.
  • Spitfire FR.IX: Armed reconnaissance.
  • Spitfire Mk XVI: Had Packard Merlin 266 engine.
  • Spitfire Mk X, Spitfire PR.X: Photo reconnaissance. Unarmed. Pressurized cabin. Added fuel. Tail wheel retracted. Pointed rudder. Two F.52 or F.8 cameras; or three F.24 cameras.
  • Spitfire Mk XI, Spitfire PR.XI: Photo reconnaissance. Unarmed. Not pressurized. Tropical equipped.
  • Spitfire Mk XII: First used in 1943. Was to counter the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Clipped wings. Pointed rudder. Tail wheel retracted.
  • Spitfire PR.XIII: Armed photo reconnaissance. Could carry drop tanks. Three F.24 cameras.
  • Spitfire Mk XIV: Rudder larger.
  • Spitfire F.XIV: Had 'C' wing. Used normal canopy.
  • Spitfire F.XIVE: Had 'E' wing. Some wings were clipped for low altitude work. Bubble canopy.
  • Spitfire FR.XIVE: Low level fighter and reconnaissance. Clipped wings. Bubble canopy. Oblique F.24 camera in the rear of the fuselage. An additional fuel tank was added to the fuselage.
  • Spitfire Mk XVI: A modified Mk IX. Pointed rudder. Later aircraft had additional fuel.
  • Spitfire Mk XVIII: Fighter reconnaissance. Had speed of 442 mph / 712 kph. Had a Griffon 67 (2,375 HP) engine. Did not see service in World War II.
  • Spitfire PR.XIX: Photo reconnaissance. Griffon powered. Added fuel in wings.
  • Spitfire Mk XX: Rolls-Royce Griffon IIB engine.
  • Spitfire F.21: New wing. Did not see service in World War II.
  • Spitfire Mk 22: Produced post World War II. Blister type hood.
  • Spitfire Mk 24: Produced post World War II.
  • Seafire: Carrier based model. Based on the Spitfire Mk V.

Usage

Rhubarbs

Spitfires were sent on patrols in France to attack targets of opportunity and these were called Rhubarb missions.

United States

The United States Army Air Force used more than 600 / 700 Spitfires during World War II.

Photo Reconnaissance

An unarmed Spitfire was first for photo reconnaissance on November 18, 1939.

Spitfire Mk I

Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand used the Spitfire Mk I.

First Squadrons

The No 19 and No 66 Squadrons received Spitfire Mk Is in 1938.

Start of World War II

There were nine squadrons of Spitfires available at the start of World War II.

First Kills

On October 16, 1939 two Junkers Ju 88s were shot down by Spitfires over the Firth of Forth.

Battle of Britain

19 RAF squadrons were equipped with Spitfire Mk Is in August 1940.

Spitfire Mk II

Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand used the Spitfire Mk II.

The Spitfire Mk II entered service in August 1940.

Spitfire Mk V

Australia (246), Britain, Canada, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Soviet Union (143), Turkey, and the United States (100+) used the Spitfire Mk V.

Spitfire Mk VI

First Squadron

The 616 Squadron was the first to receive the Spitfire Mk VI in April 1942.

Small Numbers

Only five RAF squadrons used the Spitfire Mk VI.

Spitfire Mk VII

The Spitfire Mk VII was used by Britain.

First Kill

The first kill by a Spitfire Mk VII was in September 1942 against a Focke-Wulf Fw 190. It occurred at 38,000' / 11,580 m over Plymouth.

Spitfire Mk VIII

Australia and Britain used the Spitfire Mk VIII.

The Spitfire Mk VIII entered service in 1943. It equipped RAF squadrons in the Mediterranean theatures.

Australia

Starting in October 1943 Australia received the following for use in the Pacific:

  • Spitfire LF.VIII: 243
  • Spitfire F.VIII: 9
  • Spitfire HF.VIII: 158
  • Total: 410

Spitfire Mk IX

Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Soviet Union (~1,200), and the United States used the Spitfire Mk IX.

The Spitfire Mk IX started being delivered in July 1942 / late 1942.

Over 90 Royal Air Force (RAF) and Commonwealth squadrons were equipped with the Spitfire Mk IX.

Spitfire Mk XII

Britain used the Spitfire Mk XIIs.

The Spitfire Mk XIIs entered service in February 1943. Only two Squadrons were equipped with the Mk XIIs.

Successful Mission

In May 1943 the 91 Squadron was able to shoot down five Focke-Wulf 190s in a single day.

Other Duties

The two Squadrons also flew shipping shipping reconnaissance and fighter sweeps missions.

Spitfire Mk XIV

Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand used the Spitfire Mk XIV. Around 20 RAF and Commonwealth squadrons used the Mk XIV.

Deployed in 1944.

Success Against Jets

On October 5, 1944 a Spitfire Mk XIVs was able to shoot down the first Messerschmitt Me 262 of the war.

Against the V-1

The Spitfire Mk XIVs were successful in shooting down over 300 V-1 flying bombs.

Specifications

  Supermarine Spitfire Mk I
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin II
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin III
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP II: 990, 1,030
III: 1,030
Propeller blades 2 or 3
Propeller blades - Early 2 blade wood fixed pitch
Propeller blades - Mid 3 blade duralumin D.H. two position
Propeller blades - Late 3 blade duralumin D.H. controllable pitch
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Weight  
Loaded 5,332 lb, 5,900 lb
Performance  
Speed 370 mph
Speed @ 19,000 /
5,790 m
355 mph
Service ceiling 34,000'
Range 500 miles
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
8: 7.7 mm Browning MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IA
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin II
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin III
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,810 lb
2,182 kg
Loaded 5,332 lb, 5,844 lb
2,651 kg
Performance  
Speed 367 mph
Speed @ 19,000 /
5,790 m
355 mph
571 kph
Cruising speed 210 mph
338 kph
Climb 2,530'/minute
771 m/minute
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
9.4 minutes
Service ceiling 31,900'
9,723 m
Range 575 miles
925 km
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IB
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin III
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Weight  
Loaded 5,784 lb
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk II
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XII
HP 1,175
Propeller blades 3, 3 blade Rotol constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIA
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XII
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Weight  
Empty 4,900 lb
2,223 kg
Loaded 6,317 lb
2,865 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 17,000' /
5,180 m
357 mph
574 kph
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
7 minutes
Service ceiling 37,200'
11,338 m
Range 500 miles
805 km
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
8: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IIB
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XII
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Weight  
Loaded 6,527 lb
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: MG
4: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk III
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
HP 1,480
Propeller blades 3 blade Rotol constant speed
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
OR 2: 20 mm
8: 0.303" MG
OR 4: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire PR.IV
Type Photo Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 46
Weight  
Loaded 7,178 lb
Performance  
Speed 372 mph
Service ceiling 38,000'
Range 1,460 miles
Armament None
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk V, Supermarine Spitfire F.V
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45
Rolls-Royce Merlin XX
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 46
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 50
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 50A
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 55
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 56
HP 1,000, 1,440
Propeller Blades 3 blade Rotol constant speed
OR 3 blade D.H. constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 33' 8", 36' 10"
11.23 m
Span - Clipped 32' 7"
9.93 m
Length 29' 11", 30' 4"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5", 11' 5"
3.48 m
Performance  
Speed 400 mph
Speed @ 13,000' /
3,962 m
374 mph
602 kph
Climb 3,250'/minute
990 m/minute
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
7.5 minutes
Service ceiling 37,000
11,277 m
Range 470 miles
756 km
Armament  
Wings 2: Cannon
4: Browning MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk VA, Supermarine Spitfire F.VA
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber, Interceptor
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45
Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 Vee piston
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 46
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 50
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 55
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 56
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,440, 1,470
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.02 m, 3.48 m
Wing area 242 ft2
22.48 m2
Weight  
Empty 5,000 lb
2,267 kg
Loaded 6,400 lb, 6,417 lb
2,911 kg
Performance  
Speed - Merlin 45 369 mph
Speed - Merlin 46 365 mph
Speed @ 13,000' /
5,945 m
374 mph
594 kph
Service ceiling 37,000'
11,125 m
Service Ceiling - Merlin 45 37,000'
Service Ceiling - Merlin 46 38,000'
Range 1,135 miles
1,827 km
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
8: 0.303" MG
8: 7.7 mm Browning MG
350 rounds each
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk VB, Supermarine Spitfire F.VB
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 piston
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 46
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 50
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 55
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 56
Cylinders Inline, V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 1,440, 1,470
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.11 m, 9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Wing area 242 ft2
22.48 m2
Weight  
Empty 5,100 lb
2,313 kg
Loaded 6,417 lb, 6,622 lb, 6,785 lb
3,078 kg
Performance  
Speed - Merlin 45 369 mph
Speed - Merlin 46 365 mph
Speed @ 13,000' /
3,960 m
374 mph, 374 mph
602 kph
Climb to 20,000' /
6,095 m
7.5 minutes
Service ceiling 37,000'
11,280 m
Service Ceiling - Merlin 45 37,000'
Service Ceiling - Merlin 46 38,000'
Range 470 miles
756 km
Range - Merlin 45 480 miles
Range - Merlin 46 460 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: MG
4: 0.303" MG
4: 7.7 mm MG
  Supermarine Spitfire F.VC, Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC
Type Fighter, Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 46
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 50
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 55
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 56
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,470
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Weight  
Empty 5,100 lb
2,313 kg
Loaded 6,785 lb
3,078 kg
Performance  
Speed - Merlin 45 369 mph
Speed - Merlin 46 365 mph
Service Ceiling - Merlin 45 37,000'
Service Ceiling - Merlin 46 38,000'
Range - Merlin 45 470 miles
Range - Merlin 46 450 miles
Armament  
Wings 8: MG
8: 0.303" MG
OR 2: 20 mm
4: MG
4: 0.303" MG
OR 4: 20 mm
Bombs 1: 500 lb
1: 227 kg
OR 2: 250 lb
2: 113 kg
  Supermarine Spitfire LF.V
Type Fighter Bomber, Low Altitude Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45M
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 50M
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 55M
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Performance  
Speed @ 6,000' /
1,829 m
357 mph
574 kph
Climb 4,720'/minute
1,438 m/minute
Service ceiling 36,500'
11,125 m
Range  
Range with drop tanks 990 miles
1,593 km
Armament  
Bombs 1: 250 lb
OR 1: 500 lb
  Supermarine Spitfire F.VI, Supermarine Spitfire Mk VI
Type Fighter, High altitude interceptor
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 47
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,415
Propeller blades 4, 4 blade Rotol constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 40' 2"
12.24 m
Length 29' 11"
9.12 m
Height 11' 5"
3.48 m
Weight  
Empty 5,300 lb
2,404 kg
Loaded 6,797 lb
3,083 kg
Maximum load 7,178 lb
3,256 kg
Performance  
Speed 364 mph
Speed @ 22,000' /
6,705 m
364 mph
586 kph
Cruising speed 239 mph
385 kph
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
8 minutes
Service Ceiling 39,200', 40,000'
11,948 m
Range 475 miles, 510 miles
820 km
Range with external fuel 1,170 miles
1,883 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk VII, Supermarine Spitfire F.VII
Type Fighter, High altitude interceptor
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 64
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 61
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 71
HP 64: 1,710
71: 1,655
Propeller blades 4, 4 blade Rotol constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 40' 2"
12.24 m
Length 31' 3.5"
9.54 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Empty 6,000 lb
2,722 kg
Loaded 7,875 lb
3,572 kg
Performance  
Speed 408 mph
Speed @ 25,000' /
7,620 m
408 mph
656 kph
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
7.1 minutes
Service Ceiling 43,000'
13,106 m
Range 660 miles
1,062 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG, MG
  Supermarine Spitfire HF.VII
Type High Altitude Fighter
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 71
Weight  
Loaded 7,875 lb
Performance  
Speed 416 mph
Service Ceiling 44,000'
Range 660 miles
  Supermarine Spitfire PR.VII
Type Photo Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 46
Weight  
Loaded 6,585 lb
Performance  
Speed 369 mph
Service Ceiling 37,000'
Range 710 miles
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII, Supermarine Spitfire F.VIII
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 61
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63/63a
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63A
HP 61: 1,565
63/63a: 1,710
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Span - Extended 40' 2"
12.24 m
Length 31' 3.5"
9.54 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,767 lb
Performance  
Speed 408 mph
Service ceiling 43,000'
Range 660 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG, MG
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Supermarine Spitfire LF.VIII
Type Fighter bomber, Low Altitude Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 66
HP 1,720
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 31' 3.5"
9.54 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,767 lb
Performance  
Speed 404 mph
Speed @ 21,000' /
6,400 m
404 mph
650 kph
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
6.7 minutes
Service ceiling 41,500'
12,649 m
Range 660 miles
Range with drop tanks 1,180 miles
1,900 km
  Supermarine Spitfire HF.VIII
Type Fighter Bomber, High Altitude Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 70
HP 1,710
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 31' 3.5"
9.54 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Empty 5,800 lb
2,631 kg
Loaded 7,767 lb
3,523 kg
Performance  
Speed 416 mph
Service Ceiling 44,000'
Range 660 miles
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, Supermarine Spitfire F.IX
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 61
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63/63a
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63A
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 61: 1,565, 1,660
63/63a: 1,710
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Span - Clipped Wings 32' 2", 32' 7"
9.8 m, 9.93 m
Length 31' 1", 31' 3.5"
9.47 m, 9.54 m
Height 11' 5", 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,300 lb, 7,343 lb
Performance  
Speed Over 400
Speed @ 25,000' /
7,620 m
408 mph
657 kph
Climb 4,100'/minute
1,250 m/minute
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
6.7 minutes
Service Ceiling 40,000', 43,000', 44,000'
13,106 m
Range 434 miles
698 km
Range with drop tanks 980 miles
1,577 km
Armament  
Wings 2: cannon, 20 mm
4: MG
Bombs 1,000 lb
454 kg
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXA
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
OR 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 31' 1"
9.47 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXB
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
OR 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 31' 1"
9.47 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXC
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
OR 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 31' 1"
9.47 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Armament  
Wings 8: 0.303" MG
OR 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG
OR 4: 20 mm
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXD
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
OR 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 31' 1"
9.47 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
2: 0.5" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire HF.IX
Type Fighter Bomber, High Altitude Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 70
HP 1,710
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
OR 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 31' 1"
9.47 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,300 lb
Performance  
Speed 416 mph
Service Ceiling 45,000'
Range 434 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
2: 0.50" MG
Bombs - Wing 2: 250 lb
  Supermarine Spitfire LF.IX
Type Fighter Bomber, Low Altitude Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 66, Packard Merlin 266
HP 1,720
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Span - Clipped Wings 32' 2"
9.8 m
Length 31' 1"
9.47 m
Height 12' 7.75"
3.86 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,300 lb
Performance  
Speed 404 mph
Service Ceiling 42,500'
Range 434 miles
  Supermarine Spitfire PR.X
Type Photo Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 64
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 71
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 77
Propeller blades 4 blade Rotol
Weight  
Loaded 8,159 lb
Performance  
Speed 416 mph
Service Ceiling 43,000'
Range 1,370 miles
Armament None
  Supermarine Spitfire PR.XI
Type Photo Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 61
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 63A
OR Rolls-Royce Merlin 70
Weight  
Loaded 7,872 lb
Performance  
Speed 422 mph
Service Ceiling 44,000'
Range over 1,200 miles
Armament None
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk XII
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Griffon III
OR Rolls-Royce Griffon IV
Cylinders V 12
HP 1,700, 1,735
Propeller blades 4, 4 blade Rotol constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 32' 7"
9.93 m
Length 31' 10"
9.7 m
Height 11'
3.35 m
Weight  
Empty 5,600 lb
2,540 kg
Loaded 7,280 lb, 7,400 lb
3,357 kg
Performance  
Speed 393 mph
Speed @ 5,500' /
1,676 m
372 mph
598 kph
Speed @ 18,000' /
5,486 m
393 mph
632 kph
Cruising speed 263 mph
423 kph
Climb 3,800'/minute
1,158 m/minute
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
6.7 minutes
Service Ceiling 40,000'
12,192 m
Range 329 miles
529 km
Range with drop tanks 493 miles
793 km
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
4: 0.303" MG, MG
Bombs 1: 500 lb
1: 227 kg
OR 2: 250 lb
2: 113 kg
  Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIII
Type Photo Reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 32
Weight  
Loaded 6,364 lb
Performance  
Speed 348 mph
Service Ceiling 38,000'
Range 500 miles
Armament  
Wings 4: 0.303" MG
  Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV, Supermarine Spitfire F.XIV
Type Fighter, Fighter Bomber, Fighter Reconnaissance
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Griffon 65
Cylinders V 12
Cooling Liquid
HP 2,050
Propeller blades 5 , 5 blade Rotol constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
11.23 m
Length 32' 8"
9.96 m
Height 12' 8"
3.86 m
Weight  
Empty 6,600 lb
2,994 kg
Loaded 8,400 lb, 8,500 lb
3,856 kg
Maximum overload 9,772 lb
4,433 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 375 mph
603 kph
Speed over 450 mph
Speed @ 26,000' /
7,925 m
448 mph, 450 mph
721 kph
Cruising speed 245 mph
394 kph
Climb 4,580'/minute
1,396 m/minute
Climb to 20,000' /
6,096 m
7 minutes
Service Ceiling over 40,000', 44,500'
13,563 m
Range 460 miles
740 km
Range - Fighter 460 miles
Range - Fighter Reconnaissance 620 miles
Range with drop tanks 850 miles
1,368 km
Armament  
Wings 2: cannon, 20 mm
4: MG, 0.303" MG
OR "E" 2: 20 mm
2: 0.50" MG
Bombs 500 lb
1: 250 lb or 500 lb
  Supermarine Spitfire F.XVI
Type Low Altitude Fighter, Fighter Bomber
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Merlin 266
Propeller blades 4
Dimensions  
Span 32' 7"
9.93 m
Length 31' 3"
9.53 m
Weight  
Loaded 7,300 lb
Performance  
Speed over 400 mph, 405 mph
652 kph
Service Ceiling 40,000'
Range 434 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: 20 mm
2: 0.50" MG
2: 250 lb
Under Fuselage 1: 250 lb
OR 1: 500 lb
  Supermarine Spitfire F.XVIII
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
Length 32' 8"
Height 12' 8"
Wing Area 242 sq ft
Weight  
Loaded 9,320 lb
Performance  
Speed 440 mph
Climb 5,012' per minute
  Supermarine Spitfire FR.XVIII
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
Length 32' 8"
Height 12' 8"
Wing Area 242 sq ft
Weight  
Loaded 9,280 lb
Performance  
Speed 440 mph
Climb 5,044' per minute
  Supermarine Spitfire PR.XIX
Type Photo reconnaissance
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Griffon 65
OR Rolls-Royce Griffon 66
Propeller 5 blade Rotol
Dimensions  
Span 36' 10"
Length 32' 8"
Height 12' 8"
Wing Area 242 sq ft
Weight  
Loaded 9,040 lb
Performance  
Speed 446 mph
Climb 5,227' per minute
Ceiling 43,000'
13,120 m
Range 1,500 miles
2,400 km
  Supermarine Spitfire F.21
Type  
Engine (Type) Rolls-Royce Griffon 61
OR Rolls-Royce Griffon 64
OR Rolls-Royce Griffon 85
Dimensions  
Span 36' 11", 40' 2"
12.24 m
Length 32' 8"
Height 13' 6"
Wing Area 244 sq ft, 248 sq ft
23 sq m
Weight  
Loaded 9,400 lb
Performance  
Speed 450 mph
Climb 4,220' per minute
Armament  
Wings 4: 20 mm
  Supermarine Spitfire F.22
Dimensions  
Span 36' 11"
Length 32' 11 "
Height 13' 6"
Wing Area 244 sq ft
Weight  
Loaded 9,900 lb
Performance  
Speed 450 mph
Climb 4,880' per minute

 

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, General Editor Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  5. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  6. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site