EDK2119 1/72 Aussie Eight Dual Combo Spitfire Mk.VIII
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The Spitfire versions under development were the Mk VII and Mk VIII. The Mk VII was a dedicated high altitude fighter with a pressurised cockpit, while the Mk VIII was a general fighter without the pressurisation. They came into service in 1943 and the Mk VIII was deployed to the Mediterranean and Asian theatres of operation. Most of the differences between the Mk VIII and Mk IX were internal, with the Mk VIII having a redesigned airframe and extra fuel tanks. The main visual difference was that the Mk VII and VIII had a retractable tailwheel, whereas Spitfires until then had a fixed tailwheel. The Mk VIII usually had the 'C wing' with 2 20mm cannons and 4 0.303 machine guns and could be fitted with bombs or drop tanks.
The Mk VIII quickly gained air superiority over the Japanese when it was deployed in the likes of India, Burma, Australia and Papua New Guinea. The Spitfire pilots used their aircraft's superior speed and climb to perform diving attacks on Japanese fighters, to which the Japanese could not match in their slower but more agile fighters. The Spitfire VIII played a key role in clearing the skies over Imphal and Kohima, allowing Allied troops to be supplied and supported by aircraft to finally push the Japanese out of India and Burma. The Spitfire VIII was also the basis for later Griffon powered Spitfires.