Spitfire Mk IIb
|This page is about the British fighter Spitfire Mk IIb. For other versions, see Spitfire (Family).|
The Spitfire Mk IIb is a rank II British fighter with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB) and 3.0 (RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
The Spitfire IIb is an excellent turn-fighter and has excellent climb and speed characteristics - forming a middle ground between the sheer speed of the German fighters and American fighters and the nimble agility of the Japanese machines. These aircraft, however, have little in the way of armour protection - any hits will most likely damage something, and in addition, you will be helpless if you try to head-on something. Turn-fighting is the most efficient way of using this nimble, fast fighter, and it should be used in this way most of the time. A suggested loadout is to equip Tracers on the 7.7 mm machine guns, and Stealth Belts on the 20 mm cannons - this allows maximal amounts of damaging rounds - namely the Armour-Piercing Incendiary (AP-I), High-Explosive Fragmentation Semi-Armour-Piercing Incendiary (HEF-SAPI) and High-explosive Fragmentation Incendiary (HEF-I) Rounds. The technique to use this loadout will be described in the "Usage In Battles" section.
Note, however, that with the two 20 mm cannons, the Spitfire Mk IIb can also be used as a reasonable Boom & Zoom fighter with fewer results. It is recommended to maximise the use of AP-I ammo for the Spitfire Mk IIb's 7.7 mm machine guns and the HEF-I ammo for the 20 mm cannons for air damage. It is also advisable to make sure that you conserve your ammo and only fire when you have a clear target, as you'll find you'll run out of ammo very quickly. Sixty rounds of 20 mm is not a very large ammunition pool and will run out faster than the machine guns in most cases.
Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,572 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,572 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
| Wing-break speed
| Gear limit
| Combat flaps
|Max Static G|
|< 321||< 400||< 350||> 500|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,490 m||1,140 hp||1,311 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in cockpit front.
- 4 mm Steel plate in pilot's seat
- 6-7 mm Steel plate behind the pilot.
- Critical components located at the front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
- More fuel tanks located in wings near the fuselage
- Cooling systems heat up ridiculously fast
The Spitfire Mk IIb is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.I 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 is a high-performance thoroughbred, which is more than a match for any and all opposition it faces at 3.0. However, if you don't know what you're up against and just try to out-turn everything with flat turns, you'll die in an instant. Something important to remember is the seven P's:
Proper Perusal, Planning & Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
In order to use your plane most effectively, you need to know your opposition inside-out, but also your own plane (Perusal). In order to fight, you need to plan your every move well and have a good idea of how you're going to start your match and at what point you're going to RTB (Planning). You need to know and be prepared to fight enemies that may have better performance than you in a turn, in the vertical, in a straight line, or all three (preparation).
Without further ado, let us begin.
The Spitfire IIb is a very good turn-fighter, being one of the most agile aircraft in the game, and has good weapons configurations that can be used against enemies. It can reliably out-turn many of the aircraft in-game, and out-zoom-climb some as well with WEP on. It has an excellent rate of climb, and due to this and the armament, is a good bomber interceptor. Using its agility, speed, and rate of climb, it can easily run rings around enemy fighters and dispense punishing blows as well. However, there are several points to be kept in mind while flying the Spitfire Mk IIb. These are:
- The relatively low amount of damage that the 7.7 mm Browning machine guns put out
- The propensity of the 20 mm Hispanos to jam after prolonged firing
- Lack of any armour on the engine and (relatively) small amounts of windscreen glass armour
- Proximity of vital systems towards the front of the aircraft.
- Lack of combat flaps
- Increased efficiency of control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, rudder) at medium speeds (300 km/h-450 km/h) and engine efficiency at low altitudes (below 4,000 m)
- Inability to hold WEP for long before the engine begins overheating without MEC.
- The float carburettor, should the plane pull any negative G's, the carburettor will be fuel-starved cutting power to the engine.
- Similarity of the muzzle velocity of the 20 mm Hispanos and the 7.7 mm Brownings (meaning that they'll have similar trajectories- this seems unimportant, but the significance will be explained shortly.)
This fighter, unlike American and German fighters, is neither a gun platform nor a potent Boom & Zoom fighter. It will not be able to hold its top speed for very long due to its lacking cooling systems unless the radiator is forced open by manual engine control - which doubles or triples the WEP time when used properly (forced 100% radiator directly after takeoff). In addition, the aircraft is unable to deploy combat flaps, which means you cannot have 'reserve manoeuvrability' to out-turn a fighter in order to retreat.
Try find lone opponents to face off against as the Spitfire performs best when facing enemies one at a time. Always keep an eye on the tactical map as your adversaries (mostly 109s) will travel in "wolf packs" and shoot you down. For fighting at low altitude stay above your opponent you have singled out and dive on them. If you have too much energy go for a high yo-yo manoeuvre to bleed your energy. 90% of the time you will easily out-manoeuvre anything you face so get on their tail and shoot them down. For high altitude fighting, try to get the altitude advantage and bait your opponent into a turn fight. Stay away from energy sapping manoeuvres as at high altitude this will lead to the Mk IIb being left a sitting duck (also stay away from 1v2s and the like).
Abuse the vertical in a fight. Use yoyos, chandelles et cetera. Just try not to loop or climb up, since unlike Bf-109s (your main opposition), you will bleed speed and will be left at almost stall velocities, making you a sitting duck for anybody who decides to kill you. Go down instead of up. Make a split-S instead of an immelmann to perform a reversal. Dive and then loop back up to get back into a fight. Use your superior turning abilities in the semi-vertical, making chandelles instead of pure loops. You can theoretically use flat turns only, but if you get into an uptier, you'll be out-performed by Zeroes (who perform better at lower speeds) and Fw-190A-1s (which have excellent energy retention and will still be going fast when you're stalled out in a turn).
Experienced players may recommend that you use landing flaps below 250km/h to get an edge in turn time. Don't do this. The spitfire IIB will slow down dramatically if you do so and you'll end up losing too much speed. Landing flaps may increase lift, but they also reduce your speed by acting as brakes by increasing drag.
The Hispano Mk. I only has 60 rounds of ammo, stored in drums. The 7.7 mm guns have 350 rounds each. In continuous firing, assuming that no jams happen at all, the Hispano's ammo will dry up quicker than the 7.7 mm Brownings. However, jams do happen and the Hispanos will jam quicker than the Brownings.
A possible strategy is akin to that used on the Hurricane Mk IV, using the cannons sparingly. Use the cannons when in the aircraft's most effective convergence range and envelope, and use the machine guns to 'sight' the cannons. Fire the machine guns tracer belts for maximum AP-I and tracer ammo to get an idea of where the cannon rounds will go, and then fire cannons once you are getting consistent hits. This technique works well on this aircraft because the Hispano cannons and the 7.7mm guns share similar muzzle velocities to one another, and thus may fire in concert with each other with or without vertical targeting to result in consistent hits.
The video below shows how to use the aiming technique described:
Go for deflection shots against enemy aircraft. These shots are side-on shots where you "lead" an enemy aircraft in front of you, and get off a burst when you're not directly behind them, but instead when they're turning. While this may be difficult to newer players, it provides valuable training and is a good learning experience for later tiers. In addition, should you use this technique, you can easily cause enemy planes' wings to completely fall off if you pull it off right and hit a wing spar. Bf-109s, with their single wing spars, are especialy vulnerable to a well-aimed side-on shot. If your cannon ammo drops to 50 rounds or below that, try and return to base quickly. That way, if you get bounced on the way back, you can at least have some cannon ammo left to surprise any raider looking to kill you.
Fighting the enemy:
Tips for using these fighters against specific nations' fighters are as follows:
|Disclaimer: This is a very general guide to the aircraft's capabilities. Following these to the letter without consideration of the enemy's abilities can still lead to a loss.|
- Japanese Fighters - Japanese fighters are more nimble than you. If you enter a turn-fight with them, and the pilot is smart, he or she can and will deploy their combat flaps and shoot you down. Attempt to bait them into energy-fighting manoeuvres (otherwise known as Boom-and-zoom), where your superior speed, acceleration, and climb rate will prove you to be the victor.
- American Fighters - At this rank, you will be facing US fighters such as the F4F (the Wildcats), the P-39s (the Airacobras) and early P-47Ds (the Thunderbolts/german and russian premium fighters are included in this list) and many other aircraft which have .50 calibre machine guns. These large-calibre machine guns will shred a Spitfire to pieces if given the opportunity to fire a long, sustained burst at you, such as in a head-on engagement. Lure the enemy into a turn-fight, and use your manoeuvrability to break the enemy's aiming solution at the last moment with manoeuvres such as the scissors and barrel rolls.
- German Fighters - German and Italian fighters will usually have cannons and hold a speed advantage over you, as well as being more capable at higher speeds and altitudes. If you head-on a German fighter, you will lose over 90% of the time, unless you are lucky and manage to land critical hits on the engine and the pilot - and this is also unlikely given that the 7.7 mm machine guns are not known for their armour-piercing abilities. Like with American fighters, try to lure the enemy into a turn-fight, and use your manoeuvrability to break the enemy's aiming solution at the last moment with manoeuvres such as scissors and barrel rolls. You may have a chance with a head-on, but this requires that you know your plane completely.
- Italian fighters - Italian fighters are the high-performance counterparts of the Germans, just like the British are to the Americans.
- Russian Fighters - Russian fighters will have cannons, large-calibre machine guns, or both, in conjunction with small-calibre guns. Again, facing these head-on is suicide, and at the low altitudes you will meet them at, trying to use speed to out-zoom them is suicide. Turn-fighting is optimal in these situations, but keep in mind that some Russian fighters are very, very manoeuvrable at low altitudes. Again, like always, abuse the vertical. Russian planes have worse cannons, but they have 12.7mm guns with API ammo which are also centrally mounted. Do not try to head-on them and expect to live unless you're either the luckiest pilot on earth or you know how to get your shots into the enemy's fuel tank or engines or pilot on the first try. If you let them get into firing range in a head-on, you're absolutely cooked.
- French Fighters - French fighters are a bit of a mixed bag, having some of the more heavily armed aircraft and some of the less heavily armed aircraft in the game. In general, however, they will have either cannons or heavy-calibre machine guns, and manoeuvrability that is slightly better than American fighters. Turn-fighting these aircraft is preferable to a head-on engagement. They will also do better at high altitudes and speeds. Rope-a-dope them into fighting you on your own terms at lower speeds and altitudes where you'll have a chance. In addition, they have low ammo count (60 rounds for cannons and 300-500 for Machine Guns), just like you do, so try and make them waste their ammo.
Specific enemies of note:
- BV 238 - Don't face these things from above, level, or from the rear. The massive amounts of defence armaments on this flying boat will ensure the Spitfire will be shot down. They're also massive - but not impossible to shoot down. The only reasonable chance of shooting the BV 238 down is via aiming for the cockpit at the front. The process to do this is to get to its rear and dive down below the enemy, corkscrewing and rolling and skidding across the sky seemingly at random and get within 600 metres of it and approximately a hundred metres below. Start firing machine guns at the body, and try to get 'hit' notifications with it. Once closed into 400 metres, fire the cannons.
- A6M2 - These nimble fighters may have low-velocity cannons, but they can easily out-turn you with combat flaps and stay with you in a fight. Attempt to force them into a dive and "Compress", locking up their controls, and then pull out, turn around, and engage them as they attempt to pull out of the dive you have drawn them into.
- I-153P "Chaika" - The I-153P is a 3.0 Russian biplane from the late 1930s. These small biplanes will rip you to shreds if you don't play smart. These biplanes have an insane turn rate and will effortlessly out-turn you without any flaps. They are armed with two 20 mm ShVAK cannons that will obliterate you if you present a side-on profile to them (i.e. let them get a "deflection" shot on you), and they can destroy you in a head-on if you're not careful. To counter these aircraft you do not engage in a turn fight, instead you energy fight (a recommended tactic is to use yoyos and to out-climb/out-speed the enemy) as your Spitfire will have much better energy retention, is much faster, and has an excellent climb rate. The chaika can also be fought by baiting a head-on and aiming well, but this requires concise understanding of the weapons and their ballistic properties.
- Bf 109 E-1/Bf 109 E-3/Bf 109 E-4: These planes have superior climb, high-altitude performance, top speed, dive characteristics and energy retention to you, as well as two centrally mounted machine guns. However, you can outclimb them at low altitudes. You may find it hard to out-turn them, though. Trying to out-turn a Bf-109 is harder than it seems, since the two planes are both very agile. Abuse the vertical to get a definite edge on them. Use low-yo-yos and high-yo-yos to gain the altitude or speed advantage over a turning Bf-109.
- Bf 109 F-1/Bf 109 F-2/Bf 109 F-4: These aircraft climb, accelerate and dive faster than you. However, they will find it much harder to out-turn you. Use split-S's to get under them and a combination of high/low Yoyos and high-intensity climbing maneuvers to knock out Bf-109s. If one tries to engage in a head-on, fire off a desultory burst of MG fire and hope to hit something, and immediately dive and try to get under it. If you lock into a head-on, it is likely that they will hit your cooling system and you will die a horrible death.
- Fw 190 A-1: This aircraft has a similar turn radius to you, but superior acceleration, (arguably) superior armament, superior high-altitude performance and better top speed than you do, but a worse rate of climb. You can turn faster than it, but you can't out-turn it per se. Don't get baited into a turn-fight. You should have the altitude advantage, since most Fw-190 pilots stay low (3500m-ish), where their engine does best. You can out-climb them when they're slow, so try and energy fight them. Just don't use loops, since the Fw-190 will happily slice and dice you when you're in a loop using its superior energy retention. Don't turn-fight it, since it'll make you bleed speed and subsequently use its superior energy retention to turn and burn for longer periods of time and eventually get on your six and shoot you down in flames. This plane has the feared "minengeschoß" (Mine shot) round for its 20mm cannons, and four machine guns, so definitely do not head-on this plane.
- C.202EC : This aircraft is easily the most dangerous enemy that you will ever face. It brings excellent armament, top speed, energy retention and dive characteristics to the table, along with excellent high-altitude performance and climb rate. Do NOT head-on this plane. This aircraft has two MG151/20s with Mine shot, and will absolutely shred you into pieces should you enter a head-on. C.202EC pilots are usually confident in their abilities to chop enemy aircraft into pieces in a head-on, and some (including this contributor) will actively seek it. It also has two 12.7mm machine guns, centrally mounted in the nose, which can do some damage if the C.202 can get close-in. You can out-turn a C.202EC, and possibly out-climb it, but not much else. The C.202EC does best at high speeds and high altitudes, so try and bring things into your favour. force a low-altitude fight, or bait it towards other friends who are better able to deal with it.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
|I||Fuselage repair||Radiator||Offensive 7 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 7 mm MGs|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||Offensive 20 mm|
|IV||Engine injection||Cover||New 20 mm cannons|
- Your priorities should be the weaponry upgrades and engine upgrades. It is suggested to research the gun upgrades first, and use engine upgrades to unlock tiers. New 7 mm MGs are not really needed since the Brownings are relatively reliable. Airframe upgrades can take priority over the 7 mm MGs. However, to really make this bird sing, you need to have the radiator upgrade and all 20 mm cannon upgrades.
Pros and cons
- Absolutely amazing turn capabilities, even at low speeds
- One of the best angles fighters in-game currently
- Superb climb capabilities
- Relatively good armament with a 20 mm and 7.7 mm combination arrangement
- Very easy aircraft to control
- Good acceleration
- Short bursts can decimate the enemy, even bombers if aimed correctly
- 7.7 mm machine guns have low damage and stopping power
- Cannons have average ammo count for this rank
- Hispano Mk.I 20 mm has a tendency to jam under continuous firing when not upgraded
- Hispano cannons may be finicky to use if you are not able to aim them well
- Due to aforementioned weapon disadvantages, proper trigger discipline, convergence, and knowing the effective cone of fire is key
- Wings overload quickly when turning at high speeds
- Most enemy contemporaries at the 2.3-3.3 matchmaking range can out-dive you.
- Low dive speed limit
- Poor roll rate, especially at high speed
- Poor high-altitude performance (compared to lower altitudes)
- Engines easily overheat
- The only position for flaps is in landing mode
Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the
main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using
<ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with
<references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under
=== In-game description ===, also if applicable).
The Supermarine Spitfire was a British fighter which served with various nations from the late 1930s up into the 1950s. It was a single-engine, all-metal, low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear. Various modifications served as fighters, interceptors, high-altitude fighters, fighter-bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. A total of some 20,300 Spitfires of all types were built during the war, including two-seater trainers.
In the summer of 1939, an early Spitfire Mk I was fitted with the new Rolls Royce Merlin XII engine, which had a higher output of 1175 HP and was fitted with a Coffman engine starter instead of the previous Merlin's electrical starter system. This, combined with the Rotol variable pitch propeller which had been used on many Spitfire Mk Is would now form the powerplant of the new Spitfire Mk II, although some production models used the De Havilland propeller. The Mk II was some 6-7 mph faster than the later Spitfire Mk I, but still slower than the original Spitfires before a series of modifications increased the aircraft's weight. As with the Mk I, the Spitfire Mk II was produced with either eight machine guns as the Spitfire Mk IIA, or two 20mm cannon and four machine guns as the Mk IIb. The earlier problems with cannon fitted to the Mk IB had now been solved by introducing a belt feed system to the weapon to replace the earlier drum, turning the cannon on its side and fitting a blister on the wing to house the new mechanism.
920 Spitfire Mk IIs entered service; 750 Mk IIA and 170 MK IIB, although fighters used in the air-sea rescue role were later designated Mk IIC. The Spitfire II quickly replaced the Spitfire I, with the older variant being relegated to use in Operational Training Units. By April 1941, RAF Fighter Command had completed re-equipping with the Mk II, although this too would soon be replaced by the Mk V.
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- reference to the series of the aircraft;
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- topic on the official game forum;
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