Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

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Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

The Spitfire Mk IX was originally developed as a stopgap measure as a response to the appearance of the Focke-Wulf FW 190A. The first response to this threat was the Mk VIII, but this aircraft involved a significant redesign of the basic Spitfire, and would take time to produce in the numbers required.

The Mk IX provided an alternative solution to the problem. It used the same Merlin 60/70 series engines at the Mk VIII, but in a slightly modified Mark Vc fuselage. This allowed for rapid development and production of the new model. Work on fitting the more power Merlin 61 with its two-stage supercharger had begun in the summer of 1941, and on 27 September Spitfire N3297 (the only Mk III Spitfire built) flew for the first time (the same month as the FW 190 became operational). Three marks of Spitfire would be developed from this experimental aircraft. The Mk VII and Mk VIII would use a redesigned fuselage, and this meant that they would take too long to produce. The crisis was so serious that the RAF was forced to stop all but the most important daytime operations over occupied Europe in November 1941. When operations were resumed again, between March and June 1942, losses were unacceptably heavy, and had to be stopped again.

Work began with great urgency on an interim Spitfire. The aim was to fit the Merlin 61 engine to a Mk V fuselage while making as few changes as possible. The first test aircraft flew on 26 February 1942. It was so successful that it was ordered into full production. Progress was rapid, and full production began in June 1942. It entered service the next month with No.64 squadron at Hornchurch.

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. Its service ceiling rose from 36,200 feet to 43,000 feet. It could climb at 4,000 feet per minute. 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. The RAF had its answer to the Fw 190 problem. When the Mk VIII appeared later in 1942, its performance was very similar to that of the Mk IX.

There were three main versions of the Mk IX. The standard F.IX used the Merlin 61, and was the only version produced until early 1943 1,255 F.Mk IXs were produced. It was then joined by a version powered by the Merlin 66. This engine produced its best performance at slightly lower altitudes than the Merlin 61. Spitfires equipped with this engine were designated LF Mk IX. This was the most numerous version of the Mk IX, with 4,010 produced. Finally, 410 high altitude HF.Mk IXs were produced using the Merlin 70 engine, with an improved performance at high altitude.

The majority of Mk IXs of all types used the standard “c” wing, which could carry four 20mm cannon or two 20mm cannon and four .303in machine guns. From 1944 some were built with the “e” wing, which replaced the four .303in machine guns with two .50in heavy machine guns.

The Mk IX (and very similar Mk XVI) was produced in greater numbers than any other type of Spitfire. 284 were converted from older versions, 557 built by Supermarine around Southampton, and another 5117 at Castle Bromwich. With the 1053 Mk XVIs (the same aircraft with a Packard Merlin engine) that amounts to a total of 7,011 aircraft.

The Mk IX replaced the Mk V from June 1942. It allowed the RAF to go back onto the offensive in occupied Europe, and resume the “circus”, “ramrod” and “rodeo” raids. Its first combat success came on 30 July 1942, when an Spitfire Mk IX shot down a Fw 190. Amongst other notable achievements, the Mk IX took part in the highest altitude combat of the Second World War, when it intercepted a Ju 86R at 43,000 feet over Southampton on 12 September 1942. On 5 October 1944 Spitfire Mk IXs of 401 Squadron were the first allied aircraft to shoot down an Me 262 Jet. The Mk IX remained in service until the end of the war, even after the appearance of the Griffon powered Mk XIV.


Mk I

Mk V




Merlin II or Merlin III

Merlin 45, 46, 50

Merlin 61 or 63

Griffon 65 or 66


990 hp or 1,030 hp

1440 (45)
1190 (46)
1230 (50)

1560 (61)
1690 (63)

2035 at 7,000 ft (65)


36’ 10”

36’ 10”

36’ 10”

35’ 10”


29’ 11”

29’ 11”

31’ .5”

32’ 8”

Empty Weight

4,810 lb

5,065 lb

5,610 lb

Full Weight

6,200 lb

6,750 lb

7,500 lb

8,385 lb



“a”, “b”, “c”

“c” or “e”

“c” or “e”


31,900 ft


43,000 ft

43,000 ft


362 mph at 18,500 ft

369 mph at 19,500 ft

408 mph at 25,000 ft

446mph at 25,400ft (prototype)

Cruising Speed

272 mph at 5,000 ft

324 mph at 20,000 ft

362 mph at 20,000 ft

Speed at Sea Level

312 mph

357 mph

Climb rate

2,530 ft/min

4,750 ft/min

4,100 ft/ min

4,580 ft/ min

Prototypes - Mk I - Mk II - Mk III - Mk V - Mk VI - Mk VII - Mk VIII - Mk IX - Mk XII - Mk XIV - Mk XVI - Mk XVIII - Mk 21 to 24 - Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires - Spitfire Wings - Timeline

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX

One of the world's most historically significant Spitfire restorations in the world.

  • Wingspan 36 feet 10 inches
  • Length 29 feet 11inches
  • Height 9 feet 11 inches
  • Empty Weight 5,000 pounds
  • Max. Weight 6,418 pounds
  • Powerplant Rolls Royce Merlin 63 1325 hp
  • Armament 4 x Wing Mounted 303 British Machine Guns
    2 x 20mm cannons
  • Crew 1
  • Max Speed 440 mph
  • Service Ceiling 36,500 feet
  • Range 1,200 to 1,600 miles

Incredible footage of BR601 taken by Molinare TV & Film Production

For sale: Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX, $3,400,000

History: In 1943, the largest single contract for Spitfires was being produced at the Castle Bromwich factory near Birmingham, England. One of these aircraft was production Number MJ730, a Mk-IX Spitfire, first test flown by Alex Henshaw, the factory’s chief test pilot, on December 10, 1943. Within a couple of weeks, it was dismantled and crated for shipping to the North African port of Casablanca.

The first operational unit that MJ730 served with was 417 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. There, its first mission was escorting a group of USAAF B-25 Mitchell bombers during the Italian campaign. It was involved during this time with the allied landings at Anzio and flew 15 sorties over 24 days.

On May 9, 1944 the aircraft was transferred to the 154 Squadron of the RAF and its identifier was changed to HT-W. Here it operated from the island of Corsica on 95 missions flying bomber escorts for the American forces over northern Italy and in support of the southern invasion of France. It was during these operations from Corsica the MJ730 was filmed in color by William Wyler, famed director of the Memphis Belle documentary and later Ben Hur, for an Army movie about the use of P-47 Thunderbolts in the Italian campaign.

On October 9, 1944, MJ730 was transferred again to 32 Squadron RAF at Kolomaki, Greece. The aircraft was chosen by Squadron Leader George Silvester, DFC, as his personal plane. Before it’s individual code had been assigned, he jokingly said to some of his ground crew that there was “a bit of a question mark” over which identity letter to give his personal Spitfire, because as Squadron Leader, he belonged to neither ‘A’ Flight or ‘B’ Flight.

The ground crew as a lark placed a large “question mark” where the individual code letter would have normally appeared. Squadron Leader Silvester was amused by the gesture and MJ730 was referred to as ‘The CO’s Query.’ This tradition continued into the 1950’s with 32 Squadron’s future commanding officers continuing to also display the ‘?’ on their Vampire jets.

The war ended with the aircraft being flown by 249 Squadron RAF, from Yugoslavia, in harassment of the retreating German forces. After the war it was ferried to RAF Brindisi in Italy. Here it was stored for almost a year before being sold to the newly reformed Italian Air Force. The aircraft underwent a major overhaul by Aeronautica Machhi at Varese and then accepted by the Italian Air Force at Centocelle Airport on the outskirts of Rome.

In 1951, MJ730 was among a batch of Spitfires sold by the Italian government to Israel. The Israeli Air Force assigned the number 66 to the aircraft and it served in an Operational Training Unit at the Ramat David Airfield.

It was finally decommissioned in June 1956, when most of Israel’s other Spitfires were sold to Burma. MJ730 was saved to provide young Israeli children with a subtle desire to become fighter pilots. It was moved to a playground at a kibbutz in Kabri, near the border of Lebanon.

It was here that the aircraft was found in a dilapidated condition during the 1970’s and transported back to England in 1978. The initial restoration work was begun by a firm in the south of England. But in August 1986, the project was sold to Fred Smith, founder and President of Federal Express.

The work was completed in November 1988, but immediately offered for sale. It was purchased by David Pennell, an electronics manufacturer in Birmingham, England. The aircraft spent the next ten years in the Midlands area performing at many charity events and memorial functions.

In 1998, the Fighter Factory learned about the possible availability of this aircraft while in New Zealand searching for assorted Curtiss P-40 parts. An inspection in England was arranged and a contract was signed at the May Duxford airshow.

An engine problem developed prior to delivery, which necessitated an overhaul of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine in Great Britain. The aircraft finally arrived at the Fighter Factory facilities in Virginia during the beginning of 2000.

The Powerplant

Close-up of the nose housing the Merlin 60-series engine. The double-stage supercharger placed behind the engine necessitated a much longer nose as compared to the earlier single-stage versions such as the Mk. V.
Photo: Martin Waligorski

Many modellers and historians alike refer to the top the Mk. IX cowling not only being longer but featuring a raised hump on its upper side. This photo shows the very feature, but as can be seen, it is not very prominent, indeed from some angles it disappears almost entirely (compare with the previous photograph).
The origin of the hump is as follows. When the new Merlin 60 engine was mated to Spitfire Mk. V airframe, it was not only longer, but its thrust line had to be angled down a little. With the propeller axle retained at the same level as before, the rear part of the top engine block had to be tilted up and came up higher than in the Mk. V. This in turn required more space under the rear top cowling, just in line and behind the last exhaust stack.
Actually, the author of these words believes that there were at least two different shapes of the production Merlin 60 cowling, perhaps a result of manufacturing differences between Supermarine and Castle Bromwich factories, the two major producers of the type. Photo: Martin Waligorski

The enlarged carburettor intake with built-in compact Vokes Aero-Vee universal dust filter was another feature introduced on the Mk. IX. It became standard only later during Mk. IX production, but was also retrofitted to many earlier machines.
As the picture shows, the intake was equipped with a closing shutter which prevented dust ingestion when taxiiing in dusty field conditions. It often remained closed on even on parked aircraft. Photo: Martin Waligorski

Front view of the port underwing radiator. The Mk. IX radiators had enlarged frontal area as compared to the earlier Spitfire marks. Both radiators were identical rather than being mirror images of each other, divided into two sections – the starboard being an oil cooler, port side being occupied by the intercooler. Photo: Martin Waligorski

Close-up of the four-bladed Rotol propeller. Photo: Martin Waligorski

Profile view of the propeller spinner. Photo: Martin Waligorski

View of the propeller blade. The decal is a modern one of Breitling Fighters and does not come from the original manufacturer. Photo: Martin Waligorski

The division of upper cowling panel barely visible in line with the first exhaust pipe indicates that this aircraft has been originally produced at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. The Supermarine-produced machines had a one-piece upper cowling cover. Photo: Martin Waligorski

The Mk. IX and later Merlin-powered Spitfire versions standardised on six individual exhaust stacks shown here, but their presence alone cannot be used as a definitive recognition feature of the Mk. IX. Some late-production Mk. V also had six exhausts. This view also shows the shape of Dzus cowling fasteners. Photo: Martin Waligorski

Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX - History

Time:15:15 LT
Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IX
Owner/operator:132 Squadron Royal Air Force (132 Sqn RAF)
Registration: MJ170
C/n / msn: FF-
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Krimweg road, Hoenderloo, Gelderland - Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:RAF Ford, West Sussex
The Spitfire was on a Ranger operation to Deelen airfield, when suddenly a Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4 appeared in the skies over Deelen airfield, flown by the highly experienced night fighter pilot Major Hans-Joachim Jabs of the Stab/NJG 1.

The following is taken from Wikipedia:
On 29 April 1944 Jabs paid a visit to fellow night fighter pilot Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer and his Gruppe at St. Trond, Belgium. In mid-afternoon through cloudy and foggy skies Jabs made the short trip back to his home base at Deelen. As Jabs approached Deelen he could see a small group of single engine fighters low over the airfield, which he took to be German. The aircraft, in fact, were from No. 132 Squadron RAF, led by Squadron Leader Geoffrey Page, who had taken a flight of Spitfires on a low level mission looking for enemy aircraft. The approaching twin engine fighter was just what Page was looking for. As Jabs continued his approach he saw the aircraft turn toward him. Realizing his mistake, he flew toward his attackers and through some cloud. Emerging on the other side he found himself approaching head on the Spitfire of New Zealander John Caulton. As the two aircraft rapidly closed both began firing, but Jabs' twin 30 mm cannon took effect first, ripping open the Spitfire's drop tank and putting hits on the engine and wing. Flying past, the undamaged Spitfires regrouped and turned to attack again. Jabs attempted to reach the cover of his airfield. As the Spitfires approached from behind, Jabs surprised them by turning into them again. Both sides were firing as they closed. For a brief moment one of the Spitfires was caught by the heavy forward guns of the Bf 110. It was engulfed in fire and crashed to earth. Jabs' aircraft had also taken several hits, and was losing power in one of the engines. He made an abrupt hard landing, and with the aircraft still rolling he and the crew scrambled for cover while the airfield's Flak batteries attempted to drive off the attackers. Despite the fire from the field's defenses, the Spitfires strafed the Bf 110, setting it ablaze.

Ranger - usually a deep penetration flight to a specified area, to engage targets of opportunity

Supermarine Spitfire LF.MK.IXe

The Supermarine Spitfire was the the most important British fighter aircraft during World War II and is perhaps the most famous fighter ever. Altogether 20,351 of these aircraft were built. In addition come 2,556 Seafires, the aircraft carrier version of the Spitfire. The Spitfire took to the air for the first time in 1936 and the aircraft was under constant development in order to be able to assert itself as the enemy developed new types of aircraft. The model produced in greatest volume was the Mk. IX (5,665). In order to compete with the new German Focke-Wulf 190 fighter, the Spitfire Mk. IX was equipped with a new and more powerful Merlin engine and a four-bladed propeller. Individual aircraft were specially adapted for operations at low, medium and high altitude respectively.

Two Norwegian fighter squadrons, 331 and 332 Squadrons, were established in England during the Second World War and from 1942 they comprised No. 132 (Norwegian) Wing. The squadrons flew several different variants of the Spitfire, namely models IIa, Va, Vb and IXe. Altogether the Norwegian squadrons operated 528 Spitfires between 1942 and 1945 with good results. After the war the RNoAF received a further 35 Spitfires. The Photographic Flight was the last RNoAF unit to use this type of aircraft, which remained in service until 1954.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s Spitfire LF. Mk. IXe has works number MH350 and was allocated to 485(NZ) Squadron in 1943 with the squadron code OU. One year later the aircraft suffered an accident and after repairs it was transferred in the spring of 1945 to 332 Norwegian Squadron and given the code letters AH-V. On 22 May 1945 AH-V was one of the 36 Spitfires that flew home to Norway after the end of the war. In 1947 the aircraft became Norwegian property and was transferred from the RAF to the RNoAF. In Norway, 331 Squadron took over the aircraft in 1949 and gave it the code letters FN-M. After the end of the Spitfire era in the RNoAF, FN-M was put into storage for future conservation. As an exhibition aircraft for 331 Squadron it was re-painted in the early 1960s and given the registration letters FN-T.

The top is painted in dark green and ocean grey camouflage colours. The underneath and the band around the tail section are in medium sea grey. The squadron code, spinner and the band around the tail section are in duck egg green. The spinner has stripes in the Norwegian national colours. The top surfaces of the wings have RAF roundels type B painted on them and underneath the wings are RAF type C roundels. Painted on either side of the fuselage is a type C.1 (yellow-edged) RAF roundel. The tail fin has is painted in matt red, white and “deep sky”. The aircraft’s serial number is painted in black (“night”) on the sides of the fuselage over the white band around the tail section.


Warbird Registry

  • Serial #: MH434
  • Construction #: CBAF IX552
  • Civil Registration: OO-ARA/G-ASJV
  • Model: LF Mk. IXb
  • Name: None
  • Status: Airworthy
  • Last info: 2003
  • Delivered to Royal Netherlands AF as H-105 (later H-68).
  • - BOC: Feb. 19, 1947.
  • - SOC: 1953
  • - Shipped to Java, N.E.I., May 1947-1950.
  • - Crash landed, Semarang, JAva, May 7, 1949.
  • - Shipped to Halland, rebuilt, 1950.
  • - First flight Mar. 10, 1953.
  • Delivered to Royal Belgian AF as SM-41.
  • - BOC: Oct. 9, 1953.
  • - SOC: 1954.
  • - Retired after accident, March 19, 1954.
  • COGEA Nouvelle, Keerbergen (later Ostend), Mar. 26, 1956-1963
  • - Registered as OO-ARA.
  • Tim A. Davies, Elstree, June 29, 1963-1967.
  • - Registered as G-ASJV.
  • Gp Capt. T. G. Mahaddie/Film Aviation Services, Elstree, Nov. 1967-1969.
  • - Flew in movie "Battle Of Britain", 1968.
  • Adrian C. Swire, Booker & duxford, Feb. 1969-1983.
  • Ray G. Hanna/Nalfire Aviation Ltd, Duxford, Apr. 14, 1983-1987.
  • (Ray G. Hanna/The Old Flying Machine Co., Duxford, UK, 1987-2002.
  • - Flew as MH434/ZD-B (later SZ-G, PK-E).
  • - Operated by Brietling Fighters Team, 2001-2003.
  • - Flown as MH434/ZD-B, 2002. ΐ]

Spitfire: The History

  • 13 August 1943 - Assigned to 222 Squadron
  • September - Used to shoot down FW 190
  • 15 June 1944 - Passed to 84 Ground Service Unit
  • 7 July - Repaired on site
  • 27 July - Passed to 76 Maintenance Unit
  • 17 March 1947 - Transferred to Royal Netherlands Air Force as H68
    • Assigned to 332 Squadron RNAF

    Military Airshows Website

    Built Castle Bromwich August 1943. Air tested by Alex Henshaw. To 222 Sqn on August 19th. Flown in combat by South African pilot Flt Lt Henry Lardner-Burke, DFC (1916-1970, veteran of the siege of Malta, seven and a half kills, three damaged, retiring as a Wing Commander). On the 27 August in the St Omar area over France, Lardner-Burke shot down a Focke-Wulf FW-190 and damaged a second during a mission to escort USAAF B-17 bombers. On the 5 September 1943 Lardner-Burke and MH434 shot down another FW-190 in the Nieuport area, and on the 8 September 1943 claimed a half share in the downing of a Messerschmitt Bf-109G in Northern France. To 350 Sqn at Hornchurch in 1944 then returning to 222 Sqn, 84 Gp Support Unit and 349 Sqn. After 79 operational sorties, MH434 was retired in March 1945. Storage at 9 MU in 1945, moved to 76 MU for disposal in 1946. Sold to RNethAF in 1947, joined 322 Sqn in Java, test flown on October 10th and becoming H-105 and in 1948, H-68. After a belly landing on May 7th 1949, went into storage and returned to Holland, flying again on March 10th 1953, and passing to Belgian AF as SM-41 on October 9th at the Advanced Pilot School at Koksijde and with 13 Wing at Brustem. COGEA 1956-63 as OOARA then acquired by Tim Davies and to UK as G-ASJV. Moved to Stansted then Elstree for a full overhaul. Took part in it's first movie role, Operation Crossbow. Used in 'The Battle of Britain' film. Bought by Sir Adrian Swire, Chairman of Cathay Pacific Airways, in 1968, had the Spitfire painted in 1944 camouflage colour scheme with his initials AC-S, as squadron codes. There were several film and television appearances during this period, including “A Bridge Too Far”. It was also during this period (1970) that Ray Hanna's long association and famous partnership with the aircraft began. Sold it at an auction in April 1983. Its new owner was the Nalfire Aviation Ltd consortium headed by Ray Hanna. It is now operated by Hanna's Old Flying Machine Company (OFMC) based at Duxford. It underwent a major rebuild in 1994-95. MH434 is flown in its authentic RAF 222 Squadron codes ZD-B. The name 'Mylcraine' is that of 'Pat' Lardner-Burke's wife, and it bears his kill tally as of August 43. Β]

    Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

    Its iconic silhouette, fame from the Battle of Britain, legends of its aerobatic qualities, the Spitfire, even for Americans is the quintessential WWII fighter! For the Texas Flying Legends Museum, the quest to have a Spitfire began in its first days of establishment. And for TFLM’s chief pilot, reading as a teenager, Flying For Your Life, flying a Spitfire a dream come true. When MK959 first became available seven years ago, it slipped by. That wasn’t going to happen twice, so on 14 October 2015 it became part of the TFLM squadron and came back home to Houston, TX. But getting back there for this WWII vet was quite a journey!

    In March 1944, MK959 came off the line at the Vickers-Armstrong plant at Castle Bromwich. Its first flight was in April and then it was assigned to the 39 Maintenance Unit (MU) at RAF Colerne where it waited to be assigned to a combat squadron. In May ’44 it was assigned to the 302 Polish Squadron based at Chailey, England. The 302 received their first Spitfires in October ’41 and first MkIX Spitfires in Sept ’43. MK959 wore the code WX-F in the 302 where it flew fourteen RAMROD (fighter escort) missions. The majority of these were medium bomber missions with some escorting other Spitfires that were carrying bombs making dive-bombing missions. The main focus of the 302 was transportation targets in France prior to the invasion of Normandy.

    Mk IX Manufactured

    36' 10"

    Max Speed (MPH)

    29' 11"

    Service Ceiling (ft)

    Nine days after D Day, Spitfire MK959 was transferred to the 329 Free French RAF Squadron based at Merston, England. MK959 was coded 5A-K and was flown by five different pilots on nineteen combat missions flying over the D Day beachhead on patrol. By the end of June ’44 MK959 was transferred to a Group Support Unit (GSU) for the installation of “slipper tanks.” Since this modification was done outside the squadron, RAF tradition was to transfer aircraft from GSU to other squadrons once modifications/repairs were completed. MK959 went on to 165 Squadron in August ’44 as SX-M based at Detling. It flew 41 combat missions including support of Operation Market Garden Sept ’44. It also flew escort of four Douglas Dakotas taking the exiled Belgium government back to their seat of government in Belgium.

    With the end of WWII, MK959 was sold to the Netherlands ending up at Twente as part of its Fighter Training School, Royal Netherlands Air Force. MK959 was now designated as H-15 and completely overhauled in 1949 by Fokker and then put back into service. In 1954 the Royal Netherland Air Force retired their Spits and MK959 was trucked to Volkel to serve as a decoy (Cold War days). It was then moved shortly thereafter to Eindhoven to serve in the same role. At Eindhoven MK959 was saved from rotting away by a RNAF pilot who recognized it, refurbished it and had it moved near the Officer’s Club. Eindhoven was a joint base, and with the RAF being on the field they got MK959 moved to their side of the base by their Officer’s Club. In 1961 the RAF left Eindhoven and MK959 was returned to the RNAF.

    It just so happened the new RNAF commander at Eindhoven was Col. Jan van Arkel who flew MK959 when in RNAF service. Van Arkel arranged for a memorial for be created with MK959 to all those who flew the Spitfire in WWII, placing the Spit on a pylon 16 January 1964. MK959 was lightened for its new role with much of if being stripped out and those parts used in other restorations. Seven years later, it was brought down from its perch, serviced and time taken to confirm its identity. It was repainted and put back on its pylon only to come down again in 1981, then reposted 7 April 1982. Then in 1989 Eindhoven was scheduled for closure and through some quick thinking and negotiations a fiberglass Spit was put on the pylon in place of MK959 and it was saved. 27 November 1991 the swap was made and MK959 ended up at RNAF base at Deelan to serve as a pattern for another Spitfire restoration. Funds for multiple restorations not being available, after participating in the 50 th Anniversary ceremonies of the Operation Market Garner in Arnhem in 1994, MK959 was sold to Texan Raybourne Thompson.

    Thompson was a veteran of many restorations and when looking for a new project wasn’t thinking of a Spitfire. Thompson from the start recognized the enormity of the project, retiring from his job and turning to his long time right hand Bob Guttman to get MK959 back in the air. “This was going to be the first Spitfire built from the ground up in the US and I talked to a lot of people before I started the project,” Thompson said. “When it arrived it was just a corroded hulk, basically a pattern. I knew from the start that we would have to replace every rivet because the Spitfire had been built with magnesium rivets.”

    In February 2004, MK959 took to the skies again with Spitfire veteran pilot Elliott Cross at the stick. After all squawks solved, MK959 was flown to John Stewart’s Space City Aircraft Finishers to be painted. Thompson had come to know Andre Rose, the only living pilot to have flown MK959 during the invasion period. Thompson decided to paint MK959 in the Free French scheme. Rose provided photographs from the period as well as a painting he had done to aid in an accurate paint scheme. That included the Half Stork Free French squadron mascot. In 2005, MK959 made its public debut at AirVenture in Oshkosh.

    In 2007, Thompson sold MK959 to Tom Duffy, Claire Aviation in Millville, NJ. There MK959 sat with very little operation for the next eight years. When the word got out that it might be for sale, Bruce Eames of TFLM didn’t hesitate this time and quickly chief pilot Warren Pietsch was at the hangar to do an inspection, and soon was flying it back to Texas Flying Legends Museum hangar at Ellington Field, TX. MK959 was the hit of the Wings Over Houston Airshow! One of the attendees at the airshow was there with his son and grandson. For over thirty minutes he told them about his father, their grandfather and great grandfather who flew Spitfires during WWII. There wasn’t a dry eye on the field and it’s that kind of emotional attachment for this legendary aircraft that was welcomed back to Texas. TFLM will be sharing its story across the country in the years to come, the adventures of The Half Stork Spitfire.

    Special thanks to Bruce Eames, pilots Doug Rozendaal (Zero), Warren Pietsch (MK959) and Kevin Crozier (photo platform) for their assistance.


    Proiectul lui Reginald Mitchell din 1931 conform caietului de sarcini F7/30 al Ministrului Forțelor Aeriene pentru un avion capabil de o viteză de 404 km/h a avut ca rezultat un avion de vânătoare monoplan modern (tipul Supermarine 224), cu carlinga deschisă cu aripi voluminoase și tren de aterizare fix și mare. Avionul era propulsat de un motor de 600 CP (450 kW), cu răcire prin evaporare de tip Rolls-Royce Goshawk [1] . Acest avion și-a făcut primul zbor în februarie 1934. [2] Supermarine Type 224 a fost o mare dezamăgire pentru Mitchell și echipa sa de proiectanți, care au demarat imediat o serie de îmbunătățiri ale proiectului folosindu-se ca punct de plecare de experiența lor cu hidroavioane participante la Cupa Schneider unde avioanele construite după proiectele lui Reginald Mitchell au luat mai multe premii de viteză. Dintre cele șapte modele ofertate la licitația pentru modelul F/30, avionul biplan Gloster Gladiator a fost acceptat. [3]

    Mitchell a început deja lucrul la un avion nou, codat Tip 300, bazat pe Tip 224, dar cu un tren de aterizare retractabil și anvergura aripilor redusă cu 1,8 m. Tip 300 a fost înaintat Ministerului Forțelor Aeriene în iulie 1934, dar din nou nu a fost acceptată. [4]

    Proiectul a evoluat apoi printr-o serie de schimbări, inclusiv o carlingă mai scurtă, agreabilă, aparate de respirație cu oxigen, aripi mai scurte și mai subțiri și motoarele Rolls-Royce PV-XII V-12 dezvoltate recent, mai puternice, numite mai târziu "Merlin". În noiembrie 1934, Mitchell, cu sprijinul proprietarului firmei Supermarine, Vickers-Armstrong a început o activitatea de proiectare detaliată a unei versiuni mai rafinate a avionului Tip 300 [5] și la 1 decembrie 1934, Ministerul Forțelor Aeriene a emis un contract cu nr. AM 361140/34, asigurând suma de 10.000 de lire sterline pentru construirea noului avion îmbunătățit tip F7/30 proiectat de Mitchell. La 3 ianuarie 1935, Ministerului Forțelor Aeriene a întocmit un contract și o nouă specificație cu nr. F10/35 specifgicații care erau scrise în jurul avionului. [6] În aprilie 1935 armamentul a fost schimbat din două mitraliere Vickers de 7,7mm la câte patru mitraliere Broening de 7,7mm.

    La 5 martie 1936 a avut loc primul zbor al prototipului K5054, pilotul fiind cpt. Joseph Summers. Acest zbor a avut loc la patru luni după primul zbor al avionului Howker Hurricane. [7]

    Pe K5054 a fost montată o nouă elice, iar Summers a zburat din nou la data de 10 martie 1936.

    La început eleroanele, profundoarele și cârma au fost acoperite cu țesătură. Când experiența de luptă a dovedit că dacă se folosește material textil la eleroane, este imposibil de a le utiliza la viteze mari, materialul a fost înlocuit cu un aliaj ușor,îmbunătățind controlul la viteze mari. [8]

    În 1934 Mitchell și echipa de proiectare au decis să folosească o formă semieliptică pentru aripi pentru a îndeplini două cerințe care erau în contradicție:

    Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

    About VWC's Spitfire:
    Manufactured: 1945
    Manufacturer: Supermarine Spitfire, Castle Bromwich
    Serial Number: TE 294
    Current Registration: C-GYQQ
    Recent Markings: RCAF 442 Squadron honouring Arnold Roseland
    Awards: World War II Reserve Grand Champion - Silver Lindy and Pheonix Award Gold Wrench at EAA’s 2018 Oshkosh Convention

    To the beleaguered population of Britain during the early part of the Second World War, the Spitfire became the ultimate symbol of defiance and the lone British stand against the seemingly unstoppable German advance. Its heritage springs from a long line of float-equipped racing aircraft designed by the legendary R. J. Mitchell and built by Supermarine Aviation Works, a division of Vickers. Widely considered the most beautiful aircraft design of its day and possibly of all time, the Spitfire’s elegantly shaped “elliptical” wings, sleek and powerful lines and role in the Battle of Britain combined to cement its status as symbol of a nation’s will to endure and ultimately triumph. This highly capable fighter was nimble and fast and was much loved by its pilots, most of whom were trained in Canada.

    More than 22,000 “Spits” were built in nearly thirty variants including the “Seafire” a carrier-based fighter of the Fleet Air Arm. The Spit is the only fighter aircraft of the Second World War that was in continuous production before, during and after the conflict. The Vintage Wings of Canada Spitfire is a Rolls Royce Merlin-equipped Mk IX, painted in tribute to Arnold Roseland, a Canadian who flew 442 Squadron's Y2-K aircraft more than 65 times before being shot down and killed in 1944 over France.

    Watch the video: 4Kᵁᴴᴰ. Supermarine Spitfire FR - AWESOME Rolls Royce Griffon SOUND!!! (June 2022).