Spitfire L.F. Mk. IX production, 1943-1944.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Kurfürst, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    One of my latest research.

    [​IMG]

    I have considerable work behind this graph.

    Terms of Use
    Everyone is free to use it, either partially or the graph in itself, but you are required to make a reference (URL) to my site as a source if you wish to do so, and also to Morgan - Shacklady who did the original research work for individual Spitfire serials in their classic 'Spitfire : The History' monography, which I used as a basis for it.
     
  2. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Kurfürst,

    Highly interesting! Do you know the reason for the temporary drop after April 1943? Perhaps the two-stage Merlins were diverted to a different aircraft (like a bomber type)?

    Were there other Spitfire variants with Merlin 66 engine produced concurrently? If not, which Merlin variants went into the Spitfires at that time?

    Thanks for the analysis! :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  3. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    I am pretty certain that the only other Spitfire Mark with the Merlin 66 was the Mk VIII LF.

    I have just finished the analysis on that Marks production. Please see below :

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    I think you are right, and it appears that the Mk VIII airframes had priority for Merlin 66 engines after April 1943 for a couple of months.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    This might also be of interest as it shows the production details of all the Spitfire marks.

    contract summary
     
  5. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Kurfürst,

    >I am pretty certain that the only other Spitfire Mark with the Merlin 66 was the Mk VIII LF.

    Ah, thanks! What about the earlier Merlin 60 series engines ... were they replaced by the Merlin 66 on the production lines, or were still some Merlin 61 etc. Spitfires produced in parallel to the Merlin 66 Spitfires?

    >I think you are right, and it appears that the Mk VIII airframes had priority for Merlin 66 engines after April 1943 for a couple of months.

    It's my vague impression that the Spitfire VIII was usually sent "overseas" - do you know to which percentage that applies (roughly at least)? I wonder if there is a connection to the poor success the Spitfire V had in the Pacific Theatre which has been discussed on some other threads on this board ...

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  6. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Neil`s post over butch`s board on Mk IXs and VIII with operational Squadrons, as of 30 September 1943.

    It would appear that all Mk VIIIs went overseas - it seems logical, as the IX had practically no range to fly over large bodies of water, as required in the MTO and PTO.

    However, there was one Mk VII (pressurized Mk VIII) Squadron with the RAF in Britain in July 1943. I believe early in 1944 Pierre Clostermann was with one of those, stationed near Scapa Flow.

    Disposition of Spitfire VIII, IX

    MK IX

    Squadrons
    Serv. 280
    Unserv, 27

    Overseas.

    Serv, 263
    Unserv, 84

    MK VIII

    Overseas

    Serv, 142
    Unserv, 71
     
  7. Hop

    Hop Member

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    There was some cross over in production. The Merlin 61 was phased out in favour of the 63, then the 63 in favour of the 66.

    The following figures are mostly based on the first flight date, although some use the date issued to a maintenance unit or squadron. Some conversions are included, some aren't, and I have no idea how many extra conversions there were.

    Production of Spitfire VII, VIII and IX with Merlin 61:

    1942
    June - 19
    July - 50
    Aug - 63
    Sep - 69
    Oct - 81
    Nov - 72
    Dec - 62

    1943
    Jan - 65
    Feb - 19

    1 each in March and April.

    There are another 38 or so that don't have a first flight listed and were issued mostly around summer 1943.

    The 61 was phased out in favour of the 63, which had higher boost pressures and was similar in design to the Merlin 66 (although with a higher critical altitude)

    Spitfire VII, VIII and IX production with Merlin 63:

    1943
    Jan - 13
    Feb - 46
    Mar - 69
    Apr - 110
    May - 125
    Jun - 229
    Jul - 129
    Aug - 57
    Sep - 136
    Oct - 49
    Nov - 19

    Quite a large proportion of September's "production" are missing their first flight dates, but were issued in September. I suspect many were manufactured in August.

    If you fancy more number crunching (and probably more accurate than my efforts), then the complete Spitfire production list can be downloaded from the same site Glider linked to:

    Spitfire downloads
     
  8. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    The 'Big Picture' - quite literally !

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Fokker D21

    Fokker D21 Member

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    I love statistics.

    Do you (as the expert on the 109) also have something for the total 109 production?

    Another question:

    Which versions of the 109G switched back to fixed tailwheels and why? The speed went down with approx. 12 km/h. And why could later versions have a fully retractable tailwheel?
     
  10. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Yes, this accounts for 33 984 Bf 109s, and 16723 FW 190s. I am quite certain this list, from USSBS, only accounts for new production airframes built from stracht, while the conversions from older airframes is not accounted for (and of course the 1945 production is partially missing, all of 1945 for the FW 190 and April for the 109s).

    [​IMG]

    As to the non-retractable tailwheel on 109s, this came with the introduction of larger tailwheel tyres which meant they would not fit into the bay any longer, so they were fixed in position. The G-1 Kennblatt notes this occured around March 1943.

    I guess that was needed because of tyre wear and with increased weight, something that you will see on many aircraft (I believe the Spit also used increaseingly larger tyres, and probably most planes anyway).

    The t/w become retractable on the 109K again as the tail unit`s bay was re-designed.

    Of course you can see many photos, particularly taken in the desert or during the Rasputica period in the East where the tailwheel is fixed down, and even the main undercarriage strut covers are missing. I guess this was done for practical reasons (mud, sand etc.), or due to hydraulics failure.
     
  11. Krabat42

    Krabat42 Member

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    Excellent statistics, especially the one in post No. 8. Thanks for that.

    Krabat
     
  12. Fokker D21

    Fokker D21 Member

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    I always thought the reason was a new wooden tail on the 109, but your explanation makes much more sense. Didn't the 109 G10 also had a retractable tailwheel?

    And many thanks for the excellent statistics.8)

    It's interesting to see that Fw 190 production at the end of the war was just as high as the more easy 109 production. Also noteworthy is the temporary drop at the end of 1943. What caused this? One wonders why it took the Germans so long to get to much higher production numbers.
     
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