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Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. Edgar

    Spitfire XVI TB752

    It was neither, in fact nothing to do with the wheels or tyres; when the u/c tracking was changed to fore-and-aft (due to the tyres being worn away on metalled runways,) with parallel wheels, the tyres fouled the upper wing surface, so it was bulged up, out of the way. Supermarine list it as from June/July 1945, though there's a suspicion some XVIs had it before the end of the war.
  2. Edgar

    Spitfire XVI TB752

    "Clipped, clapped and cropped" referred to certain Mark V Spitfires; it was never applied to the XVI. The Merlin 266 was a rebuilt Packard 69, to Merlin 66 standards, and the impeller was certainly not cropped, neither could the engine, by any stretch of the imagination, be called "clapped," since there were plans, S.O.O. only, for it use 25lbs boost. If the airframe was fitted with the rear fuselage tank, clipped tips were a mandatory modification.
  3. Yes, but it was apparently common for the redundant point to be blanked off and painted over, probably to avoid coolant being poured where it shouldn't It's Cowell, an "entrepreneur," and he makes lots of money out of promoting "artistes" who can't sing to members of the public who can't tell the difference.
  4. I have a feeling you're arguing from the same sheet. Spitfire VII, VIII & Supermarine-built IX all had the (relatively) flat upper cowling. The instruction, to add the filler point for the Packard Merlin, was made 25-5-44, giving plenty of time to discover any problems and sort them out, hence the August 9th date from RAF records for the modification. To clarify:- the IX had to have the bulge, because of fit/fouling problems caused by the XVI's filler point; the XVI got the bulged cowling by default, as there was little point in having two different items in stock.
  5. There is one item that needs to be made perfectly clear:- THERE WAS NO MK. XVI COWLING. A filler point, added to the (common) cowling, to make easier the filling of the Packard Merlin's coolant header tank (fitted onto the intercooler) by not having to remove the cowling, fouled the pipework leading from the IX's Rolls-Royce Merlin intercooler to the header tank (fitted on Frame 5, the engine bulkhead.) To stop this happening, the cowling (on the IX) was bulged upwards slightly; because the cowling was a fitting common to the IX & XVI, it was seen on both, but it was designed for the IX. Note that the XVI did not get its designation until August 4th., so the Mark did not exist before that date, and the RAF date the introduction of the IX bulged cowl as August 7th.
  6. Ignore the post-war harness:-
  7. Sorry, but, like so many, the ORB does not give individual codes; I've no idea of its significance (if any,) but Lovell-Gregg, on more than one occasion, flew with "B" Flight.
  8. Sorry, Steve, as so often the ORBs make no mention of individual codes; not much help, I realise, but Baxter also flew L1031, K9939, P9324, P9325, P9323, P9397, & P9364 between the 6-7-40 & 11-9-40, and Pigg flew P9498, P9438, P9929, P9338, P9927, P9435 & P9444 between 2-7-40 & 1-9-40.
  9. Supermarine list a mod, for the V, VII, VIII, IX, XI, XII & XIII, "To delete upward identification lamp," but don't give a date; the RAF show it as from 15-2-43, on the IX. EN354 was a V - IX conversion, and there were 294 in total, which were not in any sort of sequence, since they ranged from AA--- to MA---.
  10. Possibly just unpainted tape; there were so many faults found with EN767 that it was rejected as a usable airframe, so it was ordered to be returned to Castle Bromwich, to have the wings removed, put into jigs, and the positions of the ribs (among other things) corrected.
  11. Likeliest is EN767, as it was the first Vc produced by Castle Bromwich, and was the subject of a thorough inspection/fault-finding exercise.
  12. It was removable, usually held in place by cross-lacing behind the seat, where you can't see it.
  13. Edgar

    Washing a Spitfire...

    Early paint was cellulose, which would normally be touch dry in an hour. From the end of 1942, synthetic paint was used, and I have no idea of its drying time, but erks had more time to work than they'd had in 1940, and were quite used to working through the night. I should add that, by then, there was a trade of "Aircraft Finisher," whose job was to retouch any damage before the next day's operations. He was also expected to sand smooth (with a wet-and-dry paper - wet) any retouching, plus the rest of the airframe, then wash it down with clean, plain water, so any dirt would have needed to be really tenacious to hang on (it probably also explains some of the so-called glossy aircraft occasionally seen in photos.) I once worked with a former 609 Squadron rigger, who told me that, even at the height of the Battle, if an airframe needed repair it was done, and the repair immediately painted "Green, brown, yellow, sky-blue-pink, whatever we had to hand, but it always got painted."
  14. Edgar

    Washing a Spitfire...

    I've yet to see anything better than Peter Cooke's method; he contended that, if (big IF) dirt collects anywhere, it's more likely in lines across the airflow, rather than with it. After the model was finished, he would smear black Designer's Gouache (a water-soluble paint) over the entire model, then, using a handkerchief moistened with saliva, he would (sometimes partially, sometimes completely) wipe it off, always working in the direction of the airflow. Some of the pigment would catch in the transverse lines, but not in the lengthwise, and he reckoned that the saliva made it stick more readily. With care, it's possible to get faintly darker patches on an otherwise pristine finish. For oil leaks, he used a brown dot, which he "swiped" with the damp cloth, so it produced a tapering streak. As he said, being water-soluble, if you didn't like the effect, you could wash it off, and start again.
  15. This is where I have to choose my words carefully; the Americans were developing their own version of I.F.F., known as the Mk.IV, with which the British appear not to have been overly impressed, but seem to have left them to get on with what looks to have been a sizeable investment. What it looked like, I know not; whether it was ever fitted, here, I also know not, but it could explain the lack of wires on U.S.-owned Spitfires. It was also common practice to cover the fuselage holes, and the tailplane fitting with fabric patches, with the camouflage paint touched up to match. I don't know about the camera, but, if the preferred U.S. type didn't fit (even the voltage difference might count,) taping over the redundant hole would have made sense. All of the IXs delivered, as new, post-war are listed as IXe.
  16. Edgar

    Washing a Spitfire...

    Spitfire panels overlapped, mostly front over back, to cut down on drag; there was (at least one coat) grey primer over the joins, and then the camouflage coats over that. Quite how dirt was expected to ooze through that lot I've never been able to work out. Dirt might (repeat - might) have collected where removable panels (cowlings, gun covers, etc.) were fitted, but that was all (and a quick wipe with a cloth would have sorted that out,) and bright silver "paint chipping" belongs in the realms of fantasy. I've posted this photo of a really hard-worked Spitfire II before, but I hope it'll give you some ideas:-.
  17. Edgar

    Washing a Spitfire...

    You could always forget about it; this is a Mk.I, built in 1941, never rebuilt (at the time of the photo,) though used extensively in an O.T.U., and had a replacement wing fitted during the war:- People tend to forget that riggers (and other groundcrew) looked after "their" aircraft, and took immense pride in presenting the pilot (who was only allowed to borrow it) with a clean airframe.
  18. More likely the main part of the spinner was removed before painting, leaving the backplate in position, and untouched by the painter.
  19. According to the caption on my copy of the photo, it was at Cuers-Pierrefeu (Lord knows if that's spelt properly.) In Ministry files, there's continual talk of shortages of droptanks in 1944, so maybe they borrowed some from the Americans.
  20. Externally-armoured screens were fitted before the Battle; Stanford Tuck got his during the Dunkirk evacuation, and it saved his life on the same day.
  21. Cockpit black, seat (possibly) "Spitfire" red plastic or over-painted black; wheel wells, door interiors and oleo legs silver (the RAF did not have a yellow zinc chromate in its stores inventory.)
  22. At the beginning of 1943, specific instructions about fighter colours were issued. Those bound for North Africa were still to be in Desert Scheme, with Azure blue undersides. Those heading for Malta (presumably in preparation for the invasion of Sicily) were to be in DFS, but with Light Mediterranean Blue undersides.
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