Spitfire Mk VIII
Supermarine Spitfire Mk VIII LV729 ZX-M
No 145 Squadron, Sqn Ldr G.R.S. McKay, Bellaria, Italy, 1944.
The Spitfire Mk VIII is often overlooked in favour of its more numerous
sibling the Spitfire Mk IX,
but it was in fact a very significant aircraft. During World War II technology
was advancing rapidly on both sides and reports were coming back from pilots
of a new Luftwaffe radial engined fighter - the Fw190.
Development of the Supermarine Spitfire had been continuous and it was decided
to produce an unpressurised version of the Spitfire
Mk VII to meet this new threat. The Spitfire Mk VIII retained many aspects
of the Mk VII; the enlarged rudder, retractable tailwheel, and two stage
supercharged Merlin engine. With the more conventional elliptical wing fitted
with short span elevators the Spitfire Mk VIII could take on the Fw190.
Improvement to the Mk VIII was continous, modifications and lessons learnt
were carried on to the production of the highly successful Spitfire Mk IX.
1,658 Spitfire Mk VIIIs were produced and served with thirty squadrons,
mainly in the Middle and Far East theatres.
LV729 was issued to 145 Squadron and coded ZX-M. Based in Bellaria,
Italy 145 Squadron had fought in North Africa before moving on to Malta
and Sicily following the allied assault on Italy. Flown by Sqn Ldr G.R.S.
McKay ZX-M was mainly used in a ground attack role and was eventually
replaced by MT928 (another Spitfire Mk VIII) also coded ZX-M. LV729
remained with the squadron but failed to return on the 8th of April
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 6.25" (156 mm)
Base size 6.37" (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 6.75 ozs (190 grams) Limited edition of 100 only