Hobby Master 1-48 Air Power
HA8326 Spitfire Mk.IXe ML407, flown by F/O Johnnie Houlton, 485 (NZ) Squadron, France, September 1944

The Mk. IX replaced the Mk. V in June 1942 and on September 12, 1942 a Mk. IX brought down a Ju-86R flying at 43,000 feet. Another major achievement of the Mk. IX took place on October 5, 1944 when 401 Squadron became the first allied aircraft to shoot down an Me-262 jet. Even with the arrival of the Griffon powered Mk. XIV the Mk. IX continued in service until the end of WWII. There were 5,665 Mk. IX Spitfires and its variants produced.

In April 1944 Spitfire Mk. IXe ML407 was built at Castle Bromwich and delivered to the RNZAF 485 Squadron on April 29, 1944 based at ALG Selsey, Sussex. RNZAF 485 Squadron was the first New Zealand squadron to be formed and it was placed under RAF command. On D-Day this aircraft shot down the first enemy aircraft, a Ju-88 over Omaha Beach. The pilot was F/O Johnnie Houlton whose final tally was 7 kills and 4 damaged. In September 1944 the registration ML407 was added to the fuselage.

Specifications for the Spitfire Mk. IX
Number built - 5,665 all Mk. IX variants
Crew – 1 X pilot
Dimensions
Length - 31 ft. 3.5 in.
Wingspan:
Standard (F) - 36 ft. 10 in.
Clipped (LF) - 32 ft. 2 in.
Height - 11 ft. 9 in.
Wing Area - (F) 242 sq. ft. or (LF) 231 sq. ft.
Weight
Empty - 5,610 lbs. (2,545 kg)
Maximum Takeoff - 7,500 lbs. (3,402 kg)
Performance
Engine
1 X V-12 Rolls-Royce Merlin 61 @ 1,515 hp
or
1 X V-12 Rolls-Royce Merlin 63 @ 1,712 hp
Maximum Speed - 408 mph (657 kph) @ 25,000 ft.
Service Ceiling - 4,000 ft.
Range w/o drop tank - 434 miles (698 km)
Armament
2 X Hispano 20mm cannons
plus either
4 X .303 machine guns
or
2 X .50 machine guns
1,000 lbs of bombs (500 centerline, 250 each wing)