HistoryEditFew aircraft have gained as much fame as the legendary Supermarine Spitfire. Its classic shape, combined with a superb engine, produced a fighting machine with few equals. Designed to Air Ministry specification as a day and night fighter, the Spitfire evolved arond a new 1,000 hp Rols Royce 12 cylinver Vee engine which was later to become the famous Merlin.
The first production Spitfire MK1 was delivered to the RAF in may 1938 and by the beginning of the Battle of Britain in august 1940 there were 19 squadrons of Spitfires operational in Fighter Command. To maintain superiority over the German Messerschmitt Bf109E a more powerful version of the Spitfire, designated Mk5 was produced. This was basically a Mk 1 with a more powerful Merlin 45 producing 1,450 hp at 9,000 ft (2,743 m). MAximum speed was 369 mph (594 km/h) and range on internal fuel tanks was 470 miles (756 km)
In December 1940, the Mk Vb entered service and gave the RAF a marked increase in fighter capability over the Luftwaffe. More than 140 RAF squadrons were equipped with Mk 5's and a total of 6,464 were built between 1940 and 1943. The Mk 5 was also the first Spitfire to serve overseas, having been supplied to nine foreign countries including Russia and the United States.
- Speed: 3/4
- Control: 3/4
- Fuel: 2/4
- Armour: 2/4