Aeroplane Monthly 1990-08
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Spitfire Notebook (4)
The Speed Spitfire was actually built from the 48th production airframe, Spitfire K9834. Mutt Summers made N.17's maiden flight, from Eastleigh, on November 11, 1938.
View of Spitfire K9834 modified as the Type 323 High-Speed Spitfire at Eastleigh, Southampton in 1939. Notice the blunt wingtips, the streamlined Perspex windscreen, the four-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller and the tail-skid in place of the usual tailwheel. Later restored to a more conventional configuration, it served throughout the war as a station "hack" with PRU.
The 2,160 h.p. Merlin II Special being worked upon at Eastleigh.
Another view of N.17 in its original form. The deeper radiator is more apparent in this view. The Merlin Special developed 2,160 r.p.m. for short sprint periods running on 100-octane fuel.