A variant of this famous fighting aeroplane which was the result of a desire to produce a ‘Super Spitfire’, the F Mk.XVIII was a further refinement of the Rolls Royce Griffon powered Mk.XIV, but one which incorporated a number of improvements over its predecessor. In addition to several cockpit enhancements for the pilot, the F Mk.XVIII also benefitted from increased fuel carrying capacity and strengthened wings, allowing it to carry either rockets or bombs in addition to its cannon and machine gun armament. With a total production run or 300 aircraft, the RAF would receive two versions of this fighter, the F.Mk.XVIII fitted with the standard E wing and the FR.Mk.XVIII, which included a camera for photo reconnaissance work. Too late to see service during WWII, these powerful Spitfires did see action as part of ‘Operation Firedog’ and actions against Communist guerrillas during the Malayan Emergency.
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