Supermarine Spitfire FR18

Spitfire FR18's of 208 Sqn

The Supermarine Spitfire FR18 was one of the final versions of the legendary Spitfire of Battle of Britain fame. However, although the FR18 was easily recognised as a Spitfire, it was vastly different from the early Mk 1 aircraft. The FR 18 was larger in every respect, weighing nearly more than 3000lbs fully loaded than the Mk 1, it was also 3 feet longer and instead of the 990BHP RR Merlin II, the FR18 was powered by a 2000BHP RR Griffon 65. The performance difference between the two aircraft showed even more clearly how rapid aircraft development had been during WW2; in 1940 the Spitfire Mk I could achieve a maximum speed of around 350mph and had a service ceiling of 34,700ft, yet just four years later in 1944 the Spitfire FR18 was capable of 450mph and had a service ceiling of 44,000ft. As a dedicated fighter reconnaissance aircraft, the Spitfire FR18 carried a 31-gallon fuel tank, two vertical cameras and one oblique camera in the rear fuselage and entered widespread service with a number of squadrons towards the end of WW2.

Follow this link to an article about 3 incidents between the IAF & RAF in which Spitfire FR18s were involved