Former OC Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Clive Rowley, compares the famous Rolls- Royce Merlin engine with its ‘big brother’ the Griff on. He discusses their technical points and offers perspective on what it’s like to fly Spitfires with each powerplant

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Merlin-powered Spitfire Mk.IIa P7530 (nearest) leads its hangar mate, PR.XIX PS915, during a 2016 photo sortie. The difference in forward fuselage length and shape is clear. DARREN HARBAR

Supermarine’s Spitfire was originally designed around the Rolls-Royce (R-R) PV-12 engine, which was subsequently branded Merlin following the company’s convention of naming its powerplants after birds of prey.

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