The Spitfire III N3297 in its original form in March 1940 with blunt wing tips, forward-raked undercarriage legs, retractable tailwheel and enlarged oil cooler intake. Note the full wheel covers and experimental main radiator.
The Spitfire III N3297 in its original form in March 1940 with blunt wing tips, forward-raked undercarriage legs, retractable tailwheel and enlarged oil cooler intake.
The Spitfire III N3297 in October 1941, with standard wing tips and a Merlin 60 series engine (note the twin wing radiators) and four-bladed propeller. As a Rolls-Royce test-bed, this was effectively a Spitfire IX prototype.
The reinforcement of Malta's defences in 1942 brought the first operational deployment of Spitfires outside of the UK. Shown here are tropicalised Spitfire VCs, with four-cannon armament, being loaded aboard the USS Wasp
The reinforcement of Malta's defences in 1942 brought the first operational deployment of Spitfires outside of the UK. Shown here are tropicalised Spitfire VCs, with four-cannon armament, flying off the USS Wasp some 600-odd mis (about 1 000 km) from Malta.
To allow the Spitfire VC to reach Malta from Gibraltar, a distance of 1,100 mis (1 770 km), the outsize 170-Imp gal (773-l) drop tank was developed; a larger oil tank had to befitted, deepening the nose cowling.
Spitfire VA prototype (X4922) with the Vokes tropical filter and a wooden mock-up of the belly tank.
A clipped-wing Spitfire VB with the Aboukir tropical filter.
A clipped-wing Spitfire VB attached to the Air Fighting Development Unit, showing an unusual application of the unit’s code letters "AF".
By 1942, the Spitfire VB was in large scale service with fighter squadrons in the UK. (Photo) A line-up of standard Mk VBs of No 131 Squadron, part of the Tangmere Wing, in June 1942 at Merston; note the old-style roundels on the aircraft nearest the camera.
A Spitfire IX with an early trial installation of four underwing rocket projectiles, with 60-lb (27-kg) heads.
A pair of Spitfire IXs of No 32 Squadron operating over the beach-head south of Rome in 1944.
The Spitfire IXC MK210 at Wright Field, Ohio, prior to its non-stop Atlantic crossing from Newfoundland in September 1944, with P-51 style drop tanks.
A standard production Spitfire IXC, showing the Aero-Vee filter that was fitted as standard, for temperate or tropical use.
In service with No 73 Squadron in Malta in 1945, this Spitfire IXC sports the squadron's pre-war fuselage insignia.
Spitfire AB197 was one of the two definitive prototypes of the Mk IX, converted in the spring of 1942 by Rolls-Royce from a Spitfire VC. Photographed in May 1942, it still bears early-style roundels.
A pre-delivery shot of a Spitfire VIII in the early configuration, with extended wing tips and standard rudder. Note the retractable tailwheel and the Pokes Aero-Vee tropical filter.
A Spitfire VIII development airframe with the cut-down rear fuselage and rear-view canopy, later to be adopted on Mk IXs and Mk XVIs. Note the smaller "blister" ’fairings for the wing cannon, compared with those on the Mk VB and VC.
Ground view of the Spitfire VI trials aircraft X4942, showing the extended wing tips and the additional intake on the starboard front cowling for the cabin blower.
Air view of the Spitfire VI trials aircraft X4942, showing the extended wing tips.
Spitfire VIII of the later production standard, with broad-chord rudder and standard wing tips.
Spitfire VIII of the later production standard, with broad-chord rudder and standard wing tips. The aircraft is in SE Asia markings, with white bands on fin and wings.
The prototype Spitfire VII AB450, distinguished from the Mk VI most obviously by the retractable tailwheel and "C" wing armament.
A production Mk VII, with the enlarged rudder, serving in the Orkneys in 1944.