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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Supermarine Spitfire / Seafire

(Variants/Other Names: See History below)

Supermarine Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX G-CTIX (PT462), seen at Duxford, UK in 2003.
Photo contributed by Rob Boyes.

History: Undoubtedly the most famous British combat aircraft of World War II, the Spitfire is as deeply ingrained in the collective psyche of most Britons as the P-51 Mustang is in most Americans'. First flown on 5 March 1936, the Spitfire sprang from the design desk of R.J. Mitchell, who had previously submitted an unsuccessful design for a similar fighter, the Type 224. Once given the freedom to design an aircraft outside of the strict Air Ministry specifications, his Type 300 emerged as a clear winner; so much so that a new Air Ministry specification was written to match the new design.

The Spitfire Mk I became operational at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, in July 1938, and as time went on, the Spitfire was to become one of the most versatile and most-modified aircraft in existence, with various wing designs, armament changes, and engine changes dictating its many identities.

By the time WWII began in September 1939, nine squadrons of Spits were operational with the RAF, and the Spitfire quickly lived up to its good reputation by downing a German He 111 over the UK the following month. Ten more Spitfire squadrons were on strength by the fall of 1940, when the Battle of Britain tested the nation's resolve and military resources. Spitfires soon began overseas operations, in Malta, the Middle East, and the Pacific.

The Spitfire served, and continued to be built, throughout WWII. It served in many theaters, and with many Allied nations, including the USA and the Soviet Union.

The Royal Navy, noting both the success of the Spitfire in land-based service, and also the success of their own Sea Hurricanes, ordered the production of the Seafire, a carrier-based version of the Spitfire. Deliveries began in January 1942, and the Seafire was used in growing numbers and variants throughout the remainder of the war.

While certainly not all-inclusive or comprehensive, this list of some of the most significant variants of the Spitfire/Seafire gives some idea of the complexity of the aircraft's history:
* Mk IB: Four 7.7-mm (0.303-inch) guns and two 20-mm cannon;
* Mk VA/B/C: More powerful Merlin engine, provisions for drop-tanks or bombs, wing and armament changes;
* Mk VII: High-altitude interceptor with pressurized cockpit and retractable tailwheel;
* Mk VIII: Pure fighter with un-pressurized cockpit;
* Mk IX: Two-stage Merlin engine mated to Mk V airframe;
* Mk XIV: Griffon 65/66 engine with five-bladed propeller, strengthened fuselage, broad tail, late models had bubble canopy;
* Mk XVI: Packard Merlin engine, many had bubble canopy;
* Seafire Mk IIC: Catapult hooks and strengthened landing gear, Merlin engine, 4-blade propeller;
* Seafire Mk III: Double folding wings and 1,585-hp Merlin 55 engine.

The last operational mission of the Spitfire took place on 1 April 1954, when a Spitfire PR.Mk 19 flew a photo-reconnaissance mission over Malaya. The final mission of the Seafire was in 1967, after many years of faithful service with the Fleet Air Arm and various training squadrons.

The Spitfire, one of the most significant and revered fighter aircraft ever built, continues to steal the lion's share of attention at airshows and fly-ins. The remaining examples are flown with great care, and continued Spitfire restorations ensure that this beautiful aircraft will continue to delight pilots and spectators alike for the foreseeable future.

Nicknames: Spit; Spitter; Bomfire (Spitfires used as fighter-bombers)

Specifications (Mk VA):
        Engine: One 1,478-hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 V-12 piston engine
        Weight: Empty 4,998 lbs., Max Takeoff 6,417 lbs.
        Wing Span: 36ft. 10in.
        Length: 29ft. 11in.
        Height: 9ft. 11in.
            Maximum Speed: 369 mph
            Ceiling: 36,500 ft.
            Range: 1,135 miles
        Armament: Eight 7.7-mm (0.303-inch) Browning machine guns. (Other variants carried either two cannon and four machine guns; four cannon; or two cannon, two 12.7-mm machine guns, and 1,000 pounds of bombs.)

Number Built: 20,334 Sptifires; 2,556 Seafires

Number Still Airworthy: ~55

[ Spitfire Pilot Report by James Feuilherade ]

[ Spitfire Pilot Report by Jeff Ethell ]

Photos [ Spitfire Photos ]

Airworthy Spitfires Around the World -- Details about each remaining airworthy Spitfire.
BL628 Restoration -- Spitfire VB in Australia.
City of St. Albans Spitfire Mk.IIa P8144 -- Detailed history of Spitfire P8144. Lots of photos and aircraft histories.
David Glen's 1/5 Scale Spitfire model -- An amazing scale model of a Spitfire.
Grace Spitfire ML407 -- Carolyn Grace's UK-based Spitfire.
Merlins Over Malta -- The Defenders Return -- A project to return a Spitfire and a Hurricane to the skies over Malta.
Norwegian Spitfire Foundation
Project Spitfire Blog -- The hunt for buried Spitfires in Myanmar/Burma. 
The Real Aeroplane Company, Brighton, E. Yorkshire, UK
Rudy Frasca's Mk XVIII Spitfire (360-degree panoramic cockpit photo)
Spitfire Aircraft Company, Ltd. -- Full-sized, flying Spitfire replicas!
Spitfire Emporium -- Spitfire and aviation collectibles of all kinds.
The Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial, RAF Manston, Kent, UK
Spitfire Information Worldwide
Spitfire is 60!
SpitfireRestoration.com -- Spitfire engineering drawings.
Spitfire Spares -- Hundreds of parts in stock.
Supermarine Spitfire Page
The Spitfire Society
Type 509 Spitfires (Two-seat Spitfires)
Y2K Spitfire Restoration Project -- Comox Air Force Museum, Canada


[ Click here for more great books about the Spitfire! ]



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All text and photos Copyright 2016 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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