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Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. Edgar

    Dunkirk Spitfires.

    When the fin flashes were added, if they covered those serial numbers which had been painted on the fin, the (1") numbers were often moved to the top of the fin, above the flashes, making them virtually invisible. Roundels were ordered to be added to the undersides of all fighters (previously it was only for fighters operating over France) from 15-5-40. The yellow surround to the port roundel was not ordered until 4-6-40 (the day the Dunkirk evacuation ended,) so I'd be wary of the Dunkirk beach photo apparently showing it, since it was supposed to be no less than a quarter, and no more than the same, width as the blue band. It could simply be where someone has washed off the black, to make painting the roundel that much easier. I have found no evidence of factories being ordered to paint the whole underside black and white, in fact, in mid-May 1939, they were told that the black and white should align with the leading and trailing edges of the wings. However, 14-11-39 an A.M.O. amendment was issued, which appeared to say that the whole underneath should be black and white, and it was followed 21-11-39 by a signal from Sholto-Douglas, to Commands, giving the same (erroneous) impression. Little wonder so many variations were seen.
  2. There's a file on her in the National Archives, though I doubt it'll go into such fine detail; it'll be a couple of weeks before I can have a look at it.
  3. There were small bulges, virtually kidney-shaped, as are visible in this drawing, just inboard of the over-wing stiffening strakes (which would not have been fitted on Bader's aircraft.) The very much larger, teardrop, fairings were mostly postwar on "C" & "E" wings, and were never fitted to the early Marks of Spitfire.
  4. Referring to Ian Huntley's articles (this one on Sky being a case in point)can still be worthwhile:-
  5. On the Mk.I, for some reason, the roundels don't encroach onto the (metal) leading edge; on the later Mark's wings, they "fill the available space."
  6. I haven't lost a year, StH has gained one, since they have a habit of quoting the dates when the Local Technical Committee simply discussed an item, while I quote the date, in the Vickers works ledger, when the item was "cleared" for production. for production. In the case of the exhausts, it was 14-1-44 Special Order Only and retrospective; the engine was also Special Order Only, though leaflets were issued to the Service in July 1943. According to "Fighter Squadrons," 118 used the L.F.Vb from March 1944.
  7. And this shows that not everyone interpreted the orders in the same way:-
  8. Supermarine show them as being specifically for the V Tropical; they also show the 45M as only being fitted from April 1944, the 50M from June, and the 55M from November. Also, from August, the V needed strengthened engine mountings to cope with the "M" type engines, with the work mandated to be done as soon as the engine was fitted.
  9. The photo is tiny, about 3" x 1", so might not reproduce, and is in a supplement "Spitfires on the Wing," issued with Flypast magazine in March 2002, so there's copyright to consider as well. Add to that, I don't have the faintest idea how to add photos to a PM, but, if you PM me, with an E-mail address, I'll see what I can do. There are actually two photos in the supplement, and in one dated April 1997, the later windscreen is plain to see. According to the A.P., L.F.Vs had "M"-suffixed engines, 45M, 50M, and 55M, and AB910 was not fitted with a Merlin 45M until after Air Commodore Wheeler acquired her post-war.
  10. Fitting of internally-armoured screens started in April, 1941, and AB910 was built in August 1942; the May 1949 photo shows it with the internally-armoured screen, as well.
  11. Circular exhaust stubs were a post-war addition to the Griffon engine, and they eventually found their way onto Merlins. 6-stub exhausts are unlikely on a wartime U.K.-based V, since the outer Browning compartments needed the heat supplied by the augmenter tubes fitted through the 3-branch exhausts. Certainly, in May 1949, AB910 had triple exhausts (and wingtips.) Right at the end of the war Middle East Vs could have 6-branch exhausts, but that was possibly due to them being used at low level by then, and the extra heat wouldn't have been so important.
  12. I have no idea if they're still available, but Midland Counties, around 25-30 years ago, produced (at least) two books on airfield buildings.
  13. The rule of thumb, for all aircraft, was to take the wingspan (Hurricane 40' or 480",) divide by 3 (160",) measure that distance from the centre-line of the fuselage, and that point marks the centre of the roundel. Naturally this will, in the Hurricane's case, also = 80" from the wingtip. The roundel was then supposed to fill the available space, without encroaching on the aileron or its hinges.
  14. No, they didn't, at least not until there were none left (post-war.) Even the Mk. IX was only supposed to get them in extreme (e.g. bomb-carrying) circumstances, though the VIII & XIV got them from the start.
  15. Edgar

    Air Diagram (AD) 1170

    Finding Air Diagrams is a game that I've not yet mastered. 18-9-41 an A.M.O. was issued, saying that all Air Diagrams should be returned to the Air Publications and Forms Store, in the Fulham Road, London (it's now a restaurant,) since any drawings would be issued by the contractors. From 1966 - 1972 the store was in Kidbrooke, and, in the 1990s, it was supposed to move to Llangennech, but I've no idea if it did. There is a section in the Gov.UK website, which lists publications, but it's 59 pages long, and I only found it this morning, on my way out.
  16. Bear in mind that the XVI's metal elevators were not fitted by Supermarine, but were part of a whole raft of modifications, for that particular Mark, carried out at 30 M.U., Sealand. Though the Air Ministry wanted all aircraft to have the extra fuel tank, Wing Commander (Ops 1) was vehemently opposed to this in 11 Group, due to the loss of performance, and it seems likely he got his way.
  17. Metal-covered elevators were being fitted to the XVI in late 1944, and the rounded horns, on the 21, meant that they were not interchangeable. The introduction of metal-covered elevators on Seafires, in December 1944, included the 15, so I'd be surprised if it didn't spill over onto the 17.
  18. Metal elevators were one of the mandatory mods introduced on the 21, following the damning A.F.D.S. report of 1-2-45. The inside faces of the elevator horns were also rounded off, and a "straight" (rather than Z-shaped) rudder trim tab was fitted. Following these (visible) mods, the 21 was cleared for service use, provided that the mods were incorporated before delivery. The only Spitfire metal elevators which (just) pre-dated the 21 were those on the low-back XVI.
  19. Edgar

    What mark of Spitfire?

    If the aerial mast has been edited out, the top of the canopy could have gone with it.
  20. As Troy has surmised, it looks as if it's been "got at," in some areas. In photos 3 & 5 there's a hint of green along the "floor," and the silver, above, is incredibly shiny, almost as if the interior was partially stripped, and given a similar gloss finish, when the exterior was done. The seat bulkhead in photo 8 looks as if it's been partially overpainted, possibly while the seat armour was still in place, so that (now the armour's gone) the "proper" green is visible just above the compressed-air bottles. Other areas of the cockpit have hints of two-tone green, as well.
  21. When Peter Cooke was researching for his 1/24 models (around 1985,) he found that there were no accurate drawings, but was contacted by someone who found a set of original de Havilland drawings on Hatfield Aerodrome just before it closed. He also found that they were to a constant scale, so gave a set of copies to Airfix, kept one for himself (which he loaned to Peter,) and gave the originals to the Mosquito Museum.
  22. Interesting, since P7280 was the first Mk.II listed as being built by Castle Bromwich; maybe that should be P7293? There's also a well-known story that the first airframes built at CB were made from kits of parts sent up by Supermarine, to keep Beaverbrook quiet.
  23. Perhaps you should read the whole letter; you'll see that Dowding's main concern was the short (five seconds) firing time for the cannon-only Spitfire, which he considered wholly inadequate for fighter-v-fighter combat:-
  24. Note item 5; this was the preparation for the first cannon-armed Spitfire L1007:- The earliest reference that I can find, is modification 260 "To replace 4 of the 8 Brownings (fitted as standard) by 2-20mm cannon guns" Going by normal Air Ministry parlance, "replace 4" = leave the other 4 in place (or, at least, their fittings.) This mod was first discussed in committee 3-7-40, then 19-9-40, and was eventually "cleared" 19-4-41.
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