Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's (Israel)
|This page is about the Israeli gift fighter Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's (Israel). For other versions, see Spitfire (Family).|
The Spitfire got into Israeli hands during the 1948 War of Independence and by the end of the war, most of the IAF's fighters were Spitfires of different models. The Black Spitfire (originally No. 2057) arrived in Israel in 1949 after the war. It served with the 101 in the same way as other Spitfires: reconnaissance and escort missions. When most Spitfires were sold to Burma in 1954, Ezer Weizman, then commander of the Ramat David air force base and future President of Israel, argued in favour of keeping some units in Israel. The Spitfire was painted black with the number 57. Even though it was supposed to be used for training purposes, many considered the aircraft to be personally owned by Ezer Weizman and the plane was flown in numerous parades in Israel, becoming known as "Weizman's Black Spit".
Introduced as a premium pack in Update "Ground Breaking", Ezer Weizman's Spitfire LF Mk IXe is a formidable fighter. It has very good climb rate and acceleration, alongside the dogfight capabilities that are present in all Spitfires. Is capable of outmanoeuvring except maybe for some Japanese planes at its BR. However, some of its weaknesses are the lacking ground ordnance, thus is very hard to use for close air support, and the relatively weak engine. Though it is not a slow plane by any means, it will constantly fight planes that are much faster, and have better energy retention, including the I-225, Yak-3U, and P-51s. Thus, very accurate shots are required, because the Spitfire loses speed rather quickly in dogfights against some of these aircraft, that way, prolonged fights are not recommended.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,878 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 321||< 400||< 350||> 470|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in the cockpit front.
- 4 mm Steel plate in the pilot's seat.
- 6-7 mm Steel plates behind the pilot.
- 3 mm Steel plate on top of the fuel tanks.
- 3 mm Steel boxes around the wing ammunition.
Modifications and economy
Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's (Israel) is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (135 rpg = 270 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (260 rpg = 520 total)
16 x 8-cm Flz.-Rakete Oerlikon rockets
Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's (Israel) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 16 x Flz.-Rakete Oerlikon rockets
- 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (500 lb total)
- 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs + 16 x Flz.-Rakete Oerlikon rockets (500 lb total)
Usage in battles
This plane is a formidable opponent when going against it. It has an astounding climb rate with a decent armament and still maintains that superb turn time that spitfires are known for. Because it is a low altitude variant, it is wise to stay below 5,000 m to get the best performance possible. Remember to use your supercharger when above 2,000 m: it will grant you a significant performance increase. Climbing is a valid strategy when you first spawn in because of your amazing climb rate. You are nearly guaranteed a height advantage over everyone. Maintain your altitude and lure enemies into a turn fight as there isn't anyone at your battle rating that can outturn you, the exception being a couple Japanese planes. Although this plane is a good turnfighter, exploiting your turn rate too much can lead to bleed a lot of energy and become an easy target for other planes. This plane is reasonably fast but for sure not the fastest at its rating. Do not head on with this plane. The 20 mm Hispano cannons are inaccurate, and jam quickly, even when fully upgraded. Instead, dodge and start a turn fight where the Spitfire will almost always come out on top.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Pros and cons
- Great climb rate
- Fast turn rate for its battle rating
- Good ground strike ability for a fighter
- Carries bombs and rockets for ground attack
- Premium bonuses
- Since it is a LF Spitfire variant (low-altitude fighter), its performance suffers at high altitude
- Not the fastest at its battle rating
- Terrible energy fighter
- Bleeds a lot of speed when turning
- Weapons are mounted far apart in the wings
Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel, its new Defense Ministry began work on the formation of a more organised air force as a branch of the new Israel Defense Force. The first planes purchased were Czechoslovakian Avia S-199s - a partially-improvised version of the Bf 109 - but these proved to be inferior to Egyptian Air Force Spitfires. Simultaneously, Israel began acquiring its own Spitfires (primarily surplus planes previously given to Czechoslovakia by Britain) in a series of politically - and functionally - complex operations. By the end of the war, most combat aircraft in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) were Spitfires of whatever models could be acquired.
The Black Spitfire originally arrived in Israel in November 1949 (months after the official end of the war), and initially bore the number 2057. It served in the 101 fighter squadron. By this time, Spitfires were only used as bomber escorts and for reconnaissance flights. Most Israeli Spitfires were eventually sold to Burma in 1954; however, Ezer Weizman - then commander of the Ramat David air force base - argued to keep several of the aircraft in Israel. He ordered one of those aircraft, including number 2057, to be painted black, to match the colour scheme used by his former British airbase commander in Rhodesia during World War II, when Weizman trained as a pilot in the RAF. The plane was renumbered to "57".
Weizman kept the aircraft for training purposes in the IAF, but it was unofficially understood to be his own personal plane. Weizman later became Commander of the IAF and eventually retired, but nevertheless kept flying the plane during multiple IAF air parades over the following decades. The plane became famous in Israel as "Weizman's Black Spit", and was closely associated with the man. Weizman went on to become a member of the Israeli parliament, its Minister of Defense, and finally the President of the State of Israel. During his funeral in 2005 the Black Spit was flown over the burial ceremony.
The Black Spit is one of about 60 Spitfires that are still operational today. When not undergoing maintenance, it is occasionally kept on public display at the IAF Museum near Be'er Sheva.
- Other late Merlin-engine LF variant Spitfires
|Merlin engine||Spitfire Mk Ia · Spitfire Mk IIa · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire Mk IIb|
|Spitfire Mk Vb · Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · Spitfire Mk Vc · Spitfire Mk Vc/trop|
|Spitfire F Mk IX · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XVI|
|Spitfire LF Mk IX · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc|
|Griffon engine||Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Spitfire F Mk XIVe · Spitfire FR Mk XIVe · Spitfire F Mk XVIIIe · Spitfire F Mk 22 · Spitfire F Mk 24|
|Export||▄Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire Mk.IX (CW) · Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's|
|Seafires||Seafire LF Mk.III · Seafire F Mk XVII · Seafire FR 47|
|Export||▄Seafire LF Mk.III|
|Jet fighters||Attacker FB 1 · Attacker FB.2 · Scimitar F Mk.1 · Swift F.1 · Swift F.7|
|Spitfires||Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's · Spitfire Mk.IX (CW)|
|Israel premium aircraft|