Supermarine Spitfire F Mk 24
Supermarine Spitfire F Mk 24 VN318 W2-F
80 Squadron RAF, Kai Tak, Hong Kong, August 1949.
The Griffon-powered F Mk 24 was the last of the line of R J Mitchell’s fighters to serve with the Royal Air Force; it went on a little longer with the Auxiliaries, and the Spitfire PR.19 reconnaissance variant served until the mid-50s in Malaya, but the 24 with its four cannon was the culmination of the line of fighters that had started in 1936. Its development over the following ten years had left very little recognisable from the Type 300 prototype. With the upgrading of both engine and armament – it could also carry a pair of 500 lb bombs and eight 60 lb rocket projectiles – and the adoption of a “bubble” canopy to assist the pilot’s vision, the elliptical wing with which the Spitfire is always associated had been modified by Joe Smith’s team for higher performance, with the introduction of a laminar flow aerofoil section. The Spitfire F MK 24 was a refined Spitfire F Mk 22 with increased range and aramament.
Spitfire F Mk 24 VN318 was built at Keevil in early 1946, and joined 80 Squadron in February 1948 at Gutersloh, as part of the British Air Forces of Occupation. The squadron was transferred to Hong Kong in July 1949, and after re-equpping with de Havilland Hornets was disbanded there in April 1955. VN318 was transferred to the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, with whom it was coded E, and was withdrawn from use in April 1955. The bell in the badge on the tail of VN318, which was also worn by the squadron’s Tempests in Germany, is taken from the unit’s crest and commemorates the squadron’s second CO, Major V Bell, RFC, who led it in 1918 and 1919. The naval equivalent of the Spitfire F Mk 24 was the Seafire FR 47 which, apart from its seagoing requirements, was distinguished by its contra-rotating propeller; which you consider to be the ultimate expression of the Mitchell design probably depends on your preferred shade of blue.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 6.14″ (156 mm)
Base size 6.37″ (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 8.25 ozs (233 grams) Limited edition of 50 only
Price £107.00 plus delivery