Super marine Spitfire Mk Vb
Plane: Super marine Spitfire Mk Vb
Weight (Empty/Loaded/Max): 5,100lb / 6,622lb / 6,785lb
Wing Area: 242sq ft
Wing Loading: 21.1lb/sq ft / 27.4lb/sq ft / 28.0lb/sq ft
Length: 29' 11"
Span: 36' 10"
Wing Aspect Ratio: 5.6
Engine: 1,470hp Rolls Royce Merlin 45 Inline
Flaps: 2 settings
Stall Speed 1k (No Flaps/Full Flaps) 85/75mph
Fuel Time/Percent: 35 seconds/percent
Power/weight (Empty/Loaded/Max): 3.5lb/hp / 4.5lb/hp / 4.6lb/hp
Corner Velocity: 265mph
WEP time: 5 minutes
Maximum Angle-of-Attack (no flaps/full flaps): 17.5/17.5 degrees
Wing Incidence Angle (no flaps/full flaps): 4.5/4.5 degrees
Corner Speed and Radii (1,000ft):
Minimum Full-Flaps Full-Power Split-S altitude:
Hoof's Tips and Opinions:
The Super marine Spitfire was one of the key fighters during the Battle of Britain. Armed with eight .303 machine guns, and flying alongside (quite literally) the Hawker Hurricane, the Spitfire helped drive back the Bf 109s and 110sof the Luftwaffe and the bombers they were escorting, thus ensuring Great Britain's sovereignty during the war. Operation Sea lion, the invasion of England, never occurred, partly due to the half-hearted attempts to do so (Hitler wanted to invade Russia, England was simply a sideshow so to speak), but mostly due to the excellent early warning systems and the Spitfire and Hurricane. It was only the advent of the Focke-Wulf 190 that the Luftwaffe was finally able to field an airplane clearly superior to the Spitfires up to the IX version.
Like the Bf 109E and the Spitfire Mk II, the Spitfire Mk V and the Bf 109F are excellent matches for each other. The Spitfire can turn, while the Bf 109F has vertical performance advantages as well as speed advantages. Unfortunately, during the Battle of Britain, relatively small fuel tanks on the Bf 109E meant that the Bf 109E could not use it's advantages to good effect (the Spitfires and Hurricanes avoiding the Messerschmitts didn't help). But in the arena, a good Bf 109F pilot and a good Spitfire Mk Vb pilot amount to an excellent duel.
The advantages of the Spitfire Mk V are it's low wing loading and excellent low speed handling and turning ability. The Spitfire Mk V is one of the few planes that can turn with a P38, and thus is an excellent 38 killer. Each plane (with the notable exception of the Dora) has planes that can kill it on a regular basis, and the P38 is no exception. Unlike it's Spit9 brother, it can turn with the P38, and outturn it with extra energy.
The Spitfire Mk V is a decent diver too, able to dive to rather high speeds. It's rather low (300mph on the deck) sustained speed and low weight mean that it will slow down rather quickly, so this is not a good plane to go chasing other planes with. Her handling at high speeds is quite good, better than the Ki84, but one has to watch out for a nasty problem in War birds implementation of the Spitfire Mk V and trim control. If you trim for 150mph, the aileron trim will cause you problems above 400mph. What happens is that as speed builds, the rolling effect of engine torque gets decreased, and thus needs less aileron force to counter it. At above 400mph, the force of the trim becomes greater than the joystick's ability to counter it, and thus you start to roll right even with full stick deflection. Naturally, especially in a dive, this is rather deadly unless you have altitude to spare. At worse, it makes you burn a lot of E or blow your advantage as you either slow down to regain aileron control, or you hit "auto-level". This effect, not represented in reality unless some form of trim tabs are available, is due to the way War birds models aileron and the auto-trim controls. Hopefully ICI will implement a better trim control system that does not cause this unhistorical problem, or at minimum, give us manual trim controls. Interestingly enough, the Zero and Ki43 do not exhibit this tendency at all.
As a turner, below 7,000ft the Spit V has a tendency to turn at a high rate, but turn in a rather large circle. Most planes that can turn with or near a Spit V turn at 100-115mph at their best. The Spit V turns at 140mph at best turn (no flaps). Thus while the Spit V turns around faster, another plane might turn inside the SpitV. This works both ways. While it means the tighter-turning fighter can get a shot off sooner if he has more energy, it also means the Spit V has an amazing ability to sucker people into turning with it. Most people don't know the exact turning abilities of the planes, and will often find themselves turning at 110mph, with the SpitV just outside of the crosshairs. Now the Spit V's abilities kick in, and the Spitfire has ensnared the enemy. Not only is the enemy turning around slower (meaning the Spit V will eventually get on his six), but the enemy is *going* slower than the Spitfire. Thus if the enemy tries to get away, the Spitfire has a 30-40mph speed advantage with which to get on the fleeing enemy's tail and nail him before he pulls away. The IX model really capitalizes on this for planes it can turn with, because it accelerates so well, and this extra speed really pays off allowing the IX to get close and kill a fleeing enemy.
As far as advantages over the SpitIa, the SpitV primarily has a more powerful engine (allowing better vertical performance and climb as well as diving), and metal ailerons. The metal ailerons benefit is really noticeable, the SpitVb rolls almost a second faster than the SpitIa across the board, and is noticeable especially in the slow and fast ends of the range. But the surprising thing about the SpitV is the fact that the extra 400hp that the Merlin 45 gives over the SpitI's Merlin III only gains her a 5mph speed advantage on the deck (while the "mere" 100hp gain of the SpitIX over the V gives it about 15mph faster speed on the deck). But what it does do is help in the higher altitudes, the SpitVb doesn't have the same performance problems the SpitIa does between above 13,000ft, but this high altitude performance isn't really addressed until the SpitIX, when the Spit is finally able to give the Bf109 series serious competition at the really high altitudes.
This plane is a fine plane to start learning about fighting in War birds in. She turns with every plane except for a Zero and Ki43, so thus the Flight-Sim skill tendency to turn with the enemy will not be harmful. She retains E very well in a turn, and has relatively no trouble fighting with any plane other than the Focke-Wulf, P51, Zero, and Ki43. These planes are good for teaching the new fighter pilot how to dodge the BnZing enemy (and how to dodge Head-on shots, as the Spitfire's convergence problems render head-on shots real dangerous), and how to deal with the better-turning enemy. In fact the Zero is a real problem for a Spitfire as the only advantage the Spitfire has is diving ability and firepower. Both skills come in real well when flying the other planes. And unlike the P38L, the Spitfire V has only turning to go for it, and even then it is beat. Thus there isn't as much a tendency to fly to one style like the Dora, and to always want the best, because after a few months of flying the SpitV, one tries the SpitIX, loves the horsepower, and learns the fine art of Energy Fighting. And the (relatively) small ammunition load of the Spit teaches one the art of accurate gunnery, with the strong punch allowing one to see quick results when one hits. Thus I recommend the SpitV and (later) the SpitIX as excellent planes to learn to fight in.