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Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. All factories had an Air Ministry-appointed inspector, known as the Resident Technical Officer; they also had a Local Technical Committee, whose job was to vet and OK (or not) modifications to be introduced onto the production line, and there was also the RAF-appointed "overseer" (usually Wing Commander rank.) An M.U. could receive brand-new aircraft; it could also receive repaired aircraft from the Civilian Repair Organisation, and it could also receive tired aircraft, from flying units, due for a major overhaul, when they also had to ensure that mandatory mods were included. As this involved a considerable amount of work, it would usually also include a repaint, thereby making old Squadron codes disappear. Some M.U.s were assigned specific tasks (30 M.U. was given the job of making the Spitfire XVI fit for purpose.) Some got the job of dismantling aircraft, and packing them for overseas shipment.
  2. The black port wing was not ordered until an A.M.O., dated 12-12-40; roundels were reintroduced in August 1940, by way of a memo, dated 11-8-40, directly from Air Ministry H.Q.
  3. There wasn't, really, A colour, since the mixture of paper and resin + heat seems to have given a whole range of reds:-
  4. As far as I can make out, it was changed to stainless steel from December 1938, complete with a new insulator and rudder attachment; maybe it had been copper, and couldn't take the continuous movement, so needed to be stronger, but that's just a guess. The aerial was, in fact, made up of several strands, but I think that's a step too far in 1/72, even 1/48, scale. The short answer is yes to bare metal, though I've always found that stretched clear sprue can be quite convincing.
  5. I don't see why not (and silver, never natural metal.)
  6. There's a lug on the bottom of mine, which would be easy to (mistakenly) remove if I were to cut the bulkhead off the sprue from the fuel tank side.
  7. I'd like to try a balanced approach (which at my age isn't easy.) It's true that the Spitfire (in particular) thread has assumed gigantic proportions, but it does, at least, give me something to home in on, each morning, to see if there's a question I might be able to answer (like this morning.) It's a sad fact of life that, too often, an enquiry might start with "I'd like to know.......," or "Can someone help.........," with no indication as to the subject, and it's darned easy to miss it, especially if there's another clearly-labelled question next door. I don't know much (anything) about computers, but, on mine, my massive Spitfire section has folders, therein, for each individual Mark, individual components like guns, seats, wing bulges, etc., even individual test reports; is it possible to do some similar "hiving off" into folders in those threads? It does get difficult to check back (even to remember that the subject has been broached before,) and a "Haven't you read..........?" response can seem inordinately rude to a new enquirer. Books are an attractive, but fairly/very expensive option, and it's another sad fact that, too often, they can contain fundamental inaccuracies repeated from other editors' efforts, with, apparently, no independent research having been undertaken. I now have over 160 books on the Spitfire, and I'm still constantly finding material that isn't in them, never mind wrongly written. Don't forget that a lot of the files through which I'm searching were not available until at least 1975, and their cataloguing was done by civil servants probably with little knowledge of (or interest in) the subject at hand. Only last Saturday, I went through a "Hurricane" file, and found it contained material on the Spitfire; months ago a file on civil aircraft colours contained a 1937 drawing of a Spitfire camouflage pattern (incidentally advocating the use of "stencil mats.") As an example of an "I never knew that" item which can appear out of nowhere, I've found that there were 1945 plans for two Lancasters, in each Squadron, to have the capacity to produce coloured smoke from their exhausts, presumably on daylight raids, but there's no indication (yet) as to the reason.
  8. There is (at least) one other photo, of the Squadron in flight, which shows a mix of one, two, and no roundels, which could mean they were in the process of undergoing a repaint from four-colour to two-colour roundels. No sign of an underneath photo, but maybe the builder could be allowed a little artistic licence? My niggles are with the aerial, which should be stainless steel, and the muzzle covers/powder streaks; pilots told how little firing they did before the war started (Bob Doe said he only put a single burst into the North Sea,) and the fabric covers were not normally seen until mid-1940.
  9. Are you sure they're rivets? It wasn't normal for there to be so many, so close together, and in such a small area. To me, it looks more like a slightly ribbed, possibly non-slip surface (from which side did the pilot gain access to the cockpit?) If the aircraft was like the P-51, in which pilots were not supposed to get access via the trailing edges, but climbed over the wings' leading edges, then walked down to the cockpit, it might explain the wear ahead of the cockpit on both sides.
  10. Likeliest would be silver, or, later in the war, cockpit grey-green. After the factory was destroyed in 1940, Supermarine's airframes were manufactured in 25 different sites, and assembled in a further four (P.R. aircraft usually in a former bus garage in Henley.) It's likely that components would have been manufactured in batches, then taken from stores as required; covers (and that included the engine compartment) were originally supposed to be silver inside, and grey primer on the outside, so why would they have painted the insides (already carrying a finishing coat of silver or green) with another colour finishing coat on top? (Paint stocks were not infinite.) The wells colour is an old vexed question, but there are (or were ) examples of late-build airframes (e.g. XIX & 22) with green wells, and, since the interior colour changed from silver to green, at some time in the war (MH434 has/had a green fuselage interior,) it would seem that Supermarine considered them to be internal areas, so early airframes should have been silver, when manufactured.
  11. Copper pipes were supposed to be left untreated, except where rubber joints were to be fitted (so the paint would not be visible,) which were to have a coat of white enamel.
  12. Edgar

    Spitfire Mk.VI (PR)

    I have the fifth machine as BS149, 139 wasn't a Mk.VI. I take it there's no "cross-wiring" with the genuine P.R.VI (aka Type "F")?
  13. I'd say it's unlikely; this is in response to a complaint, of the 16th. May, that the first four airframes, for ship-borne use, were 3 in TLS and the fourth in a mixture of TLS & TSS:_
  14. Maybe, then, it's the wobble pump (it's real name, honestly,) which was only fitted to IXs with the Merlin 66 or 70 (and not all of them, according to the A.P.) I've changed the photo to an illustration, which might give the answer.
  15. Edgar

    Spitfire Mk.VI (PR)

    There were 97-100 built, depending on the sources; five (only) were sent to the Middle East, in October 1942, to combat the Ju-86P-2 flying at 50,000' (but locally-modified Vs had a better performance,) so I suspect that's where the number 5 came from.
  16. Edgar

    Hawker Hunter flaps

    Mike McEvoy said that the same fining system was in force during his time on the Hunters; taxi in with them down, and it cost a round od drinks, so dropped flaps were a rarity. One other small detail he also pointed out; the airbrake could not be deployed with the u/c down, so any parked aircraft, with the brake down, is either undergoing maintenance, or has a hydraulics problem.
  17. Seems likely, since it appears in issue 1 of the A.P., dated June 1938, and it's just visible in the only photo I have of K5054's cockpit.
  18. Supermarine didn't start to fit mirrors until 24-9-40; if, as seems likely, that's a mirror "borrowed" from a car showroom, it would have been fitted as the pilot requested.
  19. Likeliest is 20", allowing for perspective distortion. Due to the slim fuselage, Spitfire Squadrons had a special dispensation to use smaller letters than originally ordered by the Air Ministry. With the hood open, there was not enough space, between the bottom line of the hood and the top line of the wingroot fairing, to fit the decreed 24" letters, so they were allowed to use 20".
  20. On the Spitfire, of the two horizontally fitted toggle switches, beside the I.F.F. destructor buttons, the top one, which has "switch ???" attached to it, is marked as the "I.F.F. distress switch" in the Pilot's notes for the XIV.
  21. I've been asked this before; I just say that I'm naturally nosey.
  22. Edgar

    Spitfire XIVe WWII

    Yes, it was, and Fl/Lt Derek Rake shot down 41 Squadron's 200th (and final) enemy aircraft in it.
  23. The U.K. did not have, or use, a "primer green." Cockpit grey-green was a top coat, painted over one of the primer greys. As early aircraft, like the Hurricane and Typhoon (plus probably the Spitfire) had silver wells, that would seem to point to the Defiant being the same; door interiors were normally silver, too, since the black used for night camouflage was an absolute nightmare to keep pristine, so would only have been painted where it was absolutely necessary.
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