Spitfire Mk Vb
|This page is about the British fighter Spitfire Mk Vb. For the tropical version, see Spitfire Mk Vb/trop. For other versions, see Spitfire (Family).|
The advent of the high-altitude Ju 86 bomber over Britain in late 1940 saw a growing need for a new high-altitude-capable (pressurised) variant of the Spitfire. A stop-gap solution was presented in the Spitfire Mk V, a Mk I airframe fitted with a new Merlin 45 engine, producing 1,440 hp and incorporating a new single-stage supercharger, as well as other improvements including a carburettor able to handle zero-G manoeuvres without fuel flow issues. The Mk Vb was the main production model, featuring the B-type wing equipping dual Hispano cannons and quad Browning .303 machine guns. Spitfire Mk Vs were also commonly operated overseas, resulting in their tropicalised counterparts. However, the Spitfire Mk V was quickly outclassed by the introduction of the Fw 190 in 1941, and they were soon superseded by the Spitfire F Mk IX.
Introduced in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm", the Spitfire Mk Vb sports a new and more powerful Merlin 45 inline engine compared to the previous Merlin XII engine, giving it an extra 100 horsepower when upgraded, which provides better high altitude performance and faster top speed than the Mk IIb. The Mk Vb has marginally better performance over its preceding tropicalised counterpart due to the lack of air filters and other modifications, although the difference is rather minimal. Unfortunately, the Mk Vb still has similar problems to the early Spitfires such as a very weak airframe, weak wings, bad roll rate at high speeds and lack of combat flaps to help with dog-fighting. The Spitfire fights best at close-range. The basic strategy that many Spitfire pilots use is a tactic whereby they bait head-ons from enemy aircraft, before evading and turning around to put shots into the target at close range while the enemy is pulling out. When the Spitfire has the initiative in the engagement and has successfully manoeuvred onto a six-o-clock aspect, it is nearly impossible for the opponent to regain the advantage. Using clever management of the throttle and manoeuvres to gain or bleed energy, an experienced pilot can maintain the initiative in the engagement and stay on an opponent's six o'clock.
The Mk V variants of the Spitfire series do not have the upgraded Merlin 61 engine, but instead the Merlin 45 and thus may have poorer performance compared to the Spitfire F Mk IX. Its wings can sustain a lot of stress, keeping still at steep dives and tight turns. Its control surfaces are large which means it has considerable control even at higher speeds.
|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||> 450|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,900 m||1,190 hp||1,583 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 3 mm Steel - Armour plating around ammunition cases (each wing)
- 3 mm Steel - Armour plating propeller hub
- 1 mm Steel - Fore cockpit armour plate
- 4 mm Steel - Pilot's seat
- 7 mm Steel - Armour plate behind the pilot
- 6 mm Steel - Pilot's headrest
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen.
Modifications and economy
20 mm ground target belts are essential for dealing effective damage to enemy aircraft. The radiator upgrade is extremely useful in combating overheating. Other manoeuvrability upgrades are useful for turn fighting.
The Spitfire Mk Vb is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (60 rpg = 120 total)
- 4 x 7.7 mm Browning .303 machine guns, wing-mounted (350 rpg = 1,400 total)
Usage in battles
The Spitfire Mk Vb fills the role of an aerial superiority fighter in the British tier III lineup. It cannot fulfil any ground attack duties due to its low ammunition count and the absence of any heavy machine guns which can penetrate a tank's thin roof armour. In addition, the aircraft cannot carry any bombs or other air-to-ground ordnance. Like most Spitfires, the Spitfire Mk Vb is meant to be used as a pure aerial superiority fighter, while fighter-bomber duties are relegated to other aircraft, such as the Beaufighter series.
The Spitfire Mk Vb is a well-rounded fighter that can turn excellently. When the plane is not fully upgraded, the Spitfire Mk Vb's Merlin-45 engine has less power than the Merlin-XII engine of the Spitfire Mk IIb. However, once all engine upgrades have been acquired the Merlin-45 is easily a superior engine with better cooling and power, blessing this variant of the Spitfire with better energy retention, better energy retention and better cooling than the Mk I and II Spitfires. The Spitfire Mk Vb has outstanding energy retention and easily gains speed in a dive and retains it after pulling out into more level flight. In addition, it does not lose speed too quickly in a turn and thanks to outstanding acceleration from the Merlin-45, the aircraft easily accelerates after pulling high-G turns that initially bled large amounts of speed. However, the newer, more powerful, and heavier engine and airframe means that the aircraft cannot turn as tightly or as fast as its predecessors.
The Spitfire Mk Vb/trop is armed with two pairs of British .303s with 350 rounds per gun and two Hispano Mk.II cannons with 60 rounds per gun. With such a low ammo count, the cannons should be used sparingly, and at close range. The lower-calibre machine guns may be fired independently of the cannons in order to range the enemy and determine the necessary lead.
Experienced Spitfire Mk Vb pilots use close convergence ranges. Generally, the best convergence range for a Spitfire is 300 metres, since the plane fights best at close-range. The basic strategy that many Spitfire pilots use is a tactic whereby they bait head-ons from enemy aircraft, before evading, and turning around to put shots into the target at close range while the enemy is pulling away. When the Spitfire has the initiative in the engagement and has successfully manoeuvred onto a six-o-clock aspect, it is nearly impossible for the enemy to regain the advantage. Using clever management of the throttle and manoeuvres to gain or bleed energy, an experienced pilot can stay on an opponent's six o'clock indefinitely.
This Spitfire has a good turn time compared to its opposition and cannot be out-turned by anything save for the Japanese Zero. However, the plane has low manoeuvrability at low speeds, and a tendency to lock up in high-speed dives.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Excellent turn rate
- Adequate climb rate
- Structurally strong, will survive sharp turns
- Engine temperature is easy to control with cooldown from red to white only taking 10-20 seconds
- 20 mm cannons easily destroy enemy fighters
- Low cannon ammunition count of 60 rounds per gun, requiring trigger discipline
- Guns are wing-mounted, requiring setting an appropriate convergence
- Water overheats extremely quickly when using WEP
- In an up-tier, some Bf 109s will have a significantly better climb rate
A single-seat, single-engine all-metal monoplane fighter. After the Mk II and two more experimental variants of the Spitfire, the next major variant to see mass production was the Spitfire Mk V. Central to this new Spitfire was its engine – the 1470 HP Rolls Royce Merlin 45. This was equipped with a single stage supercharger and, coupled with a new carburettor design, allowed the Mk V to perform zero G manoeuvres without starving the fuel flow to the engine; a problem which had plagued earlier models of the Spitfire. The engine change necessitated strengthening the engine housing and installing a more effective oil radiator with a circular rather than U-shaped housing, and fitting two strengthening longerons to the upper surfaces of each wing.
The Mk V initially followed a similar pattern to the Mk I and Mk II in that it was fitted either with the Type A or Type B wing, again carrying eight machine guns or two cannon and four machine guns respectively. Less than 100 of the Mk VA were produced; it would be the Mk VB with its formidable 20mm cannon and four machine guns which would be the major production model, with 3911 VBs manufactured.
Some of the fighters were made for tropical climate conditions: a Vokes filter was installed over the carburettor air intake, under the engine. It was covered by special "lips" which helped prevent excessive dust intake, but at the cost of top speed and rate of climb. This variant was named the Spitfire Mk VB/Trop and was used in the Mediterranean theatre of operations, especially North Africa and Malta.
The first Mk Vs entered combat in February of 1941. The improved power and performance characteristics of the Spitfire Mk V made it a competitive match for the new German Messerschmitt Bf109F, but it was found to be inferior to the new Focke-Wulf FW190. As a result, the Spitfire Mk V was the first variant to experiment with the option of clipped wing tips, which increased the aircraft's roll rate and top speed at low level, but sacrificed its rate of climb.
The Mk V formed the backbone of RAF Fighter Command across several theatres of operations, and was considered by some pilots to be the definitive model of the Spitfire.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- [Devblog] Spitfire Mk.V: model update and new modifications
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
|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|