My favourite Spitfire #1 – Paul Beaver

Supermarine_Spitfire_Mk_XIVe_RB140_in_March_1944._This_aircraft_served_operationally_with_Nos._616_and_610_Squadrons,_but_was_destroyed_in_a_landing_accident_at_Lympne_on_30_October_1944._E(MOS)1348.jpg

For some time, I have trying to decide which is my favourite of the 73 variants or sub-variants of that most iconic of fighter aeroplanes, the Spitfire. Now I have the opportunity to put my thoughts on paper and it has been most rewarding.

Like many pilots, the first thought is to the aeroplane of which one has personal experience. That would be the Mk IX with both Merlin 66 and Packard-Merlin 266 engines. But what about the Mk V with floats? As a seaplane pilot, I love the challenge of operating off water in such a powerful machine. Then, my thoughts went to those young men who were the spear tip of the Battle of Britain defence of the country, so the Spitfire Mk IIa. The high flying and super-fast PR Mk XI perhaps whose pilots showed another type of courage to go unarmed deep over enemy territory. There’s event the Seafire FR Mk 47 from the Korean war, surely the ultimate warbird of the whole family.

But in the end, it was the Spitfire Mk XIV which won out. I am not alone in thinking the Griffon-powered, bubble-canopy fighter is a favourite. Captain Eric (Winkle) Brown thought so too. Whenever the Spitfire was mentioned, he would talk about low level trials in the Mk VIII or flying high over France in a Mk IX with the Canadians. I have not had those privileges but I am now sure the Mk XIV is the one and as Eric would say “it was the best fighter of the Second World War”.

Paul Beaver FRAeS

Author of SPITFIRE PEOPLE

The Men & Women who made the Spitfire the Aviation Icon

image001.jpg

SAVE THIS SITE! If you have enjoyed this please do consider donating to keep us going. 

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Glen Towler

    I agree with Paul on the mark 9 it is a fantastic looking spitfire. I have seen a MK19 here in NZ and it is a beast

  2. Tama Ritz

    I think the MkIX is the best looking classic Spitfire. The MkXIV is more “muscular” and something different… I don’t know what is my favourite, so I pick both :).

    PS: Thank you for this excellent website, I like to see how in other countries they take care of their inheritance and although that gives me a little envy, I hope that one day in my country the same will be done. (In Spain there isn’t the impressive tradition you have sir, but it’s ok)

    sry for my english

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s