The Mk IX Spitfire

The graceful and majestic, yet potent Supermarine Spitfire, designed by Reginald J. Mitchell, first flew on March 5th, 1936 and become operational in August 1938. Overall, 19 different Marks and 52 variations of Spitfire's were produced between 1936 and 1948, totaling 22,759 (of which 2,408 were Seafires).

 

The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, otherwise known as type 361, was quickly designed from the Mk. V air-frame in response to the Focke Wulf 190 and entered service in June 1942. The Mk. V's engine was replaced with the Rolls Royce Merlin 60 and 70 series producing an estimated 1660hp. The Mk. IX was produced in LF, H, and HF versions.

 

Over the course of the Spitfire's production, 5 different wings were designed, the 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E' wings which determined the armament that the Spitfire could carry. The 'A' wing housed eight 0.303in Browning machine-guns, the 'B' wing housed four 0.303in Brownings and two 20mm Hispano cannons, and the 'C' wing was a universal wing that could either mount eight 0.303 Brownings or four 0.303 Brownings and two 20mm Hispano Cannons, or four 20mm Hispano cannons. The 'D' wing was designed for reconnaissance and replaced the armament with extra fuel tanks. Later, with the development of the Mk. IX, the 'E' wing was designed to house two 20mm Hispano cannons accompanied by two .5in Browning Machine guns.

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References:

  • Supermarine. 2015. The Supermarine Spitfire. [ONLINE] Available at: http://supermarine.net/supermarine-spitfire-spares. [Accessed 10 July 15].
  • Warbird Resource Group. 2014. Supermarine Spitfire. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/BARC/spitfire.html. [Accessed 10 July 15].
  • Wikipedia. 2015. Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin-powered variants). [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Spitfire_(early_Merlin-powered_variants)#D_type. [Accessed 10 July 15].
  • Wikipedia. 2015. Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin-powered variants). [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Spitfire_(late_Merlin-powered_variants)#Mk_IX_.28type_361.29. [Accessed 10 July 15].