Supermarine Spitfires - FR.XIV Survivors

Mk XIV: With the success of the experimental installation of the Griffon engine on the Mk V airframe (called the Mk XII), a completely new redesign of the Spitfire was planned around the MkVIII airframe with a new wing and the Griffon engine. This redesign was to appear as the Type 394, Mk XVIII. However, long before the new fighter appeared, there was an operational demand in 1943 for a fighter capable of greater performance at higher altitudes. To meet this demand, yet another type was evolved by mating the Griffon engine and the Mk VIII airframe. The result was the type 379 Spitfire Mk XIV. As had been the case with the Mk IX, built as a “stand in” for, but in larger numbers than the Mk VIII, so the Mk XIV was built in greater numbers than the Mk XVIII. Thus the MK XIV became the first to be fitted with a 2,050 hp Mk65 Griffon with deep symmetrical radiators and five bladed propellers. The completely redesigned airframe featured a new fuselage, broad chord fin, inboard ailerons and retractable tail wheel. The F XIV had twin 20mm and four .303 guns while the F XIVe had the twin 20mm plus two .5in gun arrangement. The FR XIVe had the same guns, cut down rear fuselage and teardrop hood, clipped wings, F24 camera and extra fuel. Production totaled 957. Almost all IAF units operated this type. Ex RAF serials were in the MV (shared with VIIIc), NH, and RM, RN, TX and SM (shared with XVIIIe also) series.

Spitfire F Mk XIVe (Griffon 65) RN 193 was taken on charge by the RAF on 10.2.45 and arrived Bombay on 15.5.45 for No 136 Squadron RAF “HM-A”. Here it is seen at Kuala Lampur in post war tail band. This aircraft was handed over to the RIAF in 1947 and served with the No 2 (India) Group Command Flight (still in H-MA markings). This aircraft was disposed of on 25.9.47.

Of the famous names attached to the Mk XIV was, then, Squadron Ldr Nur Khan (later Air Mshl and Chief of Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force). Who, while carrying out an air test on RN 133 (ex ‘FF-B’ No 132 Squadron RAF) on 28.7.47 with No 4 Squadron RIAF at Iwakuni, suffered a tyre burst and the aircraft was declared Cat FA. The aircraft was SOC on 24.7.48.

NH 803 arrived Karachi on 16.10.45. Transferred to 9 Squadron RIAF 1946. U/C failed to lock down on 20.2.47 and collapsed on landing at Nagpur. Flg Offr Zaheer-OK. Aircraft SOC 26.6.47.
NH 927 was a FR XIVe (Griffon 65) clipped wing which was TOC/RAF on 6.5.45, arrived Karachi 14.10.45 to ACSEA, India census 5.46 with 6 sqn. This ac is seen at Chakeri./ Kanpur in Aug 47 (No 320 MU). This picture was taken at Chakeri just before the aircraft was destroyed by dropping Concrete blocks on it on 28.8.47.

Six Mk XIV have survived to date. These are as follows:

Mk XIV Survivors

MV 262

Ex No 202 SP RAF
To RIAF 29.12.47
IAF history not known coded ‘42’ & ‘G’ at different times
With NCC at Calcutta in 1977
Sold Haydon- Baillie in 1978
Today owned by Kermit Weeks, Florida and is pending restoration.

MV 293

To RAF 27.2.45 - Loaned to 8 Squadron RIAF 15.10.45. Landed tail wheel retracted at Hakimpet 12.5.46 (Plt Offr SM Ahmed). To IAF inventory 29.12.47. Became ground instructional airframe ‘T-20’ at IAF technical College Jalahalli.

Sold War Birds of Great Britain in 1978. First flight 14.8.92 with spurious code ‘OI-C’ but original serial MV 293. Airworthy.

FRXIVe MV293 was shipped to India in August 1945 and joined the Indian Air Force in December 47. It was recovered from Jallhali in 1978.
MV 293 seen after restoration in the UK

MV 370

To RAF 10.2.45. Arrived Bombay 14.10.45 To AFS (India) 5.46 and IAF inventory 29.12.47.

Ground instructional airframe T-44 at Nagpur 1970. Hulk recovered by Hayden- Baillie in 1977. Restored to static condition for Luftfahrtmuseum, Laatzen, Hanover, Germany 1992. Displayed as MV 370/’EB-Q’ (Squadron code for No 41 Squadron RAF)

MV 370/T44 as discovered at Nagpur in 1970
MV 370 seems to have undergone a remarkable transformation as it is displayed in the Luftfahrt Museum in Hanover, Germany. Photo Copyright : Paul Nann

NH 749

Taken on Charge RAF – 26.2.45. Arrived Karachi 28.7.45 and loaned to AFS (India) 5.46. Transferred to RIAF Dec 47.

Coded ‘54’ and ‘D’ at different times.

Became ground instructional airframe T3 at the IAF Technical College at Jalahalli but recovered from Patna AFB by Haydon- Baillie in 1977. Restored at Cranfield and flew again on 9.4.83. Presently in USA as NX749DP. Airworthy.

NH 749 in its derelict state in Patna in 1977.

SpitNH749o_Small.jpg (30162 bytes)
SpitNH749o_Small.jpg (30162 bytes)FR XIVe NH 749 in full SEAC markings is today based in Santa Monica, CA in US and is owned by Mr. David Price. This is the same aircraft in which Air Cmde Peter Wilson (See photo at bottom) did his Solo.

NH799

Taken on charge RAF 14.3.45.Arrived Karachi 28.7.45. Loaned to 9 Squadron IAF 5.46. Engine cylinder blew during ground run 27.2.47. Declared Cat E. Transferred to RIAF Dec 47. Subsequent history not known Sold by IAF in 1981 to Doug Arnold and restored in 7.93. To New Zealand 3.94 and registered ZK-XIV. Airworthy. The aircraft had an accident in 1996 and is currently under restoration.

SpitNH799o.jpg (13480 bytes)FR XIVe NH 799 in a dis-assembled state on its arrival in UK and its later restored status with Doug Arnold's Warbirds of Great Britain. Photo Courtesy: Flypast

SM 832

Taken on charge RAF- 1.3.45. Arrived Karachi 5.45. Transferred to RIAF 12.47 to AFS (India). To Indian Military Academy Dehra Dun 1972.

Recovered by Haydon-Baillie in 1978. Restored and flew again 22.5.95. Marked SM 832/’YB-A’. To France 2.98 as F-AZSJ and operated out of Dijon. Airworthy.

Doug Arnold of Warbirds of Great Britain poses with SM-832 as it was displayed at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun
SM 832 as it appears today over France in the markings of 17 Squadron RAF (note Squadron Gauntlet emblem on nose). The same aircraft appears at the top of this page as the Main photograph. Picture Courtesy : Michel Abraham

Additional information