Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV


Model review

This model is made in the beginning of the seventies. It is old Frog's 1/72 kit which was at the time pretty good choice of making Spitfire Mk XIV model. The kit included also one V-1 "flying bomb" in the same box. The shape of the plane is good and there were no need for corrections. The decals were also good (the best quality of the time). The colors come from Humbrols selection.

History

The Supermarine Spitfire is probably the most famous and possibly the most beautiful fighter ever built. The prototype first flew in 1936 and with the same airframe the Spitfire remained in production throughout the WW 2 being the only Allied fighter to do so. When the engines become more powerfull and heavier, almost the same airframe with minor changes could accommodate the increased power and size of them.

The main designer was Reginald Mitchell. The new Rolls-Royce PV.12 engine, which was later named Merlin, was used in the prototype. Spitfire was the first streched-skin all metal fighter in Britain. With its different versions it was the main fighter of the Fighter Command during the WW 2. The Spitfire is always remembered as the plane that won the Battle of Britain, even though the Hawker Hurricane carried the major load.The Spitfire Mk I was in service at the opening stage of the WW 2. The Spitfire Mk V came in service in March 1941 and the most produced variant, the Spitfire Mk IX was introduced in the middle of 1942. The production of the Mk IX was totally 5665 planes.

The Spitfire Mk XIV entered in squadrons during 1944 and it was the first RR Griffon engined Spitfire to enter in large scale production. It had comletely redesigned airframe with new fuselage. It was powered by RR Griffon 65 or 66 engine with five bladed Rotol propeller. The first examples entered service in Europe with No. 610 Sqdn, in January 1944. Subsequently 37 RAF squadrons flew it. Spitfire Mk XIV was intented for combat at all altitudes. It succeeded well also against flying bombs (V1), destroying over 300.

The Spitfire Mk XIV AP-D, RM-619 belonged to No. 130 Sqdn at Lympne in UK. in October 1944 flying "anti-diver" patrols. The following month squadron mooved to France taking part in ground-attack activities. It flew armed recces just ahead of the Allied troops and attacking targets requested by the military. Occasional patrols at a higher altitude to try and find Me 262's were interspersed with these and from March 1945 onwards several fierce dogfights with FW 190's were also flown.

Spitfire Mk XIV technical data

Engine 2050 hp Rolls-Royce Griffon, V12 liquid-cooled
Dimensions Span 11,23 m; length 9,95 m; height 3,85 m
Weights Empty weight 2993 kg; max. take off 3855 kg
Performance Max. speed 720 km/h (448 mph) at 7924 m (26000 ft); ceiling 16563 m; range 1367 km
Armament 2 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannon, 4 x 0,303 mg ( C-wing ) and 1 x 1000 lb. bomb or rocket projectiles
Production 957

Sources
Squadron/Signal, Spitfire in action; John Rawlings, Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircrafts; Osprey, Late mark Spitfire aces 1942-1945; Internet

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