Spitfire PR XIX                

Last update:

12/21/2012

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Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk XIX

Scale 1:33
Author: Evgeniy Polovinnik
File Size: 13.1Mb
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Spitfire PR Mk XIX
1 Division, 11 Flotilla
Sweden 1950
Price $10.00 Model # 040_2
If ordering a CD, please add $5.75 for Shipping & Handling. One charge per order.
   

Technical data:
  Length 9.96 m    
  Span 11.23 m    
  Engine Rolls Royce Griffon 65, 2,050hp
  Max Speed 721 km/h    
  Crew 1    
     The Mk  19 was the last and greatest photographic reconnaissance variant of the Spitfire. It combined features of the Mk  XI with the Griffon engine of the Mk  XIV. After the first 25 were produced, later aircraft were also fitted with the pressurized cabin of the Mk  X and the fuel capacity was increased to 256 gallons, three-and-a-half times that of the original Spitfire.
     The first Mk  19s entered service in May 1944, and, by the end of the war, the type had virtually replaced the earlier Mk  XI. A total of 225 were built with production ceasing in early 1946, but they were used in front-line RAF service until April 1954. In fact, the last time a Mk  19 was used to perform an operational sortie was in 1963 when one was used in battle trials against an English Electric Lightning to determine how best a Lightning should engage piston-engine aircraft. This information was needed in case RAF Lightings might have to engage P-51 Mustangs in the Indonesian conflict of the time. There is an unsubstantiated rumor that the air combat simulator used to train RAF Tornado pilots retains the aerodynamic data for this Spitfire, and that the simulated aircraft is sometimes allocated a pair of Sidewinder missiles to even the odds.  (Wikipedia)
    In 1945, the Swedish Air Force had a pressing need for a single-seat reconnaissance plane. As a stop-gap measure, a number of obsolete J9 fighters (Seversky P-35A) were converted and transferred to the F11 reconnaissance wing at Skavsta in Nyköping.
In 1948, the cold war prompted an urgent upgrade of the Swedish AF, but the planned PR version of Sweden’s indigenous swept-wing jet fighter, the SAAB J29 ’Flying Barrel’, was delayed since the fighter version had priority.
    As an interim solution, in 1948 a total of 50 surplus PR Mk XIX Spitfires were bought from England at a bargain price and assigned to the F11 wing with the Swedish designation S31. The recce wing was thus equipped with a plane which flew faster and higher than any of the Swedish AF fighters in service at the time. The S31 was instrumental in developing new AF reconnaissance tactics.
    The last S31 was retired from Swedish service in August of 1955 and, in an act of bureaucratic vandalism, every single Spitfire was either scrapped, used for target practice or relegated to fire fighting drills. Still, an immaculate S31 in Swedish colours is currently on display in the Swedish Air Force Museum at Malmen near Linköping. (IPMSStockholm.org)

Model built and photographed by the author, used with permission. Photos show Spitfire Mk XIV.

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