With the introduction of the German Focke-Wulf Fw-190 fighter at the end of 1941, the British Supermarine Spitfire Mk V had met it’s superior. In mid 1942 the British were working hard to implement and test the new two-stage supercharged Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 engine on the Spitfire and made various modifications to the airframe, like shortening the wings, to counter the Fw-190. The result was the new Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX, which was much faster than the Mk. V and also had a significantly better performance, especially at altitudes above 20,000ft. The Mk. IXs maneuverability was equal to the Mk. V and even better performance above 30,000ft.
This Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IX painted with Invasion Stripes belongs to the collection of the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels. It has an upgraded Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 (1580Hp) engine and is armed with two 20mm and two 12,5mm guns.