|The Mk. IX replaced the Mk. V in June 1942 and on September 12, 1942 a Mk. IX brought down a
Ju-86R flying at 43,000 feet. Another major achievement of the Mk. IX took place on October 5,
1944 when 401 Squadron became the first allied aircraft to shoot down an Me-262 jet. Even with
the arrival of the Griffon powered Mk. XIV the Mk. IX continued in service until the end of WWII.
There were 5,665 Mk. IX Spitfires and its variants produced.
The RAF No. 315 Squadron "Deblinski" was a Polish fighter unit formed in January 1941. Francis
Gabreski, the son of a Polish immigrant family, was anxious to fly so he enlisted and in 1942 was
assigned to the RAF No. 315 Polish Squadron flying a Spitfire. Gabreski flew many missions in
his Spitfire but didn’t score any victories. In February 1943 he was reassigned to the USAAF 8th
Air Force and six months later, flying a P-47 he scored his first victory, an FW-190. By the end of
WWII Gabby had 28.5 victories.
Specifications for the Spitfire Mk. IX
Number built - 5,665 all Mk. IX variants
Crew – 1 X pilot
Length - 31 ft. 3.5 in.
Standard (F) - 36 ft. 10 in.
Clipped (LF) - 32 ft. 2 in.
Height - 11 ft. 9 in.
Wing Area - (F) 242 sq. ft. or (LF) 231 sq. ft.
Empty - 5,610 lbs. (2,545 kg)
Maximum Takeoff - 7,500 lbs. (3,402 kg)
1 X V-12 Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 @ 1,515 hp
1 X V-12 Rolls-Royce Merlin 63 @ 1,712 hp
Maximum Speed - 408 mph (657 kph) @ 25,000 ft.
Service Ceiling - 4,000 ft.
Range w/o drop tank - 434 miles (698 km)
2 X Hispano 20mm cannons
4 X .303 machine guns
2 X .50 machine guns
1,000 lbs of bombs (500 centerline, 250 each wing)
|Hobby Master 1/48 Air Power Series
Spitfire F.IX BS410 "PK-E"
flown by Francis Gabreski, PK-E, No. 315 Sqn.,
January 21 1943