Collection Highlights

Supermarine Spitfire L.F. Mk.IX

Artifact no.: 1967.0696 


Highlights:

  • A British single-seater fighter designed and produced by the Supermarine division of Vickers-Armstrong Limited from 1938 to 1948
  • Canadian aerodynamicist Beverley Shenstone (co-designer of the Harbinger sailplane) contributed to its design
  • Flown by many Allied air forces during the Second World War
  • Served on all fronts as an interceptor, photo reconnaissance airplane, fighter bomber and carrier-based fighter
  • Over 20,000 were built in twenty-four versions, each employed increasingly powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin or Griffon engines
  • Achieved legendary status during the Battle of Britain, fighting the Messerschmitt Bf 109
  • Flown by George Beurling (the most successful Canadian fighter pilot of the Second World War), who scored twenty-seven victories in two weeks over Malta
  • First flight was on March 6, 1936 (prototype)

Image Gallery:

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History:

Among the most famous aircraft of all time, the Spitfire began operations before Second World War and was one of the few pre-war types to remain in first-line service until the end of the war and beyond. As the war progressed, the Spitfire received heavier armament and more powerful engines until it was twice as heavy and powerful as the original mark. In all, 21 554 were built in 24 different versions, including some 1 220 Seafires fitted for aircraft carrier operation.

The Mk. IX successfully countered the challenge posed by the superb German Focke-Wulf FW 190. The L.F. Mk. IX’s lower-altitude capabilities were enhanced by an engine designed to give its best power at a lower altitude and, in some cases, by the removal of the wing tips to increase the speed and rate of roll.

Current Location:

Second World War Exhibition, Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Provenance:

Donation from John Paterson

This Spitfire was manufactured by the Supermarine division of Vickers-Armstrong Limited at the Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory in the United Kingdom in 1944. In 1944 it flew with a Polish squadron and an RCAF squadron. It was damaged by anti-aircraft fire around D-Day, and was stored by the RAF from late 1944 to 1946.

In 1946 the aircraft was sold to the Dutch Air Force. Sent to the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia) in 1947, it was flown infrequently until its return to Holland in 1950. It was sold to the Belgian Air Force in 1952, rebuilt, and then used as a trainer. The Spitfire was written off after a crash in 1954. A private company then purchased the aircraft and rebuilt it to tow targets.

John N. Paterson of Fort William, Ontario purchased the Spitfire and brought it to Canada in 1961. After rebuilding it, Paterson donated the aircraft to the Museum in 1964, flying it to Ottawa for Air Force Day.

Technical Information:

Wing Span 9.9 m (32 ft 7 in)
Length 9.5 m (31 ft 4 in)
Height 3.8 m (12 ft 7 1/4 in)
Weight, Empty 2,638 kg (5,816 lb)
Weight, Gross 3,402 kg (7,500 lb)
Cruising Speed Unknown
Max Speed 650 km/h (404 mph)
Rate of Climb 1,204 m (3,950 ft) /min
Service Ceiling 12,954 m (42,500 ft)
Range 698 km (434 mi)
Power Plant one Rolls-Royce Merlin 76, 1,710 hp, V-12 engine (Museum example)

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