Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV – 322 (Dutch) Sqn, RAF Deanland, England, August 1944
1 in stock
1 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA38707: Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV of 322 (Dutch) Sqn, RAF Deanland, England, August 1944. Limited Edition of 1,200 Pieces
Length 5.5 inches Wingspan 6.25 inches
The aviation pedigree of the Supermarine Spitfire is second to none. Produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft, the Spitfire was in constant production throughout the Second World War, with the basic airframe capable of readily accepting upgrades and improvements which maintained the aircraft’s position as one of the most capable single engined fighting aeroplanes of WWII. The combination of the classic Spitfire airframe and the new powerful Rolls Royce Griffon engine produced a ‘Super Spitfire’ and what was regarded by many aviation historians as the finest low altitude interceptor available to Allied air forces during WWII. Having contributed to offensive operations in support of the D-Day landings, the speedy Spitfire Mk. XIVs of RAF No.322 Squadron were given a dangerous new task in the weeks which followed, intercepting the indiscriminate V1 ‘Doodlebug’ flying bombs which were hurled against Southern Britain from their launch sites in France, in the weeks following the successful Allied landings in Normandy. The squadron proved extremely proficient in these ‘Anti-diver’ sorties, with no fewer than 108.5 Doodlebugs falling to the guns of their mighty Griffon powered Spitfires, before advancing Allied ground units could overrun the launch sites, thus taking these terrifying weapons out of range of their intended target areas. Released from their Doodlebug duties, the Griffon Spitfires of No.322 squadron were sent to operate from recently liberated bases in Europe, as Allied air forces continued to take a heavy toll of German forces, both on the ground and in the air.
The Mk XIV was the most important of the Griffon powered Spitfires, and the only one to see significant wartime service. It used the two-speed two-stage supercharged Griffon 61 or 65, giving 2,050 hp and a significantly improved performance at higher altitudes when compared to the earlier Griffon powered Mk XII. The Mk XIV was based on the Mk VIII fuselage, already strengthened to cope with the Merlin 61 engine. Early models used the “c” type universal wing (four 20mm cannon or two 20mm cannon and four .303in machine guns), while later production used the “e” wing (two .50in machine guns instead of the .303s).
The Griffon engine improved the performance of the Spitfire at all heights. Tests in early 1944 found it to be faster than the Mk IX at every altitude, with the best rate of climb yet seen. The only area not to see any improvement was manoeuvrability, which did not rely on the engine but on the airframe. It had a similar advantage over the Fw 190A, which had a similar performance to the Mk IX. The only problem posed by the Griffon was that it span in the opposite direction to the Merlin. Merlin powered Spitfires had tended to veer left on takeoff. The Mk XIV veered to the right instead.
The superior performance of the Mk XIV made it the ideal aircraft to deal with the menace of the V-1. No.91 Squadron, based at West Malling, ended up with the best record against the flying bomb, shooting down 184 with its Mk XIVs.
From September 1944 the Mk XIV was used with the 2nd Tactical Air Force. It equipped all twenty Spitfire squadrons on the continent between D-Day and VE-Day. Its role in Europe was normally armed reconnaissance, searching for any enemy targets behind the German lines. It could carry up to 1000 lbs of bombs, or in a FR role 500 lbs of bombs and a camera.