Supermarine Spitfire

Manufacturer Supermarine
Country United Kingdom
New price USD 0.016 million (1939)

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.

Specifications

Full description

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Supermarine Spitfire specifications

General

Manufacturer
Supermarine
Manufactured
1938 - 1948
Country
United Kingdom
New purchase price
USD 0.016 million (1939)

Aircraft performance

Engine:
1x Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 V-12
Piston
Power:
1,470 HP
Max Cruise Speed:
320 Kts
593 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
68 Kts
Travel range:
960 Nm
1,778 Kilometers
Service Ceiling:
37,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
2600 feet / minute
13.21meter / second
Take Off Distance:
306 meter - 1,003.92 feet
Landing Distance:
242 meter - 793.95 feet

Weight & dimensions

Max Take Off Weight:
3,039 Kg
6,700 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
3,000 Kg
6,614 lbs
Max Payload:
500 Kg
1,102 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
102 gallon
386 liter

Disclaimer: The information on this page may not be accurate or current. Never use it for flight planning or any other aircraft operation purposes. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning or any other aircraft operations should only be done using official technical information provided by the manufacture or official aviation authorities.

About the Supermarine Spitfire

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. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations. It was also the only British fighter produced continuously throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts; around 70 remain airworthy, and many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world.

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. Mitchell pushed the Spitfire’s distinctive elliptical wing with cutting-edge sunken rivets (designed by Beverley Shenstone) to have the thinnest possible cross-section, helping give the aircraft a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. 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.

During the Battle of Britain, from July to October 1940, the public perceived the Spitfire to be the main RAF fighter, though the more numerous Hurricane shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe. However, Spitfire units had a lower attrition rate and a higher victory-to-loss ratio than those flying Hurricanes because of the Spitfire’s higher performance. During the battle, Spitfires were generally tasked with engaging Luftwaffe fighters—mainly Messerschmitt Bf 109E-series aircraft, which were a close match for them.

After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire superseded the Hurricane to become the backbone of RAF Fighter Command, and saw action in the European, Mediterranean, Pacific, and South-East Asian theatres. 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 Seafire was a carrier-based adaptation of the Spitfire that served in the Fleet Air Arm from 1942 through to the mid-1950s. Although the original airframe was designed to be powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine producing 1,030hp (768kW), it was strong enough and adaptable enough to use increasingly powerful Merlins and, in later marks, Rolls-Royce Griffon engines producing up to 2,340hp (1,745kW). As a result, the Spitfire’s performance and capabilities improved over the course of its service life.

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