The Spitfire Mk XVIII was capable of over 470 mph when powered with the Griffon 67 engine, production started in March 1945, a total of 300 aircraft being produced but entered service with the RAF too late to see action in WW2, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIII pictured above is thought to be the second production aircraft. The RAF operated the Spitfire XVIII in a fighter reconnaissance role until 1951 as the FR.MK.18 at which time they were replaced with Vampire FB.5's.
The Spitfire pictured on this page was delivered to the RAF in May 1945 and shipped to Karachi in February 1946 for use by the South East Asia Air Command's 32 Squadron. The aircraft was transferred to the Indian Air Force in December 1947 and was retired from service in the late 1950's. The spitfire was then used as a decoy in the 1970's before being eventually restored to flying condition in the mid 1990's. As of 2009 the aircraft has been based in Sweden, registered as SE-BIN and operated by Biltema.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIII (Griffon 65) Specification:
- Crew: Pilot only
- Wing Span: 36ft 10in (11.23m)
- Length: 33ft 3.25in (10.04m)
- Height: 12ft 7.75in (3.86m)
- Maximum Weight: 11,000lb (4990kg)
- Engine: Single 2375hp (1529kw) Rolls Royce Griffon 67 V-12
- Maximum Speed: Over 448mph (721 km/h) (Griffon 65 engine)
Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVIII Armament:
- Twin 20mm (0.79mm) cannon
- Twin 12.7mm (0.50in) machine guns
- Up-to 227kg (500lb) of bombs or unguided rocket projectiles