Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire

Overview

Overview

First flown in 1936, the Spitfire would become famous as the leading British fighter of the Second World War. A total of 20,351 (excluding naval variants) were built which was more than any other British warplane. No. 403 Squadron first flew the Spitfire on Canadian operations in March 1941 and a total of 14 RCAF squadrons would eventually fly this type of aircraft. Of these squadrons, ten were fighter or fighter-bomber squadrons in Europe, three formed a RCAF fighter-reconnaissance wing, and one squadron, No. 417 Squadron, flew fighter-bombers in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. The first enemy jet fighter, a German Me 262, to be shot down fell to a Spitfire from No. 401 Squadron. Interestingly, despite the large number of Spitfires flown operationally by Canadians, the RCAF only had a handful of Spitfires on official establishment strength throughout the war. These aircraft were primarily unarmed reconnaissance variants used for various test and photographic missions. The first Spitfire in Canada, on loan from the RAF, was used in 1940 to test the first “G” suit, which also was invented in Canada.

Model Number 300, 329, 331, 359, 360, 361, 365, 379, 380
Marks Mk IA, II, IIA, IIB, VA, VB, VC, VIII, IXB, IXC, IXE, XI, XV, XIV, XIVE, XVIE
Role Fighter
Taken on strength 1940
Struck off strength 1950
Number 8
Service RCAF

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications (Mk IV)

 

Manufacturer Supermarine Aircraft
Crew / passengers One pilot
Powerplant One 1,030 horsepower (768 kilowatt) Rolls Royce Merlin II
Maximum speed 364 miles per hour (586 kilometres per hour) 
Cruising speed  
Service ceiling 31,500 feet (9,601 metres)
Range 395 miles (636 kilometres)
Empty weight 4,341 pounds (1,969 kilograms)
Gross weight 5,800 pounds (2,631 kilograms)   
Span 36 feet 10 inches (11.23 metres)
Length 29 feet 11 inches (9.10 metres)
Height 11 feet 5 inches (3.48 metres)
Wing area 242 square feet (22.48 square metres)
Armament Eight .303 inch (7.7 millimetre) machine guns in the wings
Cost Unknown

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

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