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Sean_M

Vol 2 All the Spitfire questions here

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Hi Chaps

I know that it has been discussed once but couldn't find it. I've started slow work on Spitfire Mk.VIII and I have one problem - the torsion racks. When were they implemented into production? Is it possible to determine from serial number which planes had the rack and which didn't?

Thank you

Dominik

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I think so, those "scissors like" things attached to "legs" that appeared in Marks VIII, IX, XIV and so on.

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Hi Dominik,

It's fair to say that most Spitfire VIII aircraft were fitted with main undercarriage oleo struts that featured either aft or forward torque/torsion links, with the exception of some JF serial Spitfire VIII aircraft that were fitted with Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91545 struts with splined rams. That said, other JF serial Spitfire VIII's were fitted with the Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91901 struts with aft torque/torsion links.

LV, MB, MD and JG serial Spitfire VIII aircraft often appear to be fitted with the Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91901 struts with aft torque/torsion links.

While MT and MV serial Spitfire VIII aircraft were fitted with Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91986 struts with forward torque/torsion links.

Cheers,

Daniel.

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More interesting pictures you can find in the book "Polish Wings" #13, Supermarine Spitfire 1942-1943.

I have used it for one of my last spitfire models- a Mk.IXc early version- a Mk.V-conversion.

Is that an updated (?) version of the book by W. Matusiak published some 10-odd years ago by Mirage ?

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Yes, there's some carryover from the Mirage book to the Polish Wings volumes, but well worth getting (there are Mk.IX Pts 1 & 2, and Mk.XVI). Admittedly I'm a little biased, since I had some minor involvement.

bob

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Thanks Bob, I liked the Mirage book, but those Skrzydlata Polska series sounds like even more depth.

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Well, they mean something to me for personal reasons, but I've got no financial stake. I don't mind advertising for Wojtek, though!

bob

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@Daniel

Thank you very much for information. I think it's the firs time I've heard about aft links. Now I have to look more carefully at the photos. Do you think that JF476 had aft links or no links?

@Tempestfan

If you get those books they are really worth the money. OK, I'm a Pole and the Spitfire fan so I would have been strange not to buy them.

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The Eduard Spitfire Mk IXc (Late Version) kit provides two two-part components (E2/E3 and E7/E8) for two upper cowls. The kit instructions indicate that one cowl (E2/E3) is for the HF IXc (MJ296) whilst the other is for the remaining subjects - all of which are LF IXcs. I am unable to discern any differences between the two cowls - no doubt there are - and would appreciate details of the differences.

Also would I be right in assuming that the so called "flat" cowl was fitted to production F IXs and, possibly, some of the Vc conversions whereas the "bulged" cowl was fitted to all subsequent Merlin powered Marks, LFs, HFs etc ?

Another question is which spitfire Marks were factory fitted with tubular exhausts and which with fishtail exhausts ?

Finally, was the clear light fitted on top of the Vc fuselage, behind the cockpit, not fitted to production F IXs and all subsequent Spitfire Marks ?

I would be extremely grateful for any information

Edit: "provides" inserted before "two".

Edited by Sky Pilot

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Hi Dominik,

Since the Type 91901 struts appear somewhere in the JF500 serial range which also includes Type 91545 struts as well. It is highly likely that JF476, was fitted with Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91545 struts with splined rams, which according to the instructions (I don't have the kit) correspond with parts G25 and G26.

Incidentally Eduard is the only kit manufacturer to have ever provided a representation of the Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91901 struts with aft torque/torsion links (I provided the research for this) as represented with parts G77, G78, G79 and G80.

Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91545 (splined ram) Struts

18932972722_ffbeb576c7_o.jpg

Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91901 (aft torque/torsion link) Struts

18912038146_600364b0f4_o.jpg

18317633183_dfa1cba008_o.jpg

18315733574_d8388b4ca8_o.jpg

18932971692_582ff6681c_o.jpg

Copyright ©2012 Daniel Cox

18752093379_45f563aea1_o.jpg

Copyright ©2012 Daniel Cox

Vickers Oleo Pneumatic Type 91986 (forward torque/torsion link) Struts

18941189211_b659627ee4_o.jpg

18938275455_4ac22b94b4_o.jpg

18932969902_fffec4cf27_o.jpg

Copyright ©2014 Daniel Cox

Cheers,

Daniel.

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Didn't realise that it was aluminium - thought it was steel. Was it a single piece or in two parts ?

Thank you

Actually Dural, 96% Al. 4% copper. Age hardened at manufacture, it approached the impact resistance of steel by thickness.

G

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I have been hoping to see some response to dragonlance/Vedran's query about smaller roundels on MTO Spitfires (thread 325 above), but there has been none. Did it get lost in the shuffle, or is there indeed no information out there?

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Speaking of Spitfires in the Med and their roundels, pictures clearly show that some smaller roundels were used. I've seen pictures of aircrafts with even smaller roundels than the ones seen in the pictures posted by Vedran. I don't know of any document specifying the use of these smaller roundels, but they were used. On most aircrafts with smaller roundels I believe they were applied at MU level as pictures of these were IMHO taken after repaints. One unit that seems to have used small roundels was 249 Sqn., but then this unit also used "B type" roundels on the fuselage in some cases....

Edited by Giorgio N

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I have just noticed that the Eduard Spitfire Mk IXc (Late Version) kit instructions incorrectly identify MJ296 as an HF IXc. The kit decals provide for ML296. The production site shows that MJ296 was in fact an LF IXc. The kit HF IXc was ML296. Quel confusion ! But now I'm a happy chappy. Oh dear Eduard.

Edit :

Might it be that the fitting of the E2/E3 cowl referred to in #332 above was attributed to the HFs being powered by the M70 whereas the LFs were powered by the M66 ? Was the E2/E3 cowl that which was known as the "bulged" cowl ? There really is little difference between that and the E7/E6 cowl.

Edited by Sky Pilot

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Daniel

Thanks for posting the info and pics of the different u/c legs and doors. Great info and a useful guide.

The other thing I took from these pics is that I haven't been flattening my Spitfire tyres enough!

PR

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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.

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Great photo of a Spitfire jacked up, would love to do that on my planned 5 Sqn Vb 1:32 in Tunisia in my series of builds featuring my Dad working on aircraft...

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Thanks for your response and the tip about the Polish Wings book - a very worthwhile acquisition. I am impressed by your early Mk IX build - what kit did you use ? And how thick was the plastic used for the armour plating ?

This was a bullsh... kit from "Ccidental", All parts were very rough, many parts I removed by ICM-Parts (Mk.XI)

The propeller was only a big part of plastik sheet. I have made a propeller - with a profile - from this.

But I could not throw this kit it in the garbage! So I made the best of it - and it was simple.

And the weapon on the left top side is complete self made! Look here!

Edited by BOBO

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I have seen several references to spitfire AE-A (EP120) being an LF Vb but the Production page site shows EP120 as being an M46 powered Vb. Could it be that because EP120 had clipped wings it was considered, by some, to be an LF. Controversially, it seems that, being M46 powered, EP120 was better suited to high altitude operations.

Comments will be appreciated.

Edit:

BTW thanks for your above response Edgar.

Edited by Sky Pilot

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I have seen several references to spitfire AE-A (EP120) being an LF Vb but the Production page site shows EP120 as being an M46 powered Vb. Could it be that because EP120 had clipped wings it was considered, by some, to be an LF. Controversially, it seems that, being M46 powered, EP120 was better suited to high altitude operations.

Comments will be appreciated.

Just because it was built with a M46 doesn't mean it kept it.

Changed operational requirements could lead to an engine change or modification.

in this post I mentioned

Pierre Clostermann in 'The Big Show' mentions using a Spitfire 'VD' as it 'clipped, cropped and clapped' and mentions it having on 60 rounds of cannon ammo, and many hours on the airframe.

Clipped is wing, Cropped, is the impeller blades on the engine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rolls-Royce_Merlin&action=edit&section=9

Rolls-Royce also continued to develop the single-stage supercharger, resulting in 1942 in the development of a smaller "cropped" impeller for the Merlin 45M and 55M; both of these engines developed greater power at low altitudes.[42] In squadron service the LF.V variant of the Spitfire fitted with these engines became known as the "clipped, clapped, and cropped Spitty" to indicate the shortened wingspan, the less-than-perfect condition of the used airframes, and the cropped supercharger impeller.[43]

Others hopefully will know more.

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Troy

Many thanks for your reply.

As it turns out EP120, originally a "straight" Vb (SD-Y), did, eventually finish up as an LF Vb (recoded AE-A) as described here

The following year, on 22nd April 1943, it was assigned to No.402 Squadron, where it was allocated to Sqdn Ldr Jeff Northcote, DSO, DFC and the CO. The aircraft was then modified, with clipped wings and supercharger, blades cropped to boost power.

In this link

http://www.sonsofdamien.co.uk/EP120.htm

Perhaps the modification was done in the field.

I suppose that I shall have to continue to look for a straight Vb with clipped wings. If such a thing ever existed. :weep:

I am, nevertheless, compelled to build EP120 as AE-A because I realised, from the above link, that I saw her whenever, as a lad, I cycled past RAF Wilmslow where she acted as gate guard. So every cloud does have a silver lining :D

Cheers

John

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What for a device / equipment it is on this prototype K5054- right, plase? B)

K5054.jpg

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