FSC06678

Spitfire Site

View of the aircraft’s tail. The vertical tail of the Spitfire had grown progressively larger during the aircraft’s development life. As the engine power ...

FSC06678

View of the aircraft’s tail.

The vertical tail of the Spitfire had grown progressively larger during the aircraft’s development life. As the engine power progressively increased, larger tail surfaces were needed to preserve the aircraft’s directional stability.

The type of the fin and rudder presented here was introduced on the Spitfire Mk. XIV. Both were significantly larger than their their predecessors, altering the profile of the aircraft. The new tail markedly improved the directional stability of the fighter compared with the first Griffon-powered version of the Spitfire, the Mk. XII, especially during take-off.

In post-war development, this tail unit was replaced by an even larger “Spiteful” type fin and rudder, which was introduced on the Spitfire Marks 22 and 24 and Seafire Marks 46 and 47.

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