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Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. Edgar

    "W/T" markings

    You are perfectly welcome to believe that the Ministry of Munitions, Technical Department - Aircraft Production were too incompetent to know what they were producing, but, when they issued an instruction leaflet, saying that "The following specification for wireless earths," I prefer to think they might possibly have known what they were talking about, and it certainly wasn't aerials. This is what Ian Huntley (who worked at Fairey, and would have seen these stencils on a regular basis) said:-
  2. Edgar

    "W/T" markings

    Sorry, I should have been more explicit, but it's a four-page folder of close-fitting typing; the wiring of the wings was for two-seater aircraft, and was quoted as being, " In order to increase the conducting surfaces, and consequently the electrical capacity of aircraft for wireless telegraphy purposes."
  3. Edgar

    "W/T" markings

    Yesterday, I found the 1918 specification, and how-to-do-it for the earthing (as it was called, so forget this "wired throughout" idea, since it was nothing of the sort) of all metal objects. On wooden aircraft, brass, or copper, wires were run the length of the fuselage longerons, and wings' leading and trailing edges, and all metal objects had to be attached to them by wires securely soldered at each end; the idea was that everything metallic should be joined together, and to the aircraft's earthing point. This involved items like internal cross-bracing wires, fuel tanks, Scarff rings, etc. Continuity testing was carried out with 2 volt battery and lamp. A carry-over of this can be seen in the metal strips inside the Mosquito fuselage.
  4. The "bulged" upper cowling had nothing, whatsoever, to do with the engine fitted to the Spitfire IX; it stemmed from the fitting of the Packard Merlin into what became the XVI in August 1944. Somebody had the bright idea of adding an access/filler point to the XVI's cowling, to enable the coolant header tank (fitted directly on the Merlin 266's intercooler housing) to be refilled without removing the cowling. It was found that the mechanism, for this filler point, fouled the pipe which led from the top of the IX's intercooler, just below the cowling, to the coolant header tank, normally situated on the bulkhead/Frame 5; the simple remedy was to bulge the cowling upwards, slightly, to allow extra space. I've no idea of the dimensions, but even 2" (which should have been ample) equates to only 1mm in 1/48 scale. Rather than have two separate cowlings, the IX cowling became a common item, and was also fitted on the XVI, but this applies only after August 1944; prior to that the cowling was the same as that of the Mark VIII.
  5. Only if done immediately; once dry, it needed hot water to remove it.
  6. On the starboard side was a vacuum pump quill shaft, and, on the left, was a de Havilland constant speed unit. The Griffon had a single magneto, centrally in the front, which was the reason for the teardrop fairing on the upper cowling of the Mk.XII.
  7. One-piece wrap-over.
  8. The cover over the top fuel tank was known as "deflection armour," but was actually an extra thickness of aluminium, chamfered at the front, and reaching back to under the windshield.
  9. Supermarine's drawing shows it as being fitted in exactly the same way as previous Marks:-
  10. Rolls-Royce converted 285, two of which started life as Mk.Is, the rest were Vs; Vickers converted 9, all from Mk.V. The IX was a IXc, at least until 1944, when the "E" wing made its appearance. Gun bulges, rudders, elevator horns are/were no indication of wing type, just signs of how the Mark was continually updated and improved. Conversions are likely to have had the short carburettor intake, but it isn't known if that was the sum total, or if it continued until the tropical intake, as fitted to the VIII, became available; Eisenhower asked for the IX, for the "Torch" landings, but had to be refused, due to the lack of the filter. Vickers' figures, including conversions, for IX production are 561 produced by Supermarine, and 5104 produced by Castle Bromwich (by rights, Castle Bromwich's 1054 XVIs should probably also be taken into consideration.)
  11. If you can let me have the pilots' names, I can have a look in the ORBs, during a future visit to Kew, and see what other serial nos they might have flown; in the thick of the battle, it was rare for pilots to have their own aircraft.
  12. Appendix VI, bottom of the page on the Merlin variants. No idea if it's relevant but "basta" is Italian for "enough." There was also a Czech engineer, Jan Basta, but he died in 1936, so that's a real longshot. It might, with the extra fuel tank, giving them more time for patrolling, plus them having the gyro gunsight as a must-fit. For some reason, though, low-back Marks were not passed for Service use until the end of 1944, so too late.
  13. Doubtful they're D-day, because there are none under the fuselage; possibly an earlier set of markings for a large-scale exercise.
  14. "Spitfire the History" shows the 25lbs boost as being "Basta," but, so far, finding anything with the word "Basta" included has proved frustratingly impossible. Mod 1096 "To introduce a Merlin engine with 25lbs boost" was issued, for the VIII, IX & XIV (yes, really,) and the Merlin 66, but was eventually made applicable only to the XVI, according to the Vickers ledger, which would make it applicable only to the Merlin 266. As well as (whatever they were) the modifications to the Merlin, the airframe also needed stronger engine bearers.
  15. Before moving to Leconfield in June, 616 were based at Rochford, in 11 Group territory, and, from 21-5-40, 11 Group were given priority for the 100 available sets of seat armour, so they're likely to have got it. The seat was (fairly, it takes three men) easy to exchange, so it's impossible to say what was fitted by mid-1940, since it had to be removed to gain access to the interior of the rear fuselage.
  16. The instructions were," Stripes will in no case be painted over national markings, which take precedence." Codes and serials are not mentioned.
  17. Edgar

    Hurricane Mk.1 L1973

    No, the paint manufacturers could not produce a cellulose paint that was smooth and matt; Sky was actually glossy, but, as it was underneath it possibly mattered little. It could also be the reason for the use, and manufacture, of Sky in distempers, since they would be matt. Supermarine, apparently on their own, found what they considered to be the ideal paint in mid-1942, showed the results to the Air Ministry and Farnborough, and, on 7-8-42, it was agreed to change to synthetic paint DTD517. Hawker (Typhoon) and Bristol (Beaufighter) soon followed suit.
  18. In Crowood's "The Turret Fighters," by Alec Brew, there's a photo of a pilot in his cockpit, and the Sutton harness is clearly visible. If the seat was metal (like the Hurricane,) it would need to be firmly fixed to the floor, and that would also be solid enough to anchor the Sutton.
  19. Edgar

    Hurricane Mk.1 L1973

    Normal time was five years (less in the tropics.) I don't know if it was true for the Hurricane (though parts, like the Spitfire, came from various locations,) but metal-covered parts were normally undercoated grey, while, at the start of the war, fabric-covered were red doped, then silver doped, before camouflaging. Would the different undercoating have made a difference to the appearance of the top colours? Spare items were supposed to be delivered in primer, which makes sense with the mirror schemes in use, at that time, also, while home-based fighters were just black and white underneath, in France they were supposed to also have roundels.
  20. There's a 31-12-42 modification (560,) which is irritatingly enigmatic as to what was, or could be, done, "To make Mk.V fuselages interchangeable to take either VB or VC wings in respect to gun cocking controls." 1/. The Vb (and IIb) had a control, looking remarkably like a wind-up toy's key, on the starboard wall, which enabled the pilot to recock the cannon, so maybe the same control was introduced on the Vc, (possibly after the Australians' frustrations with jamming guns?) If so, I've never seen it. 2/. Maybe the control was removed, so cocking could only be done by the armourer before take-off. Seems an odd way to make life easier for the pilots, and it does appear in early editions of the IX's Pilot's Notes. 3/. Did the interchangeability relate only to gun cocking, or did it make wing-swapping that much easier? Without a copy of the (more comprehensive) instruction, issued by the Local Technical Committee, I suspect we'll never know.
  21. Spitfire Squadrons were given a special dispensation to use 20" codes, so that they would fit between the bottom of the (open) canopy and the top of the wingroot fairing; not all Squadrons took up the option. Spares were supposed to be delivered in (grey) primer, so that could also be a possibility.
  22. Edgar

    Hurricane Mk.1 L1973

    Fabric-covered wings did not have separate wingtips.
  23. The likeliest candidate for the relevant modification is 420 "To provide additional heating for Browning guns." Interestingly the ledger lists it for the IIb & Vb, but an issued leaflet states that it was for the V, which implies that the Vc might have been added. The work involved running the tubes through the leading edges of the wings, and out to the .303s, and it's interesting that putting it in a leaflet indicates that the work was thought to be within the capabilities of Service units, though it did say that the work was to be done when the "aeroplane is stripped for repair," and 30 man-hours were allowed for the task. With the heights flown in the Med, it's possible that the mod was deemed unnecessary for the desert (and Malta?), which is why a photo is really vital.
  24. Edgar

    Spitfire XVIe

    There was no "early" XVI, since the Mark no. didn't exist before August 1944.
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