Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV
The first Griffon powered Spitfires suffered from poor high altitude performance due to having only a single stage supercharged engine. By 1943 Rolls-Royce engineers had developed a new Griffon engine, the 61 series, with a two-stage supercharger. In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. The resulting aircraft was as great an improvement over the Mk IX as the Mk IX had been over the Mk V. Although initially based on the Mk VIII airframe, common improvements made in aircraft produced later included the cut-back fuselage and tear-drop canopies, and the E-Type wing with improved armament.
It could climb to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) in less than seven minutes and its top speed, which was achieved at 26,000 ft (7,900 m), was 448 mph (721 km/h)
The first test of the aircraft was in intercepting V1 flying bombs, and the Mk XIV was the most successful of all Spitfire marks in this role. The Spitfire XIV was also famous for being able to catch the notorious German jet, the Messerschmitt 262.The Mk XIV was used by the 2nd Tactical Air Force as their main high-altitude air superiority fighter in northern Europe.