RAF-in-Combat's Squadrons #29: Spitfire XVI - The Dominions


Phil Listemann


16.50 Euros, postage included


Scott Van Aken

Notes: ISBN: 979-1096490-32-5 Available at www.raf-in-combat.com 58 Pages

As the demand for the Spit IX increased, there became a real issue with engines. Rolls Royce was producing the Merlin for a variety of aircraft, including the Lancaster and was unable to keep up with the demand. The solution was to have them built in the US where there was plenty of engine capacity. So it was that Packard began production of the Merlin 266 specifically for the British.

Even though the airframes were unchanged, the RAF provided the aircraft with a different mark number and these aircraft became the Spitfire XVI. One thing that was done was that the types were rarely mixed as the tools for the Merlin 66 in the Spit IX and the 266 in the XVI were different with the 266 being built to metric standards.

The XVI later got a different wing with the then-ineffective .303 machine guns replaced with .50 cal versions. Even later planes got a full vision 'bubble' canopy.

This book follows the usual format  with a brief history of the type then the more extensive history of the units themselves. There are the usual information on victory and tables of losses as well as some great period photos and more than the usual number of superb full color profiles of aircraft used by these squadrons.

Thanks to all the well done research and choice of illustrations, it makes for a superb addition to the series and its reasonable price is one that should appeal to many.

November 2018

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