The Spitfire Mk IX, the most common version of this aircraft, was propelled by a powerful Rolls-Royce Merlin 63 engine capable of developing up to 1.720 horsepower (1,283 kW) and could reach a maximum speed of 650 km/h (404 ml/h). Its basic armament consisted of two 20 mm cannons, four 7.7 machine guns and two 227 kg (500 lb) bombs. Each variant had a distinct wing suited to its function. Thus, low-altitude fighters had clipped wings while the high- altitude version had extended wings. Spirited and highly maneuverable, the Spitfire was an excellent escort aircraft and a formidable ground attack plane. It proved to be a most valuable asset in several decisive Second World War battles.
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