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About Magpie22

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    Aussie expat living in Thailand
  • Interests
    Aircraft design
    Modelling 1/48 aircraft

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  1. Dragan, Thanks for the kind words. Helping each other is what this site is about. If I need Mig-29 info, I now where to go! Cheers, Peter M
  2. OK, we now know it is MT714. First photo in my earlier post was MT618. This was an aircraft assembled at Chattis Hill and has the horizontal lettering. Below is a shot of an Eastleigh assembled aircraft, MT675. This has the vertical lettering. Your aircraft MT714 was an Eastleigh assembled aircraft, so I would take a punt on it carrying the vertical lettering. Peter M
  3. Hi Dragan, Hope the following may help. All are RAAF Spitfire MK.VIII. This is an LF.VIII. The stencilling carries the same message. "MAKE SURE DOOR IS LOCKED BEFORE FLIGHT", as in the shot posted by Chris but, the style is different and there is an additional stencil on the forward section of the door. Later aircraft, (this is an HF.VIII), had yhis vertical style of stencil. Note that the crowbar was often removed when the aircraft was parked for a long time. And some had no stencil at all! Just love that dog, I've had several German Sheperds over the years. There is no such thing as a standard stencil design on Spitfires. The varied from mark to mark and factory/sub contractor to factory/sub contractor. You pays your money and you makes your choice. Peter M
  4. Martin, Referring back to my original scans, I do not think they are openings/intakes. They look more like patches affixed with the ubiquitous red dope. Why they are there, or what they are covering, I have no idea. You can also see a similar application where the under cowling meets the panel to which the Aboukir filter is fitted. Cheers, Peter
  5. As we say down in Oz, "no problem, mate". I may be demanding payback soon and contacting you re Hawker P.1127 details. One thing I should have mentioned re aircraft fitted with the narrow cannon-feed fairing is that the panel under the gun bay, on the wing under surface, was also changed. The long tear-shaped fairing at the rear of the outboard cannon position was not on those aircraft and the chute in front of it was sheeted over. A quick, (but by no means definitive), check of Mk.IX photos shows the same applied to that mark. Peter M
  6. Troy, Your wish is my command! I am aware of three MK.VC that were modified for high altitude interception duties at 103 MU Aboukir. They were BP985, BR114 and BR234. There may have been others - I am no expert in this field. BR234 is of particular interest to me as it one of the aircraft intended for delivery to Australia but, hijacked from the Nigerstown and diverted to the Middle East. It would appear that BR114 was the first to arrive in the Middle East at the end of June 1942. The other two arrived in theatre in early August. It is recorded that intercepts were being flown by 20 August. It is unlikely that the second two aircraft could have been modified in a couple of weeks, so I assume that the early interceptions were flown by BR114. An article in Flight, 1946, seems to support this. I have a number of shots identifiable as BR114. These appear to have been taken shortly after modification. Obvious changes are the four bladed prop from a Spitfire VI, armament reduced to two mg's and all 'bumps' removed from wing, flat sided canopy, armour removed, Including the from the windscreen), no aerial mast, dorsal ID lamp or other protuberances, aboukir filter (replacing original Vokes), pidgeon chested nose to cover larger oil tank, (this could have been a new larger tank because the modifed engine was burning more oil at altitude, but a new cowling would have been required anyway to cover the larger oil tank which was a standard VcT fit, as a 'temperate' cowl would not have fitted over it), and extended wingtips. There also appear to be some changes to the upper cowling, presumably associated with mods to the Merlin 46. I'll leave it up to the viewer to sort out camouflage, other than stating the obvious, that it is not standard. After its initial operations BR114 was cleaned up and seems to have done the rounds of several units, including No. 451 Sqn RAAF. The windscreen now appears to armoured and the upper cowling returned to its normal configuration. As well as the modified Vc's, several Spitfire VI aircraft were used for the intercepts. They operated in pairs with the Spit V as the 'striker' and a Spit VI acting as the 'marker'. The latter guided the 'striker' into position as the 'striker' carried no radio and only the 'marker' could communicate with ground control. The aircraft below, BS124, was one of those aircraft. Note the two cannon, 'B' type, wing with extended tips. I understand the mg's were removed. A rather florid article was published in 'Aeroplane Spotter' in October 1946 describing some of the high altitude operations. Alfred Price also gave some coverage in his Osprey book on Spitfire V Aces. The pic in the Aeroplane Spotter article purports to show BR114, but it does not appear to match any of the other shots of that aircraft. I believe that it may be BP985 or BR234. Interesting is the fuselage roundel that appears to be the Red/Blue type with no Yellow surround. Could this be a modified version of the R/W/B roundel without Yellow surround that was originally applied to BR234? Pure conjecture on my part! Finally, I wish to acknowledge Tony O'Toole who helped me with some of the material I have used in this post. Peter Malone
  7. @Troy Smith mesage sent. Peter M
  8. @Dave Fleming I’ve come into this thread rather late but may be able to help a little. Alfred Price was right on the money when he described the Spitfire V as the “variant much varied”. The short answer to your question, "when the 'wide' upper wing blister was replaced by the 'narrow' one" is, “the first quarter of 1943”. My interest in RAAF Spitfires has resulted in me undertaking a survey of the many variations of the Mk.VC in RAAF service. Comparing photos of RAAF A/C with production information comes up with the data tabled below. Bear in mind that this only a small sample, but has the advantage that the RAAF received Spitfire VC aircraft from the Supermarine, Westland and Castle Bromwich lines. I have not tried to correlate this data with aircraft serving in the ME and Europe. Supermarine production. Production of the Spitfire VC at Supermarine ceased in August 1942. Photos of BR serialled A/C and BS serialled A/C up to, and including BS300, the last in the sequence, show only the wide cannon-feed fairing. The RAAF modified a number by fitting the narrow fairing in 1944/45, but they were not delivered that way. Westland production. All AR serialled A/C received by the RAAF, (produced in May to Sep 1942), had the wide cannon-feed fairing. EE serialled A/C up to and including EE851 had the wide cannon-feed fairing. (Produced from Sep 42 to late Jan 43). EE serialled A/C from EE852 on had the narrow cannon-feed fairing. (Produced in late Jan 43 and Feb 43). EF serialled A/C all had the narrow cannon-feed fairing. (produced from Feb 43 to Nov 43). Castle Bromwich Production. ER serialed A/C all had the wide cannon-feed fairing. (Produced in October 1942). ES serialled A/C all had the wide cannon-feed fairing. (Produced in Nov & Dec 1942). JG serialled A/C all had the wide cannon-feed fairing. (Produced in Dec 1942 & Jan 43). JK serialled A/C. Only three A/C in this sample – too small to call. (Produced Jan to Mar 43). JL serialled A/C. Small sample, but have the narrow cannon-feed fairing. (Produced Apr 43). LZ serialled A/C. Early aircraft in this group, LZ 840 to LZ874, had the wide cannon-feed fairing. (Produced in Mar & Apr 43). Later A/C, (LZ884 on), had the narrow cannon-feed fairing. (Produced Apr & May 43). MA serialled A/C all had the narrow cannon-feed fairing. (Produced from May to July 1943). MH serialled A/C all had the narrow cannon-feed fairing. (Produced from July to Aug 1943). Bear in mind that this only a small sample, but it has the advantage that the RAAF received Spitfire VC aircraft from the Supermarine, Westland and Castle Bromwich lines. I have not tried to correlate this data with aircraft serving with the RAF in the ME and Europe. It would also be an interesting exercise to correlate the cannon-feed fairing sizes with those of Spitfire IX production which had serials intermixed with VC A/C at CB. Other variations to watch out for in Spitfire VC production are the rear-view mirror, dorsal ID light, mast on the rudder, cover plate on wheels, and mechanical U/C indicators. R/T and IFF fit also varied depending on time frame and theatre of operations. Although the above is by no means definitive, it may be of some help in deciding what bulges to put on your Spifire VC. Peter Malone
  9. "The Secret Years" by Tim Mason, Hikoki Publications. 1998, ISBN 0 951899 9 5.
  10. Hi Chuck, A29-189, (ex 42-10203), was never operated by No. 75 Sqn, its operational service was with No. 77 Sqn. It was received, ex USA, by the RAAF in January 1943, and after erection was allotted to No. 77 Sqn in February. It was with them when they moved up to Gurney Strip at Milne Bay at the end of February, and when they moved on to Vivigani Strip on Goodenough Island in June 1943. Its regular pilot at this time was Flight Lieutenant H.V. 'Viv'Shearn. He was an experienced pilot, having flown Spitfires with No. 457 Sqn in the UK, before returning to Australia and flying P-40E Kittyhawks with No. 77 Sqn. A29-189 at Goodenough Island, circa June 1943. F/L 'Viv' Shearn at Goodenough Island. The colours on this aircraft are not known for sure, but I will give you my opinion, based on my research. It came directly to Australia from the USA and was probaly finished in the standard US OD/NG colours. During erection at No. 2 Aircraft Depot, Bankstown, nr Sydney, it was probably repainted in RAAF colours of K3/177 Foliage Green and K3/178 Earth brown over K3/195 Sky Blue. Serial would have been K3/188 Medium Sea Grey and codes K3/195 Sky Blue. The antenna fit you see from the photo is wire from dorsal fuselage to fin top and from there to each wing tip. A 'ring and bead' gunsight is fitted as well as reflector gunsight. HTH, Peter M
  11. RAAF Spitfires. Mk.VC. No antenna wire from mast to rudder. All fitted with VHF antenna in mast. Some had IFF from fuselage to tailplane, some had no IFF antenna, some had IFF rod antenna under starboard wing, in front of wheel well. Fit depended on time period, location and whether an operational squadron or not. Mk.VIII. No antenna wire from mast to rudder. All fitted with VHF antenna in mast. Only one exeption that I am awre of. A58-315 was used an escort ship ferrying flights of Spitfires from down to south to operational areas. It was fitted with antenna wire from mast to rudder for longer range communications that could not be obtained with the usual antenna in mast VHF. Most were fitted with the rod IFF antenna under the outboard starboard wing. HTH if you are doing an RAAF A/C. Peter M

    1. Giorgio N

      Giorgio N

      Hi Peter

      glad to hear from you and to better know your story ! Sounds fascinating, and as an enthusiast I am a bit envious of your career.

      Personally I'd have loved to enter the Air Force but my eyesight was not good enough and I also probably didn't have enough "support" to enter the Academy... so I got my engineering degree hoping to work in aerospace... that I did only up to a point, as most of my career has been in sensors based on optical fibres. As these are of interest to the aerospace world, I've kept contacts with this but really today most of my work involves civil infrastructures like bridges, tunnels, railways and things like that...


      I understand your feeling when reading certain comments, I believe that too many people even here base their views on hearsay and stereotypes, without really understanding what's behind an aircraft design and its operational history. National pride also often plays a part, I've seen this in most internet forums. Personally I have the "advantage" that having spent many years iliving in other countries I tend to be more objective. I even lived for a while in Australia ! While there I had some contacts with the DSTO in Melbourne, where they had a group that was doing very interesting things with fibre optics sensors for aircraft use. I'm sure you know the establishment well if you were in R&D ! Really I enjoyed my time in Australia, I then kept visiting for 6-8 weeks every two year for work reasons  but then the company I was working for closed their European operation soI haven't been in the Country since 2016. I should really come back as a tourist !


      As you can see as really I try to judge aircraft types (or any other mechanical thingie) without attaching any emotional string to them. Of course I have my favourites but I still look at them as things, designed for a mission, sometimes more and sometimes less succesful.

      But you know as I do how the whole process of drafting an RFP, issuing this, designing a proposal, updating and modifying it, then getting a contract, building prototypes, flight and structural testing and then introduction into service is something long and convoluted in most cases, and how many compromises are made, both in technical and other aspects. Not everyone really think of the whole story behind an aircraft design before typing on a computer keyboard. There's some on the forum who come from similar backgrounds and I can see how they generally tend to be the less emotionally involved...

      On the Hunter Vs. Sabre debate, IIRC there was a similar discussion before and again someone suggested that the Hunter was much more advanced.. but I guess really this has a lot to do with national pride more than else. You may have noticed that there are other types that seem to attract a similar cult following on the forum, I can understand it as in the end many of these types were true crowdpleasers in their days, but would be good to be able to look at them today with a more objective eye.

      In any case, I still feel the same as when I was a kid when I see real aircraft, be it at airshows or in the museums. I may be watching a type with the worst combat record ever but to me it's always something fascinating...





  13. Giorgio, I'm afraid that I don't think in 'generations', or 'half generations'. Probably because I was too close and, to me, it was a continuous development and improvement process. One thing that the Hunter had that was a major improvement over the Sabre was its ejection seat!! Early Sabres had a pitch control problem at high Q, (ie high speed at low level), because of the manual elevators, forcing the pilot to fly using the electric trim motor to move the tailplane for pitch control, a rather crude method. Early Hunters also suffered from a similar problem due manual elevators and poor positioning of the tailplane. Both aircraft had their weak points and their strong points and both did the job asked by their respective operators. Peter
  14. G'day Tony,

    In response to your comment in that K'hawk thread, I am alive and kicking. Trying to ignore the physical problems. Still modelling, researching and writing.

    I'm currently trying to build Airfix's 1/48 Seafire FR.47 kit. I've just recently built a couple each of their Hurricane and Tomahawk kits and had forgotten how bad those earlier offering like the FR.47 could be!

    In my research I came across an article you did, 'Seafires ahoy', in Model Aircraft Monthly April2009. The photos have proven to be quite helpful. I have two problems:

    1) Trying to find some decent info on the wingfold. The Airfix attempt is basic, to put it mildly.

    2) I plan to fit the rocket pylons to the folded wings. I know that the wings were power folded, but did the RN arm their aircraft and then fold the wings like the USN, or was armament only fitted after the wings had been unfolded?

    Can you help?

    Trust all is well with you,





    1. tonyot


      Hiya Peter,..... sounds like we are in the same boat physically,..... glad you are still writing, researching and modelling,.... I`m hoping to get back to it after surgery this year. 

      The old Airfix Seafire 47 is still probably one of Airfix`s better offerings but it is basic an a lot of ways, like you say the wing fold isn`t great but the worst error is the sliding canopy section which cannot be mounted properly in the slid back position,..... you`ll need a vacuformed sliding hood if you want to portray it opened as the kit item sits well proud on top of the fuselage. It can be dragged down and superglued into position,....but it ends up crazing the plastic. 

      The wing fold isn`t a well photographed area and it always seems to have been painted darkly (EDSG?) but this attachment may help,..... it is a review of the Grand Phoenix update set for the kit including resin wing inserts;



      I don`t recall seeing any photo`s of the Seafire 47 carrying rockets with their wings folded and don`t know whether they would be fitted below decks or on the roof? Are you still on the feropete e mail? If so I will e mail you some pics.


      All the best mate and keep up the good work,




  15. I'm rather amused by the idea that the Hunter was a generation ahead of the Sabre. It was more a case of the Brits finally catching up with what the US had achieved five years earlier. In those five 'dog years' in aircraft design, after the Sabre had flown, Hawker managed to go from the P.1040, (flown in September 1947, less than month before the XP-86), via the P.1052 and P.1081 to the P.1067 in 1951. The Hunter was a good aircraft but not a generation, (or even a half generation), ahead of the Sabre. The first Hunters were hardly a roaring success. The aircraft suffered from tail flutter problems and lacked an adequate air brake. Development of an effective airbrake and rectification of other problems delayed service entry until late 1954. The F.1was never a truly operational aircraft due to its inability to fire the cannon at altitude without causing compressor surge in the Avon. Even if you intercepted the enemy within your 45 minute endurance, 80 mile radius of action, envelope, you couldn't shoot him down. Fortunately the decision had been taken to build some aircraft with Sapphire engines and this gave the RAF a sorely needed measure of operational capability. It wasn't until RR developed the surge-free Avon 115, and it was fitted to the Hunter F.4, that the RAF finally got an operational, Avon-engined, Hunter squadron in April 1955. The same month, the first RAAF squadron was formed with the Avon Sabre, so both air forces got an operational Avon-engined fighter about the same time. The Avon Sabre also suffered from the same engine surge problems as the Hunter F.1, but the Aussies were able to fix it more quickly by modifying the gun ports, venting gun pressure into the intake and modifying the engine inlet guide vanes. So there was really very little difference in the time both types became operational in their respective air forces. I don't buy the argument the the Hunter was 'much less limited in potential' then the Sabre. Sabres had four underwing weapons pylons and were carrying Sidewinders well before such options appeared on the Hunter. The Hunter remained in service longer than the Sabre, more due to Hawker's lack of work and excellent marketing team, rather than it being a 'creditable combat aircraft'. North American had moved on to true Supersonics with the F-100 and had their hands more than full with production of several types. They had no need to buy back old Sabres and re-sell them to third world air forces. Peter M
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