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SPITFIRES: BACKGROUND INFO

The Supermarine Spitfire was designed by Reginald J. Mitchell and first flew on March 5, 1936. The first Spitfires were delivered to No. 19 Squadron in August 1938, with 9 squadrons fully equipped with Spitfires by September 3, 1939. The Spitfire I (RR Merlin II or III) was the principal model in service during the Battle of Britain.

There were 4 versions of the Spitfire wing; the A wing had eight 0.303 in Browning machine-guns, the B wing mounted four Brownings with two 20mm Hispano cannon and the C was a universal wing that could mount eight machine-guns or four machine-guns with two cannon or four cannon. The E wing was introduced on the Mk. IX and mounted two 20mm Hispano cannon and two 0.50 in Browning machine-guns.

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The Supermarine Spitfire

The Following Is A List Of Spitfires & Seafires That Entered Service Following The MK1:

  • Spitfire F II (RR Merlin XII) entered service in late 1940
  • Spitfire PR III - Spitfire I converted for photographic reconnaissance, originally designated Type C
  • Spitfire PR IV - Spitfire I converted for photographic reconnaissance, originally designated Type D
  • Spitfire F V (RR Merlin 45, 46, 50, 55 or 56) entered service in March 1941
  • Spitfire HF VI (RR Merlin 47) - high altitude fighter, extended wings, pressure cabin
  • Spitfire PR VI - Spitfire I and V converted for photographic reconnaissance, originally designated Type F
  • Spitfire HF VII (RR Merlin 61 or 64) - high altitude fighter, extended wings, pressure cabin
  • Spitfire PR VII - Spitfire I and V converted for photographic reconnaissance, originally designated Type G
  • Spitfire VIII (RR Merlin 63, 66, 70) - F, HF, LF versions, Spitfire V airframe with a RR Merlin 60 series engine and retractable tail wheel
  • Spitfire IX (RR Merlin 61, 63, 66, 70) - F, HF, LF versions, Spitfire V airframe with a RR Merlin 60 series engine, entered service in June 1942
  • Spitfire PR X (RR Merlin 64) - photographic reconnaissance, Spitfire F VII fuselage with PR XI wings, entered service April 1944
  • Spitfire PR XI (RR Merlin 63, 70) - photographic reconnaissance version of F IX
  • Spitfire F XII (RR Griffon III or IV) - first Griffon engine Spitfire to enter service June 1943
  • Spitfire PR XIII (RR Merlin 32) - Spitfire VB converted for tactical reconnaissance, entered service April 21, 1943
  • Spitfire XIV (Griffon 65, 67) - F and FR versions, strengthened Spitfire F VIII airframe with Griffon 65
  • Spitfire XVI - Spitfire IX with Packard Merlin 266, some had bubble canopy
  • Spitfire XVIII (Griffon 65, 67) - F and FR versions, similar to XIV with strengthened wings and undercarriage, delivered to RAF in May 1945
  • Spitfire PR XIX (Griffon 66) - unarmed photographic reconnaissance Spitfire XIV with Griffon 65 or 66, pressure cabin
  • Spitfire F21 (Griffon 61, 64) - major redesign, laminar flow wing
  • Spitfire F22 (Griffon 61, 64) - similar to Mk 21 but with bubble canopy
  • Spitfire F24 (Griffon 61, 64, 85) - similar to Mk 22
  • Seafire IB (RR Merlin 32 or 45 or 55) - naval fighter converted from Spitfire VB
  • Seafire IIC (RR Merlin 32 or 45 or 46 or 55) - naval fighter based on Spitfire VC
  • Seafire III (RR Merlin 32 or 45 or 55) - first Seafire with folding wings
  • Seafire XV (Griffon VI) entered service in May 1945
  • Seafire XVII (Griffon VI) - similar to XV but with bubble canopy, post war
  • Seafire 45 (Griffon 61) - navalized Spitfire F21, no folding wings
  • Seafire 46 (Griffon 61, 64) - similar to Seafire 45 with counter rotating propellers
  • Seafire 47 (Griffon 87, 88) - similar to Seafire 46 with folding wings
  • The total Spitfire production was 20,351, with Seafires adding another 2,408 with production lasting from 1936 until 1948.

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