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Supermarine PR Spitfire Mk XIX Military Aircraft

The Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIX (Supermarine Type 390) was a tropicalised high-altitude strategic photo-reconnaissance derivative of the Spitfire Mk XIV fighter with a pressurized cabin, an extra 20-Imp gal fuel tank in each wing, two vertical cameras, one oblique camera, and no armament, a total of 225 were built. The first Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX was completed in October 1944, it was powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon 66 which was a direct descendant of both the Buzzard Engine and the R-Type racing power-plant, it included in it's design a roots type blower for cabin pressurisation.

Supermarine PR Spitfire Mk XIX Military Aircraft

 

The PR Mk XIX was the final photo-reconnaissance variant of the Supermarine Spitfire, and a Mk XIX flew the very last operational sortie by an RAF Spitfire on 1 April 1954 when a Mk XIX flew a photographic mission during the Malaya Campaign over the jungle in Johore that was thought could contain Communist guerrilla hideouts. The Mk XIX was also the last RAF serving Spitfire type, the last being a Mk XIX of the Temperature & Humidity Flight at RAF Woodvale not being struck off until June 1957.

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIX Specification:

  • Maximum speed: 445 mph (716 kph) at 26,000 ft. (7,925 m)
  • Wing Span: 36 ft 10 in
  • Length: 32 ft
  • Weight: 10,450 lb (4,740 kg) Fully loaded
  • Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13106m)
  • Range: 1,800 miles (2900 km) with optional under fuselage slipper tank fitted
  • Engine: Rolls Royce Griffon 66 - 2,050 HP liquid cooled V12 with two speed, two stage supercharger

Armament:

  • none
 
 
 
Spitfire Photo Reconnaissance
 

The Last Spitfire!

Three of the pictures on this page depict a Mk XIX Supermarine Spitfire which spent nearly 30 years on 'gate-guardian duties' outside the RAF bases of West Malling, Leuchars and Brawdy. This aircraft joined the BBMF after being brought back to flying condition by British Aerospace in 1987.

 
Spitfire PR19 Griffon 58A
 

The Last Spitfire!

The aircraft has been modified to utilise an ex-Shackleton Fuel Injected Griffon 58 engine rated at 2,450 HP at 2,750 RPM with 25 psig boost, and is painted to represent PS888 of 81 Squadron which was based at Seletar in Singapore, the aircraft that made the last ever RAF Spitfire operational sortie, the ground crew painted 'The Last!' on the engine cowl to mark this occasion.

 
photo-reconnaissance-spitfire
 

Spitfire PR19 Griffon 58A with
Counter Rotating Props

 
Supermarine Spitfire PR19 Griffon 58A
 

This French registered Supermarine Spitfire PR19 was retro-fitted with a counter rotating propeller
Griffon 58A from a Avro Shackleton in 2002 and is currently owned by Christophe Jacquard

 

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