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Published on Jan 22, 2012
This video is of the 12-cylinder, Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered Spitfire Mark 14 fighter of WWII. The earlier Spitfires had Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. The Griffon had a much higher horsepower output (depending on the model, about 2,250-2,400 horsepower compared to about 1,475-1,600-hp for the later-model Merlins). Although faster, the Griffon-powered Spitfires were very different aircraft from the earlier Merlin-powered variants. The fine handling qualities were somewhat diminished and the Griffon-powered Spits required constant trim adjustments as the power settings were varied.
The Griffon also has a different exhaust note than the glorious sound of the Merlin. A distinctive "staccato," throaty undernote is heard, as you can hear on the video. Compare this sound to a video of a Merlin-powered Spit.
This video contains clips of two different Mk 14s. The first one is owned by the Friedkin Family Trust and is now based in Texas and the second Spit is based at the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) wing at Camarillo, California.