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Edgar

Sadly Missed
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Everything posted by Edgar

  1. The first trials of metal-covered ailerons were carried out by the Aerodynamics Flight on R6718; they reported favourably, and Farnborough asked for a set, to try them out on "their" Spitfire. 266 Squadron's P9505 was having problems with incurable aileron "snatch," so had metal ailerons fitted, which drew a glowing report from the Squadron 5-1-41. Quite what caused the delay isn't clear, (at that time Supermarine had problems with "blind" riveting, though,) but metal-covered ailerons weren't introduced onto the production line until 17-7-41.
  2. Spares were supposed to be delivered in primer, only, so the stencils should have been painted after the camouflage/roundels were applied, and that would be more likely at an M.U., rather than the user unit. When wings, which had the mechanism fitted, were to be modified, the work included a small patch to be riveted under/in the hole(s.) As that would have needed to be touched in with filler and paint since it involved drilling out 6 rivets over a 2" x 2.15" area, it seems likely (but I have no proof, since the leaflet makes no mention) that the rigger or Aircraft Finisher would have painted over the redundant stencils (possibly even sanded them off first, before smoothing down the surface.)
  3. 41 Squadron received P7281, P7282, P7283, P7284, P7300, P7314, P7322, P7326, P7354, P7371, P7374, P7375, P7442 & P7443 from 611 Squadron, who had been flying them since August. Neither Squadron seems to have noted the individual letters.
  4. The low-back XVI was fitted with a fuel tank behind the pilot, which blocked the way for the standard Sutton harness; this led to a four-strap harness, with parachute-style quick-release box (known as the "QL") being fitted. The two shoulder straps were bolted directly to a point on the headrest armour roughly behind the pilot's neck (note that, at this point, no straps went behind or through the back of the seat,) while the thigh straps moved back to the corners of the seat, so that they came over the pilot's hips (this was to stop the pilot lifting out of the seat, and hitting the canopy, if he bunted into a dive.) The "box" was fitted to the right-hand hip strap, to which the oxygen hose was also fitted; this brought the hose (almost) along the floor beside the seat, so that it was virtually out of sight. The QL harness was the same tan colour as the Sutton.
  5. The Sutton lasted right through the war, with the (low-back) XVI being the only Mark to differ. For the IXc, the thigh straps were fitted to the framework below the seat, not to the seat itself. The harness was actually known as the "K"; the "QK" was a 1944 harness, which moved back to the corners of the seat, so that the thigh straps became hip straps, but the main harness was identical to the earlier version..
  6. It was meant to be permanent, because it was Dowding's original idea to paint the Squadron number as a recognition method, also with the numerals being in the colour of the Flight, with those of the Flight's second Section having the bottom half of the numbers in white. It's a fairly safe bet that the eventual letters system was seen as a far simpler method, especially if an airframe swapped Flights. As the idea was for the numbers to be in Flight colours, the, apparently conflicting, reports of the "19" being red and yellow could be perfectly true, with blue and green also somewhere in the mix. There is evidence that the canopy went through several evolutions, with "increased headroom" 22-9-38, a "pilot's domed hood" 20-12-38, "Spitfire III windscreen and hood" 26-4-41 (though this seems to have remained flat-sided, so was possibly more to do with how the two items met,) "delete break-out panel" 3-11-41, and provide for balloon type hood as a retrospective mod 21-8-42
  7. According to "Combat Codes," JAK is only listed as being applied to Kent's 1945 Typhoon RN431, 1946 Tempest V NV708, and two Meteor 8s WH480 & WK731 in 1954.
  8. Follow Doug's lead, and use something metal, and flat, for stirring paint. 1/. The metal will break up the lumps, at the bottom, much more quickly than wood. 2/. Unlike wood, metal does not soak up any of the liquid, so your paint constitution stays the same. 3/. A flat item "persuades" the paint to mix, while a round item just pushes it out of the way. Although it certainly isn't cheap, I find that Tamiya's paint stirrer is ideal for Humbrol's tinlets.
  9. There might have been some differences around the cannon and their bulges, but the rest of the panel lines (including the outer Browning compartments) stayed the same, though the redundant machine guns might have had pain covers.
  10. The green never changed throughout the war, but the composition did; in August/September 1942, Supermarine (and others eventually) went from cellulose to synthetic paint. This was because the latter was matt and smooth, something which had never been properly achieved with cellulose. The problem was the tendency for the paint to fade and chalk during service; Aircraft Finishers were supposed to keep the finish pristine, by regularly sanding down, with a form of wet-and-dry paper, then a wash with clean water. Just to make things even more difficult for modellers, the paint faded more in areas which received no heating, e.g. rear fuselage and wing extremities (as on the E wing,) so the finish could look rather patchy, in fact it has fooled some into thinking Supermarine painted Spitfires in various non-standard greys and greens. Of course, during a major service at an M.U., or C.R.O., the airframe was likely to be freshly painted, ready for the cycle to start all over again.
  11. The wing panel lines differ (the XVIII had compartments, for desert/personal equipment, outboard of the ammunition bays, that the XIV did not,) and the later XVIII had provision for vertical cameras, which the XIV did not. Early XIVe still retained the outboard .303" compartments, while the XVIII did not, and the underside amber light was further back, on the XVIII, than on the XIV. The broader-chord rudder was not fitted to the XIV & XVIII until post-war (February 1946 leaflet.)
  12. You could always graft an extended fin & rudder, new nose and radiators onto the Eduard XVI, which is due in about 3 months.
  13. According to A.P.2816 B & C, the 22 & 24 both used the 11' diameter Rotol R.14/5F5/2 propeller (stores ref 25A/578.)
  14. Note the little hole, in the Mk.I's cowling, with a small white patch below it; this was a label, advising, in the event of needing the winding/starting handle (which early Merlins sometimes needed,) that the erk should be lashed to the u/c leg, to stop him pitching forward into the prop. With cartridge starting, the label wasn't needed on the Mk.II, though it wouldn't surprise me if some appeared somewhere. The plastic seat was originally intended to be exclusively for Castle Bromwich, so it's very unlikely that, on the Mk.II, they were anything but the red type; on the Mk.I, especially prior to May, 1940, green, or (probably more likely) black would have been normal, until Supermarine's Southampton factory was destroyed. Armour, behind the seat, was not fitted until June 1940. Before early July 1940, the Mk.I did not have the wrap-over "deflection armour" (actually an extra sheet of aluminium) over the fuel tanks; as they were later than that, the Mk.IIs would have had the armour. In 1940, no Spitfire had I.F.F. fitted, so the Mk.I shouldn't have the destructor buttons on the cockpit wall; after 28-12-40, the equipment was introduced, so any airframe, in 1941, was likely to carry it (plus the buttons.)
  15. During my time at my last company, we manufactured instruments for Tornado flight simulators (not all for the RAF,) and every one had to be painted 36231.
  16. If your Mk.I is early enough (about mid-Battle of Britain) it's unlikely to have had the fabric patches. You could, quite legitimately, have just the holes, or covers, which were shaped discs (filler would suffice on a model.)
  17. Possibly not, since they were lined with plywood on the fabric-winged Hurricane, which might have been painted green, but (more likely, perhaps?) simply varnished.
  18. Unfortunately, as well as the aircraft being paint Light Green/Light Earth over Ocean Grey, the codes were yellow, outlined in red, and, as far as I know, these have never been available.
  19. Alclad aluminium + grey primer (could be medium or dark grey) + top colours. Spares were supposed to be delivered in grey primer, leaving the user unit to apply the top colours. Instructions issued as a Supermarine factory drawing, with all methods of treating which material (or not, in some cases, like the exhaust stubs, or copper pipes) with which paint. The RAF Museum has (some) copies; you won't find them in any commercially-available book, to my knowledge. K5054 was green (believed to be anodised,) not bronze.
  20. The firewall and engine bearers are cockpit grey-green.
  21. There's nothing in either the I's or II's Pilot's Notes, but there's a wingnut-shaped turnkey between and below the dials. Maybe the pilot had some rubber tubing fitted to the "wings" to make it easier to turn during flight? (Two pairs of gloves can make anyone slightly fumble-fisted.)
  22. The modification was a Class 4, which was "production line only," so there wouldn't have been any outside the factories.
  23. The MAP drawings are available from My Hobby Store, under the original number 2953, at £12.50.
  24. Sorry, but wrong; as well as having suffered a bout of illness, Ray has a day job, and a family to feed, so they have priority. We talked a few weeks ago, and he still has his plans, but it would not be fair of me to divulge them, or how long it could be before fruition.
  25. Who says bright was pre-war, only, and where's the evidence that all wartime roundels were dull? Roundels were there to be seen, and used as a recognition tool, and the fin stripes were added as an extra item, yet we're expected to believe that they were promptly dulled-down to make them less visible, why? Just as important is the question - how? In a list of early-war colours, the only dull red and blue are for fabric surfaces, a carry-over from their use on fabric-covered night bombers. For all other surfaces there are only red and blue, and while it seems normal for "experts" to assume that these were supposed to be dull, anyone who takes time to study Air Ministry Orders will find that the A.M. did not leave things open to interpretation, and spelt things out exactly; if they didn't say "dull," it's a clear indication they were not dull. We've had this before, with it being assumed that, when the A.M. specified Sky for tropical use, they meant Sky Blue, when there's absolutely no evidence of that. Air Ministry Orders should not be "interpreted," but taken at face value, and worked with from there. Back to the slit trench.
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