Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. IXe
FIREPOWER
6
MANEUVERABILITY
7
CLIMB RATE
8
DURABILITY
5
SPEED
8
GROUND ATTACK
2

Crew
1
Primary Guns
2 x Browning M2 0.5" (12.7mm) machine guns with 250 rpg in wings.
Secondary Guns
2 x Hispano Mk.II 20mm cannon with 120 rpg in wings
Defensive Guns
Ordnance
1 x 535 lb (242 kg) bomb or 1 x 360 lb (163 kg) drop tank under fuselage, or 2 x 250 lb (113 kg) bombs under wings.
Engine(s)
1 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 in-line rated for 1,720 hp at sea level (1,805 hp with WEP).
Int Fuel Capacity
126 imp gal (573 l) containing 909 lbs (412 kg) in forward fuselage and two wing tanks.
Ext Fuel Capacity
360 lbs (163 kg) drop tank under fuselage.
Maximum Speeds
358 mph (575 kph) at sea level, 404 mph (650 kph) at 21,000 ft (6400 m).
Climb Rate
4,030 ft.per minute (1228 m/min) 4,700 ft.per minute (1433 m/min) with WEP 4.75 min to 20,000 ft (6100 m) with WEP.
Service Ceiling
40,900 ft (12466 m).
Range
434 – 980 miles (700 – 1580 km).
Wingspan
31 ft 3.6 in (9.54 m).
Length
32 ft 8 in (9.98 m).
Height
11 ft 5 in (3.48 m).
Loaded Weight
7,500 lbs (3402 kg).
Wing Area
231. sq ft (21.5 sq m)
Wing Loading
32.5 lbs/sq ft (158.2 kg/sq m).

History

In late 1941 the Focke-Wulf FW-190 started showing up in service with the Channel Coast Jagdgruppen and suddenly the Spitfire Mk.V was again outclassed by the competition. Something needed to be done fast to rectify the situation.

Making drastic changes to the Mk.V would take too long, so the solution was to simply install a more powerful version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin, the Merlin 61 rated for 1,565 hp at sea level, in the Mk.V airframe. The resulting Mk.IX would be considered by many to be the finest Spitfire “Mark” produced during the war.

The first versions of the Mk.IX were fitted with the ‘C’ wing, while later versions employed the “Universal” or ‘Е’ wing, which held a pair of 20mm Hispano cannons and a pair of .50 caliber Browning machine guns. Additionally, the Mk.IXe could carry a 500 lb. bomb under the fuselage and a pair of 250 lb. bombs under the wings for ground attack duties. Although it was considered an interim or “stop-gap” type, the Mk.IX was produced in quantities second only to the Mk.V, with total production reaching 5,609 machines.

Strengths

  1. Speed — With a top speed of over 400 mph, the Spitfire Mk.IX is among the fastest planes available in 1942.
  2. Maneuverability — At low alts LF Mk.IX, despite the permanently increasing from Mk. to Mk. weight, retains a maneuverability edge over German fighters.

Weakness

  1. Durability — The Spitfire was a small machine and not capable of absorbing a great amount of damage.

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