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Spitfire PR Mk XI


Daniel Cox
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Hi All,

For those interested here are a couple of pictures of a a Spitfire PRXI as captured during December of 1944 in Calcutta.

Shown below is an Aldermaston built Spitfire PRXI PL841 from 681 Squadron (Sqn) Royal Air Force (RAF). This aircraft as shown here was photographed at Alipore, India, 28 December 1944 with Warrant Officer (WO) 409459 ‘Bill’ William John Henry WELLS Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the cockpit. Amongst many items of interest that can be seen there are cross hairs for camera sighting on the portside of the canopy blister. This aircraft is also fitted with Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91986 (forward torque/torsion link) struts.

9099298019_0682b91fbb_o.jpg

9099297087_ba14e6278a_o.jpg

Cheers,

Daniel.

Edited by Daniel Cox
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Lovley pics Daniel

note also the dust steaking on the fuselage roundel.

Here's one I posted a while back in this thread

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/64076-spitfire-prxi-in-seac-markings-with-hurri-and-mosquito/

SEACspitXIPhurriIICcolour.jpg

there is also this, from http://spitfiresite.com/2011/03/pru-spitfire-xi-india.html

spitfire-pr-xi-photo-640x486.jpg

thought to be an example of a PRXI with Medium Sea Grey upper surfances and PR Blue undersides, which I think is a very fetching scheme indeed coupled with the SEAC roundels and stripes, [under chap sitting on wing]

I know these have been posted before, but figured worth a repost with appropriate links

cheers

T

Edited by Troy Smith
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Hi All,

For those interested here are a couple of pictures of a a Spitfire PRXI as captured during December of 1944 in Calcutta.

Shown below is an Aldermaston built Spitfire PRXI PL841 from 681 Squadron (Sqn) Royal Air Force (RAF). This aircraft as shown here was photographed at Alipore, India, 28 December 1944 with Warrant Officer (WO) 409459 ‘Bill’ William John Henry WELLS Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the cockpit. Amongst many items of interest that can be seen there are cross hairs for camera sighting on the portside of the canopy blister. This aircraft is also fitted with Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91986 (forward torque/torsion link) struts.

9099298019_0682b91fbb_o.jpg

Cheers,

Daniel.

So why doesn't the oblique camera port show in the top photo? I know the camera might not have been used for a high-altitude mission but surely the hatch would not have been changed?

Ross

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So why doesn't the oblique camera port show in the top photo? I know the camera might not have been used for a high-altitude mission but surely the hatch would not have been changed?

Ross

Interesting; yet it's clearly a PR Spitfire with its deeper nose and unarmoured wrap-around windscreen.

Regards,

Jason

Edited by Learstang
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So why doesn't the oblique camera port show in the top photo? I know the camera might not have been used for a high-altitude mission but surely the hatch would not have been changed?

Ross

HI Ross

Good observation.

As it's the same plane, note that there is the outline of the hatch is visible in the top photo, and in the 2nd photo you can't see through it, but it's looks to be sealed over with a plate, note the 6 bolts on the white ring.

Was there a sealing plate which could be used to replace the glazing?

Where's Edgar ;)

cheers

T

Perhaps due to operating in tropical environment it was

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Hi All,

Good spotting Troy you beat me to it, I was preparing an answer with some photos anyway I will add a bit more later for now though I must go since I am going to see World War Z with the family, which unfortunately is a 4hr 10min round trip on 100km/h roads just to get to the cinema.

Cheers,

Daniel.

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I see nothing to indicate it is the same aircraft and the mark on the roundel would seem to show it is in fact a different one ? So one aircraft could be fitted with the verticle cameras only ?

Edited by NZKIWI
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I see nothing to indicate it is the same aircraft and the mark on the roundel would seem to show it is in fact a different one ? So one aircraft could be fitted with the verticle cameras only ?

Hi NZKIWI

It is the same aircraft, if the mark on the roundel you are referring to is the white one in the second picture you may discount it since it is damage to the print that this image was sourced from. Alternatively if you are referring to the rain streaking that is apparent on the exhaust staining upon the roundel you may discount it since it is present in both pictures.

To further explain that this is the same aircraft lets look at a few key visual indicators that prove this.

9107907286_e60e9339d3_o.jpg

9105676557_c98a7f8f39_o.jpg

A. B. C. & D. Identical stains.

E. Identical cross hair placement although this can be seen on other PRXI aircraft.

F. The access door camera port is covered in both pictures as indicated by the fact you can't see through it in both instances.

G. The chap in the cockpit of both photos is the same bloke from Hawthorn, Victoria.

It is the same aircraft if you are referring to the white mark in the roundel of the second picture.

Caption information from both the Australian War Memorial AWM and Argus Newspaper archive also indicate this is the same aircraft and these pictures were captured sequentially. Also worthy of note is that the AWM images are of better quality than the iterations I posted and are not cropped like the two I first posted. With the second picture showing the port main tyre is identical to the first picture.

Cheers,

Daniel.

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Hi, all,

The plane has the two F.52 36'' or two F.8 20'' vertical camera arrangement. According to the drawings in the SAMI book, there is no place for the oblique camera with that arrangement. Probably, there were particular machines dedicated to high altitude work with such a configuration, therefore, it was possible that they blanked off the port on the hatch.

Fernando

PD: it is an interesting modelling subject. The code "U" looks to be in White (real White, not "India White"), but would the serial "PL841" be in "India White" or the "lightened MSG" like the Australian Spitfires or some other PR ones? (not a trivial question... India White serials are non-existent...)

Edited by Fernando
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Look carefully at the first (side view) photo. You can see the outline of the camera port in the access hatch. It's been plated and painted over. I've enhanced the contrast here so you can see it better.

Hatch.jpg

Edited by Jennings Heilig
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The other interesting feature of the first photo is the apparent pairing of SEAC fin flash with a Type B fuselage roundel....at least it looks to me like the fin flash India White is much lighter than the centre of the fuselage roundel. Type B roundels were common on PR Spitfires but I don't recall seeing them paired with SEAC fin flashes before.

Cheers

Doug

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Doug, that I would say it's a trick of the light. It was fairly common to get a "SEA roundel" by just applying "India White" to the Red center in the Type B one. Look, the rudder looks very much lighter than the fin (the angle helps), which already looks lighter than the rest, together to the whole rear fuselage! Especially in the picture of the two blokes inserting the camera... the center portion of the roundel looks as I would expect of an "India White" one, i.e., just a bit lighter than the PRU Blue, and highly contrasting the Roundel Blue surround. Red would be darker and less contrasting, IMHO.

Fernando

Edited by Fernando
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9099297087_ba14e6278a_o.jpg

I agree that the camera hatch in this photo plated/painted over and I know that my eyesight is not what it once was but there doesn't appear to be anything visible through the glass (base of mast, brickwork or foliage), which I guess as its a camera hatch, would the glass need to be optically clear?

Therefore, would the glass hatch be changed to a solid hatch, if only the vertical camera is being carried, to prevent overexposure/too much light, entering the camera area?

Edited by Tony C
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Clearly (so to speak) there is nothing in the hatch to see through. The frame for the glass is there, but that's a solid piece of metal bolted into it.

As for the roundel - remember that common things are common because they occur commonly. PR.XI's left the factory with Type B roundels, and I'd say there's a 99.9% chance that's what you're seeing on the fuselage - the standard PR.XI Type B roundel and nothing more exotic than that. Can't speak to the fin flash.

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Jennings, that's what I meant. It was common to get SEA roundels just by overpainting the Red center of the factory Type B with "India White", instead of doing a complete overpaint and replacing it with the "regulation" small diameter one. Many pictures of PR.IXs and some of PR.IVs around, especially in "Eyes of the Phoenix".

Fernando

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Fernando is quite correct in general, but on this particular aircraft the lighter colour in the fin flash is close to the serial, which nowadays is said to have been "SEAC White" but used to be described as Medium Sea Grey. Then there is a white code letter, then a much darker centre to the roundel. My interpretation is that this is indeed a red/blue roundel that has not (yet?) been overpainted, unlike the finflash. I don't think that the fin does otherwise look lighter than the fuselage, although the deflected rudder does, so I would rule out differences in the lighting creating a misleading effect.

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Hi All,

Although I am sure many of you have seen this I will post it anyway. Shown below is PL885 another PRXI of 681 Sqn from the same period. Also for your interest listed under the following catalogue numbers; CF 799, CI 893 & CF 1245 from Imperial War Museum collection are further 681 Sqn PRXI aircraft in the Far East.

9143219028_46a5488cb4_o.jpg

Cheers,

Daniel.

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...following catalogue numbers; CF 799, CI 893 & CF 1245 from Imperial War Museum collection are further 681 Sqn PRXI aircraft in the Far East.

To save everyone looking them up, here they are:

large.jpg?action=e&cat=photographs

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE IN THE FAR EAST 1945-1946. © IWM (CF 799)IWM Non Commercial Licence

large.jpg?action=e&cat=photographs

ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN THE FAR EAST, 1941-1945.. © IWM (CI 893)IWM Non Commercial Licence

large.jpg?action=e&cat=photographs

AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE, 1939-1945: SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE.. © IWM (CF 1245)IWM Non Commercial Licence

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