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Spitfire MkIX
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Supermarine Spitfire MkIV
Supermarine Spitfire MkIV EN199

The Malta Aviation Museum's Supermarine Spitfire MkIV

Brief History

Spitfire Mk.IX, EN199, on display at the Malta Aviation Museum, was first flown at Eastleigh on 28 November 1942 and taken on charge by 12 Maintenance Unit on 1 December, moving to 82 MU on the same day. Eight days later it moved to 47 MU followed by a move to Glasgow two days later. Here it was loaded on MV Marsa and shipped together with others to Gibraltar where it arrived by 13 January 1943 and later reassembled.

The aircraft was flown to the North Africa front on 29 January 1943. Here it was flown by Wing Commander R. Berry D.F.C., whose initials are now the codes worn on the fuselage and Squadron Leader C. F. Gray, Commanding Officer No.81 Squadron. EN199 took part in the Allied OPERATION TORCH landings and the subsequent Tunisian campaign and fought until the Axis surrender on the Cape Bone peninsula.

Following damage, EN199 was issued to No.154 Squadron which had moved from North Africa to Malta from where it took part in OPERATION HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily. The aircraft moved to the Italian mainland taking part in further operations, probably joining No.1435 Squadron when the Mark Vs were replaced by IXs. It was photographed at Brindisi in the Spring of 1944 and again later with No.225 Squadron.

From 11 October 1945 up to 3 January 1946 the aircraft was recorded as taking part in Meteorological Flights with Air Sea Rescue & Communications Flight, Hal Far. It then moved to Luqa with No.73 Squadron. Whilst at Luqa it was blown into a quarry during a gale. EN199 was struck off charge and later presented to the Boy Scout Movement based at Floriana. A few years later the aircraft was transported from the Scouts' Island Headquarters by Civil Defence Staff to their Headquarters and school at Ghargur. From Ghargur it was taken to the new rescue training wing at Targa Gap in April 1956 where it languished in a disrespectful state.

Learn more about the supermarine Spitfire and Seafire Variants

Restoring the Aircraft

The Spitfire parts were taken to the National War Museum at St. Elmo's Place, Valletta for possible restoration. Eventually the task proved to be beyond the capabilities of the aircraft restoration group of the time and the remains found themselves in a scrap yard.

Late in 1992, Mr. Ray Polidano, the Museum's Director, retrieved what was left and commenced restoration work on the Spitfire, working initially in his garage and later moving to a section of the hut which is now part of the Museum Complex. The reconstruction of the Spitfire was completed with the assistance of a number of volunteers, in time for Malta's celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of VICTORY IN EUROPE-Day.

The aircraft is named Mary Rose in honour of Ray's wife and carries the code R:B in memory of the highest ranking officer who flew in her - Wing Commander Ronald Berry D.F.C.

Learn more about other Spitfire and Seafire Variants

Listen to a Spitfire flying by

View photos of the museum's Spitfire MkIX being restored.

Technical Specification
Dimensions
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Performance
Span 36 feet 10 inches Max. Speed at 19,500 ft. 395 mph
Length 29 feet 11 inches Initial climb rate 4,740 ft/min
Height 9 feet 11 inches Ceiling 36,500 feet
Wing Area 242 square feet Range 1,135 miles
Power Plant
Weights
Type
1,650-hp Rolls-Royce
Merlin 61 Vee piton engine
Empty 4,998 lb
Max. take-off 6,417 lb
Cylinders 12
Cooling Liquid
Armament & Equipment
Four Browning .303 inch machine-guns (350 rounds per gun)
Two Hispano 20mm cannons (120 rounds per gun)
Stores load 1,000 lbs

Supermarine Spitfire EN199 during WWII


Learn more about other aircraft at the Malta Aviation Museum Aircraft Exhibits
Autogiro - Beech 18S - BAC 1-11 - Cessna Birddog - Dakota C-47/DC 3 - DH Sea Venom
- DH Vampire DH Tigermoth - EE Lightning - Fiat G-91R - Fairey Swordfish
- Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 Hawker Hurricane MkIIA - Le Pou Du Ciel - Meteor T7
Meteor NF14T - Supermarine Spitfire MkIX

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