The first major improvement to the Spitfire Mk I was the Spitfire Mk V. The major changes were pilot armor, exchanging four machineguns for two high-velocity 20mm cannon, increase in the ammo capacity of the remaining machineguns, and a substantial improvement on the power output.
The new Merlin engine also did not have the negative G fuel supply problems of the Spitfire Mk I, thus negative G maneuvers were possible without losingpower.
In an attempt to help the high speed rolling problem, spring tabs were added to the ailerons. These devices worked by extending the aileron tabs in response tostick pressure. The effect was a noticable increase in higher speed roll rate, and a change in the feel of the aileron response. However, the Spitfire still could notcompete with other planes like the Hawk 75 or the Fw190a4.
From a performance standpoint, the Spitfire Mk V could turn almost as well as the Spitfire Mk I, and had a large improvement on its climb rate. With the
Spitfire Mk V, the Bf109E4 has no advantages remaining, meaning survival in a dogfight vs a SpitV is much more problematic. Unfortunately, the Bf109F4 wassuch an improvement over the Bf109E4 that the matchup between the 109F and the SpitV is fairly even.
During the middle of the SpitV run, the Germans started flying the Fw190 against the British. This plane flew in a very different style than the Bf109 and wasused with different tactics. It's excellent high speed characteristics and its extreme speed vs the Spitfire Mk V made it a very difficult plane to fight. The fact thatthe SpitV was a poor match to the Fw190 forced the British to rush into production the Spitfire Mk IX, with its vastly improved Merlin engine, to compete withthe new German menace.
It is interesting to note that the SpitV is not faster than the SpitI on the deck. Most of the benefits of the newer aircraft were felt in the climb rate and improvedspeed at higher altitudes.
Specific Matchup Comments:
SpitV vs Bf110C: Your advantages have only grown vs the Bf110C. This should be an easy target.
SpitV vs Bf109E4: Where the Spit1 was on even terms with the Bf109E4, the SpitV is clearly the superior plane. There is no area where the Bf109E4 outshinesthe Spitfire Mk V. You now outroll the Bf109E4 at higher speeds, and outclimb it. Your weapons package is more potent. The balance has definitely tipped inthe Spitfire's favor.
SpitV vs Bf109F4: The Bf109F4 is the beginning of a trend that continued between German fighters and the Spitfire series as time went on. The F model issubstantially faster, being 50kph faster on the deck vs the SpitV. You will find yourself watching Bf109F4s getting smaller in your windshield many times when
you fight these birds. Technically, and with a very good pilot, a Bf109F4 can turn with a Spitfire in a flat turnfight. It does this due to it's leading edge slats, cleanairframe, substantial power from its engine, and its flaps. To do this, however, it must slow down. If you see a Bf109F4 turning with you in a sustained fight, govertical (such as high yoyos). The 109 driver will not be able to follow you going slow with flaps down, and may stall out trying. Despite the improved turningability of the F model, the SpitV is still the superior dogfighter, you just have to be aware that flatturning won't always cut it. The Bf109F4 also climbs better thanthe SpitV, so try not to follow it vertically. Most often the 109 drivers will use their superior speed and climb and try to Boom 'n' Zoom you. When the Spit9
becomes available, Luftwaffe pilots will find that they cannot easily spot whether you are a SpitV or a SpitIX until they get close. Use this to your advantage.
SpitV vs Ju87b: This is included here because many pilots don't know how to handle a Stuka properly. They think "Oh, it's a bomber, it can't turn" and promptlyget shot down as the Ju87b outturns them. The Ju87b turns better than the SpitV. Now before you grab the pitchfork and head down to CRS, there are a fewthings to point out. The Ju87b has one of the lowest wing loadings in the game. It has huge thick wings, which generate a lot of lift (and a good amount ofdrag). It is designed to haul a big airframe, two crewmembers, armor, bombs, and lots of ammo on a relatively low amount of power. It also has to do thiswhile being draggy as heck. It accomplishes this by having huge thick wings (remember how gliders fly with no power? big wings). What this means is that this
airplane can turn. Just like a light biplane that has only 100hp, but can turn on a dime, the Ju87b can use its huge wings to turn well. It *will* outturn you if youflatturn it. The two biggest problems a Stuka has are speed and climbing ability. If you go vertical, the Stuka will die. If you fly fast, the Stuka will die. If youtry to run away, you will get away. If you try to turn with it for an extended amount of time, it will get a nice canopy shot on you and you will die. It also flies soslowly that you will easily overshoot it if you are not careful. Most turnfighters used to beating 109s in turnfights don't know how to handle a better turningplane. Learn, or you will become very frustrated with the Stuka.