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Supermarine Spitfire MkVIII Replica

Supermarine Spitfire MkVIII Replica

Engines
1 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 70. 27 litre liquid cooled V-12 piston engine equipped with a two speed, two-stage supercharger
Thrust
1710 horsepower (1275.66 kW)
Length
9.54m (31ft 4in)
Height
3.85m (12ft 8in)
Wingspan
11.23m (36ft 10in)
Weight
3,638 kg (8,020 lb)
Max Speed
669 km/h (361 knots)
Ceiling
43,000 feet
Range
1094 km (590nm)

Description of Aircraft

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II. Many variants of the Spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. Later models of the aircraft, including the Mk VIII were adapted to the Air Interdiction role and the Australian Mk VIII used locally manufactured racks to carry general purpose bombs on the centreline and two wing stations. Squadron Leader Thomas Trimble along with Wing Commander Lou Spence and Wing Commander ‘Bobby’ Gibbes were instrumental in the development and use of the locally made bomb racks.

In the Far East, the Spitfire found a worthy adversary in the A6M “Zero” long-range fighter that excelled in manoeuvrability. Although not as fast as the Spitfire, the Zero could out-turn the Spitfire with ease, could sustain a climb at a very steep angle, and could stay in the air for three times as long. To fight the Zero, Spitfire pilots had to adopt a ‘slash and run’ policy and use their superior speed and dive to fight and avoid classic dogfights. The Spitfires also had to be fitted with Vokes tropical filters which reduced their performance.

A total of 20,334 Spitfires were built, with a total of 1652 Spitfire Mk VIII variants.

The Mk VIII is often thought of as the prettiest Spitfire of all the marks. It had a pointed tail and a recessed tail wheel. There are only three flying Spitfires in Australia, of which two are part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s No. 100 Squadron, Temora Historic Flight.

The Spitfire Mk VIII replica on display is painted in the colours of Wing Commander Lou Spence, Commanding Officer of No. 452 Squadron.

View Other Aircraft Displays

Exhibited in two hangars, visitors can walk-around, touch and look into the cockpits of such famous aircraft as the Mirage III, the Avon Sabre, the Gloster Meteor, the first Vampire jet built in Australia, the mighty F-111C and the F/A-18A Hornet. Also on display is a World War 1 Sopwith Camel replica, WWII Spitfire replicas, a PC-9A(F) Foward Air Control aircraft, Winjeel trainer and much more.

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