SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE FLOATPLANE - Floatplane fighter version of Supermarine Spitfire initiated during 1942, based on Mk VB airframe using floats designed by Supermarine (as Supermarine Type 355). Conversion by Folland Aircraft, with four-bladed propeller on Merlin 45 engines, tropical filter and extra ventral fin. First flown October 12, 1942, and later fitted with extra dorsal fin and Aero-Vee tropical filter. Two further Mk VB conversions by Folland during 1943; all three to Egypt late-1943 and flown from Great Bitter Lake, but no operational use. One Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk IXB, with Merlin 66 and four-bladed propeller (Type 385), similarly converted by Folland, first flown June 18, 1944, later reconverted to land-plane.
Data for Mk VB floatplane: Max speed, 324 mph (521 km/h) at 19,500ft (5,944 m). Initial climb, 2,240 ft/min (11.38 m/sec). Service ceiling (estimated), 33,400 ft (10,180 m). Empty weight, 6,014 Ib (2,728 kg). Gross weight, 7,580 Ib (3,438 kg). Span, 36ft 0 in (11.23 m). Length, 35ft 4 in (10.76m).