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Staff Sergeant
Apr 15, 2005
Did some research, I'd heard of it briefly. But wow, my real question is can a non-swept wing aircraft really get that fast?!? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Spiteful says top speed 494... I would have thought that compressibility and airframe strenth would have prevented it from getting to that kind of speed. That is really flippin fast.

ps sorry i dont know how to resize the picture in the thread, i didnt realize it was so big...


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Regarding the lower part of your post which says, ""I had ten rockets on board, and as I wasn't particularly fond of head-on attacks, I salvoed the whole lot at him. The rockets didn't hit him but but they must have scared the bejesus out of him, for he did a steep turn to starboard... I let him have the full blast, all eight fifty-calibers. I had never seen an aircraft completely disintegrate in the air the way this Me-110 did..."
Bill Dunn, 406th Fighter Group

In the Pacific theatre, a P-47 pilot did actually make an air to air kill of another fighter with an air to ground rocket. Must have made one hell of a boom.
Here it is:


He (Judge Wolfe pictured above) spotted two "Zekes" with a 4,000 feet advantage, and didn't want to jettison two 5 inch rockets under his wings. He got into a head on attack position and tried them as air to air weapons. Said Wolfe later, "I don't know who was more surprised, him or me!" The Zeke just disintegrated. Wolfe's T-Bolt carried him through the debris cloud for kill number 6. A minute later, he had kill number 7. Four other pilots scored that day including Harry E. McAfee, the first army pilot to land on Saipan and Tinian. He got a bomber.
How can an aircraft go that fast?

The Spiteful is a Spitfire with a laminar flow wing and 5 or 6 blade prop with more power. The producing 2450hp and cleaner lines enables it to go at 494mph. Compressibilty becomes a problem with the prop, but the thin wings limit the problem with regards to aerodynamics.

If you want to faster look at the Rolls-Royce Eagle fighters. The Supermarine 391, again very Spitfire-ish was to be powered by the Eagle. 3500hp H24. Projected maximum speed was 548mph.

Then here is the Hawker P.1030 basically a Tempest with the Eagle engine. Projected speed of 508mph@20,000ft. Climb to 20,000ft in 4mins.


Personally, I that if the Rolls-Royce Crecy had been developed and put onto these aircraft, 600mph+ could be possible. 5000hp from the engine + another 30% from the 2-stroke exhaust thrust.
A number of aircraft could break 500mph in dives the P-51 was limited to 505mph according to my Pilots Handbook. A bearcat and a griffon and contrarotating prop powered P-51 both broke 500mph in level flight. I'm sure there are more but those come to mind right now.

The X-1 and F-104 had straight wings and broke Mach 1, and Mach 2 respectively.

wmaxt said:
A number of aircraft could break 500mph in dives the P-51 was limited to 505mph according to my Pilots Handbook. A bearcat and a griffon and contrarotating prop powered P-51 both broke 500mph in level flight. I'm sure there are more but those come to mind right now.

The X-1 and F-104 had straight wings and broke Mach 1, and Mach 2 respectively.


A Griffon Spit almost went supersonic in a dive at one point:shock:
I'll even wager there was allsorts of prop guys that went close or past Mach 1 towards the end of WW2 in late 45 fighters just that they aren't any around

The spit in question was a Mk 19 from No.81 Squadron based in Hong Kong. The Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Ted Powles took his Spitfire up to 51,550ft, put the nose full down and at 15,000ft he was doing Mach 0.9 - 690mph:shock:

Both he and his plane survived intact:)
Not anymore if he kept up trying that though :lol:

I've mention this before here, but I still remember seeing a program on Brit TV in the early 70's when one of the designers of the Spitfire was saying, that they were thinking of adapting a 'Griffon' Spit by taking the Rads away, Streamlining etc to make it go 500 mph plus, so it could take on the Me-262. The Air Ministry at the time said it would be a waste of time as the Gloster Meteor was about to come online, saying that it would be as fast as the 262 - they where wrong of course (414 mph isn't the 262's 540 mph in anyone's books)

Shame it didn't happen though:(
Only the Mk I Meteor was limited to 414 mph. The Meteor Mk III, which went into squadron service with 616 Squadron in December 1944, was capable of 480-490 mph.

The Mk I was really more of a serise of service development airframes than a actual fighter while the RAF waited for the more reliable Derwent I engines to replace the underpowered Wellands. If Rover hadn't kept dragging their heels and doing everything to go as slow as possible in 1941-1943, the British could of been flying the Meteor in 1943.

Rover took a practical working design, c@cked it up in an attempt to avoid patent and design fees, and put English jet production behind by almost 2 years. When Rols-Royce stepped in and took over developmen, it took them just 6 months to do what Rover had done in almost 3 years.

Rover had produced just 32 centrifugal flow and 6 axial flow engines by the end of 1942, and were bench testing at around 1,400 lbs. After Rolls-Royce took over engine production in January 1943, they produced 60 Welland engines in 5 months and were bench testing them at 1,500 lbs in March 1,600lbs by May adnd 1,700lbs in July. Rolls Royce produced around 170 Wellands in 9 months before moving to the more advanced and reliable Derwent.

Aviation enthusiasts wax lyrical about the possibilities of a LuftWaffe armed with Ar-230s and Me-262 in 1943. If Rolls-Royce had been in charge of jet production and developement, the Meteor could of been in regular squadron service by January 1944 and the Vampire/Spider-Crab possibly just a few months later. There was a 6 month delay in Vampire development brought about because the Halford engines were being suplied to the USAAF for the XP-80 project after they destroyed the first engine in ground testing.
I guess Rover was crap even back then.

what was the Spider-Crab? A nickname of the Vampire or a different aircraft?
Most of the unlimited air racers are in the 500-550 MPH realm with straight wings though a few are clipped a bit. Of course they're getting more HP out of the engines these days and they're tuned for sprints instead of longevity. Proves even a brick with enough horsrpower wil fly!!
The fastest of the 70-odd Spiefuls built were two F16's (only two were built) with the Griffon 89 rated at 2,450 h.p and a top speed of 494 mph, these were actual service aircraft flown by the RAF as against special one-off aircraft in developement.
I have a photo of a Spit (griffon) that hit over 600 mph in a dive and the prop speed was so great the reduction gearbox exploded and he had to glide back to the field and land the thing.
Twitch said, "Proves even a brick with enough horsepower wil fly!!"

That was proven much earlier with the P-47.
Talking of spit development. Wasn't their an atempt to significantly improve the the Spits range for bomber secort which ended in failure?

I would appreciate it if any one can shed some light and post a pic if possible?
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