The Spitfire XVI was introduced in October 1944, a total of 1,054 aircraft being produced, it is in fact a Supermarine Spitfire IX but powered by the American built Packard Merlin 266 engine rather than the Rolls Royce built Merlin 66. The Packard built Merlin 266 had been modified to from the Merlin 66 deign by Packard to facilitate mass production techniques, this resulted in the engine requiring different spare parts and tools than it's UK built Merlin 66 equivalent, the RAF wisely decided that to ensure mistakes were not made when ordering spares that any Spitfire IX fitted with the Packard Merlin be designated a Spitfire XVI.
Supermarine Spitfire XVI Armament:
Twin 20mm Hispano Cannons
Single 500 lb (227 kg) or twin 250 lb (114 kg) bombs
Supermarine Spitfire XVI Specifications:
Engine: 1700 hp (1245kW) 27 Litre Packard built Merlin 266 liquid cooled V-12 piston engine
Wingspan: 32' 7 " (9.93 m)
Length: 31' 4 " (9.55 m)
Height: 12' 7 1/2" (3.85 m)
Weight empty: 5,985 lb (2,715 kg)
Maximum Takeoff weight: 8,700 lb (3,946 kg)
Maximum Speed: 416 mph (669 km/h)
The Merlin 66 engine design was optimised to perform best at low altitude and Spitfires powered by the UK or US built engines were designated "LF" or low flying fighters and were delegated to a fighter-bomber role as the Griffon-powered Spitfire XIV became the RAF's standard air superiority fighter.
There are two distinct versions of the Spitfire XVI and Spitfire IX, early aircraft have the older style cockpit and those built after February 1945 utilise a rear sliding bubble canopy with a cut down or "low back" rear fuselage, the later, as pictured above gave improved visibility and equally important was easier for the pilot to "bale-out" should it be necessary.
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Supermarine Spitfire XVI WW2 Fighter Picture and Information