The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire began operations before World War II and was one of the few pre-war types to remain in first-line service to the end of the war. In all, 21,554 were built in 24 different versions, including some 1,220 Seafires fitted for aircraft carrier operation. This Spitfire is is a Type 394 Mk XVIII and was built in 1945 for the Indian Air Force. The Mk XVIII was powered by either a 2,035 hp or a 2,375 hp Rolls Royce Griffon engine. Three hundred were produced. Note the beautiful five-blade prop. Five-blade props were unusual among WW II era fighters but this prop reveals something else unusual. Can you guess what it is?
Answer: Most aircraft engines turn clockwise but the Rolls Royce Griffon engine turns counterclockwise. It is interesting to note that just 7 years prior to Mk XVIII production, the Spitfire Mk I was produced as a 1,030 hp fighter fitted with a two-blade fixed-pitched wood prop. This Spitfire Mk XVIII was restored to airworthiness in 1992 and is currently owned and operated by Rudy Frasca, of Urbana, Illinois, USA.