Spitfire, now a legendary typical fighter plane of the British Air Force had over 40 variations of types. Type 8 was not mass produced for its poor productivity before the type 9 was used in the actual service, but in designes, it was much better than type 9. Basically, type 8 was made for a low altitude battle from type 7 by removing its hydraulic seats and made itself the acme of the Spitfire series equipped with Marine Engine.
A report that a new type German fighter with a radial engine was detected by a British pilot over Paris then under occupation of Germany on September 27, 1941 called for an immediate service of the type 8. The German fighter then detected was Focke-Wulf FW190A, which was more powerful than the Spitfire type 5 then in service. However, such improvement works in the process of production of the type 8 as extension of fuselage, making the tail wheel detractable and other redesigning of minor parts caused delay in production and eventually its actual entry into service.
As a temporary countermeasure, type 9 was produced, by mounting a greatly and quickly improved Marine 61 engine on the type 5 fuselage. When the production of type 8 was begun in November 1942, it had been decided to equip type 8 with a new type Hawks "Air lobby tropical filter" and to assign to the Middle and Far East fronts.
As the result, it became unnecessary for type 8 assigned to overseas to be equipped additionally with tropical equipments.
All planes of type 8 were equipped with the redesigned C" wing same as type 7. The earlier type had wings of tapered end, but the later type had standard ends. Requirements imposed on type 8 were complex as it had to perform duties of three different natures (normal, high and low altitude activity), and in the middle and Far East. The plane was widely used as a fighter-bomber. Usually, a plane carried bombs of from 250 lbs. to 500 lbs under the fuselage.
A great number of type 8 planes were assigned to Australia as a replacement of type 5 and they were used in the Japanese war. In Australia type 8 planes were pulled out of the first front service in 1946, and, as many as 339 planes were stored dormant for a long time.
In England, type 8 were replaced by type 14 which was equipped with Griffon engine in the latter part of 1944, pulled out of service in August 1947 and were either scrapped or released to civilian use.