- Overseas Countries ::
- Published on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 16:06
Mk XVIII: Almost identical in appearance to the Mk XIV, the Mk XVIII incorporated a new wing design, as opposed to the “universal” wing fitted to the interim Mk XIV. Armament remained the ‘E’ wing version. The Mk XVIII carried an additional two vertical cameras over the single oblique installation of the MkXIV and all aircraft had full span wings. Initially the MkXVIII s flew with the Griffon 65 until the Griffon 67 was introduced with an additional 300 hp. Becoming the most powerful Spitfire ever, it will also be remembered as probably the most beautiful. Production totaled 300. Ex RAF serials commenced with NH (shared with Mk XIVe and VIIIe), SM and TP. Since the Mk XVIII arrived in the late 40s, many have survived.
A total of nine ex IAF Mk XVIIIs are on the war bird register today. These are detailed below:
Mk XVIII Survivors
SM 845 - Thisaircraft was taken on charge by the RAF on 28.5.45. Arrived Karachi 11.2.46. Transferred to RIAF Dec 47. Almost certainly served with either 2, 9 or 101 Squadrons. RIAF serial HS687.
Found Kalaikunda and recovered by Historic Flying Limited. Flew after restoration on 7.7.2000, registered G-BUOS. Airworthy.
This aircraft was taken on charge by the RAF on 30.8.45 and arrived in Karachi on 11.2.46.
Loaned to No 6 Squadron RIAF. Thisaircraft crashed on landing at Ranchi on 20.12.46
Recovered by Haydon-Baillie in 1978 and was restored as D-A (for Doug Arnold, owner) with registration G-BRAF and flew 12.10.85. Currently in storage but airworthy.
Became HS 986, TOC RAF 11.10.45. To 47 MU 8.47. Sold to RJ Parkes for RIAF 6.49.
No 1 BRD IAF until 5.52. Then 14 Squadron 5.52 and back to 1 BRD in 6.54. To IAF museum in 1967 and extant.
Became HS649. TOC RAF 2.6.45. Arriving Karachi on 31.1.46. TO RIAF Dec 47. Service history not known. Coded ‘NL’ at one time. Was part of a Haydon-Baillie recovery in 1977 from Kalaikunda. Fuselage sent to UK and wings to USA. Converted to high back and exchanged with National War and Resistance museum, Overloon, Netherlands and marked as NH 649 in lieu of a known RAF serial (at that time).
Became HS 653. TOC RAF 20.6.45 Arrived Karachi 12.2.46.
To RIAF Dec 47. Coded ND at one time. Service history not known. Discovered at Barrackpore in 1977. Recovered by Haydon-Baillie in 1978 and sold to Rudolf Frasca. Restored and located at Frasca Air Museum, Urbana, Illinois, USA.
Became HS 654. TOC RAF 19.6.45. Arrived Karachi 30.3.46. To RIAF Dec 47. Served 9 Squadron and AFS (India). Discovered in Kalaikunda in 1977. Coded NG at one time. Recovered by Haydon-Baillie in 1977 and sold to Rudolf Frasca. Restored by Historic Flying Limited in 1992 and UK registered G-BTXE. Back to USA registered N280TP and flown as TP280/Z. Located at Frasca Air Museum, Urbana, Illinois, USA.
Became HS 662. TOC RAF 17.7.45 Arrived Karachi 12.2.46. To RIAF Dec 47. Service history not known. Found Kalaikunda in 1977. Recovered Haydon- Baillie 1978. Restored as N41702 and then N93232Z. Fatal crash on 19.4.94. Currently again under restoration.
Became HS 674. TOC RAF 22.10.45. Arrived Karachi 31.1.46. To RIAF Dec 47. Coded ‘NB’ at one time. Service history not known. Found IIT Kharagpur in 1979. Initially sold to Jeet Mahal of Vancouver , Canada but export not allowed. Re sold to ‘sandy’, Bedfordshire, UK 17.8.94. Currently with JM Limbeuf Rouen, France.
Became HS 683. TOC RAF 8.12.45 Arriving Karachi 11.2.46. To RIAF 31.12.47. Service history not known. Presented by AVM Harjinder Singh to Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh in the fifties. HS 674 painted on. Believed to be a composite airframe of both HS 674 and HS 683.