The Spitfire Forums

Historic Aviation => Spitfire => Topic started by: tempest on February 09, 2009, 10:08:58 AM

Title: Spitfire drop tanks
Post by: tempest on February 09, 2009, 10:08:58 AM

Great having this forum. Hearty congrats to all involved.

The attached pic shows a Spitfire ? Mk IX with two USAAF/P-51 style drop tanks. All I can discover is that it was done as a ground feasibility trial and I don't know if this was ever used. If it was it probably wasn't widespread. If the weigh of these 75 ?? gallon tanks was a problem on the Mk IX, how did/would they have gone on Mk XVI which had heavier rated hard point that were capable of shouldering a 250 lb bomb on either side and a 500 lb on the centre line??

Can anyone help?? You can see how this would have been keeping me awake at night....



Title: Re: Spitfire drop tanks
Post by: Antoni on February 09, 2009, 09:33:28 PM
This is MK210. The Americans modified two Mk XIs, MK210 and MK317, at Wright field. Internal fuel capacity was increased by fitting a 43 gallon tank in the fuselage behind the pilot’s seat, and two leading edge tanks of 16½ gals each. Additional fuel was carried externally in two 62½ gallon P-51 type drop tanks suspended under the wings on P-51 bomb racks. Oil tank capacity was also increased to 20 gallons. The still air range of the modified Spitfires was approximately 1,600 miles. Both flown non-stop across the Atlantic from Newfoundland. MK210 tested by RAE at Boscombe Down.  When dropped at speeds over 300mph the tanks fowled and damaged the under surface of the wing. 

Title: Re: Spitfire drop tanks
Post by: anj4de on March 12, 2009, 06:30:23 PM
Hi there

Spitfires did actually fly with under wing tanks...and the slipper tank at the same time!
In 1948 the CZ government sold a lot of Spitfires to the young Israel. The first two lots were transferred to Israel flying! They were stripped of all heavy equipment, no guns, etc...and had two ex Luftwaffe drop tanks mounted under the wings. They flew from Czechoslovakia to Yugoslavia and from there non-stop to Israel. Those ferry flight named Operation Valvetta 1+2 were very much cloak and dagger type adventures. I have some pics about this taken from the 101st Squadron page and from a helpful guy on Hyperscale


I am building a 1/48 scale model of those LF MkIX planes right now using the ICM kit.