The Mark XI was essentially a Mark IX Spitfire interceptor modified for photographic reconnaissance with cameras, a more powerful engine and a larger oil tank in the nose. All guns and armor were removed and the fuel capacity was greatly increased; speed was the unarmed Mark XI's defense. A total of 471 Mark XIs were built between April 1943 and January 1946. Great Britain and its allies flew various photo-reconnaissance versions of the Spitfire with great success in all theaters during World War II.
A total of 20,351 Spitfires of all types were eventually built, plus 2,408 Seafires modified to operate from aircraft carriers.
The U.S. Army Air Forces' 14th Photographic Squadron of the 8th Air Force operated Spitfire Mark XIs from November 1943 to April 1945, flying hazardous long-range reconnaissance missions over mainland Europe. Placed on display in 1993, this aircraft is painted as a 14th Photographic Squadron Mark XI at Mount Farm airfield in England.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Engine: Rolls-Royce Merlin 61, 63 or 70 of 1,655 hp Maximum speed: 422 mph Cruising speed: 369 mph Range: 1,360 miles Ceiling: 40,000 ft. Span: 36 ft. 10 in. Length: 30 ft. Height: 12 ft. 7 in. Weight: 8,040 lbs. loaded
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