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Nachtwulf

What makes the Spitfire such a beautiful aircraft?

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When it was fitted with arrestor gear, had Royal Navy painted on the side and named the Seafire it became a thing of beauty only eclipsed by the Sea Fury.

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It's such a subjective area this... The only mark that loses this a little is the Seafire XVII I think because the curved windscreen foreshortens the nose. Such a small thing which makes such a big difference. Not that I don't think this mark is a beauty though.

Well, I left in that last bit so I wouldn't bias your comment. I just looked again at a side-on shot of a Seafire XVII to be sure, and I can categorically say that I think it is lovely. Like you said, subjective!

Now, a Vb Trop with a Vokes filter, on the other hand... Spitfires don't come much more "having an off day?" than that.

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Personally I think Mitchell's most beautiful creation was the Southampton Mk.II!

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Personally I think Mitchell's most beautiful creation was the Southampton Mk.II!

Did Mitchell design the PB31E Night Hawk? A true beauty. I think possibly before his time though. At least I hope so.

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Well, I left in that last bit so I wouldn't bias your comment. I just looked again at a side-on shot of a Seafire XVII to be sure, and I can categorically say that I think it is lovely. Like you said, subjective!

Now, a Vb Trop with a Vokes filter, on the other hand... Spitfires don't come much more "having an off day?" than that.

Well, I did say 'a little' like, for instance, Audrey Hepburn on a bad hair day.

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the Hunter looks to me to have all the characteristics of the Spit

Very much a case in point illustration of beauty being in the eyes of the beholder GN. There's a lot of romantic nationalistic nostalgia surrounding the Hunter, undoubtedly exacerbated by positive accounts from most who flew her with fond memory of her as a delightfully handling aircraft. Whilst respecting your perspective, aesthetically the Hunter has never done anything for me. In fact I think she's a disproportionate bland design which fits into the also ran category in the looks 'race'. Vive la difference. OTOH the BAe Hawk like the Skyhawk, pre-avionics hump suffixes in the particular, just look proportionately right. Much like the "V" bombers, aesthetically, we all have our favourite. For me it's not the Vulcan. But then I think the English Electric Lightning is drop dead gorgeous and looks just like what an interceptor should. Twin brooms with a seat.

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Speaking of the Hunter - many years ago in Air International I read an article (I think it was Matthews who had worked for Hawkers) where it was claimed the writer upset Camm by suggesting that the Hunter would have been better looking if the cockpit was two feet further forward than where it was. I can't help but agree - to me the Hunter always looks a bit hunched rather than sleek.

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Try typing in Blackburn Blackburd and see what happens.

For some reason I got direct linked to a youtube video of Daltrey et al. singing "Won't get fooled again".

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cause its wings remind me of Heinkels and I love Heinkels. :winkgrin:

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Ah, the Spitfire.

To me, it is not merely its looks, though when you look at many of the other fighters being built or under development at the time (the Me109, the MS.406, the P-36 Hawk) you can see why it would win any beauty contest hands down. Ally that to the way it became a symbol for the British people, both at the time (the Spitfire Fund) and in the years since, and how it has become -rightly or wrongly- a legend, and everything seems to come together.

Of course, some are better than others and to me the PR.19, with its long nose, high back and unblemished wings, just encapsulates the Spitfire perfectly.

I'm not sure who mentioned putting a poet in front of one, but I can think of no better poem that can go with the Spitfire than the wonderful, beautiful 'High Flight' by John Gillespie Magee:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
Edited by T7 Models

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As a sucker for the "misty-eyed nostalgia" supposedly more prevalent in the British I like that.

Most of the anti is just jealousy or the usual politically motivated Brit-bashing anyway. Try slagging off the P-51 Mustang at Hyperscale and see what happens. Oh, no, hang on though. It was the British Rolls-Royce Merlin that made that fighter aircraft a true contender and it wouldn't have existed at all without the British RAF.

:winkgrin:

Nick

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As a sucker for the "misty-eyed nostalgia" supposedly more prevalent in the British I like that.

Most of the anti is just jealousy or the usual politically motivated Brit-bashing anyway. Try slagging off the P-51 Mustang at Hyperscale and see what happens. Oh, no, hang on though. It was the British Rolls-Royce Merlin that made that fighter aircraft a true contender and it wouldn't have existed at all without the British RAF.

:winkgrin:

Nick

Not to mention that the divergent/convergent, ducted cooling system, (the real drag saver on the Mustang, not the 'laminar' flow wing), pioneered by Frederick Meredith at RAE; and aerodynamicist, Beverley Shenstone, introducing them to boundary layer bleed, (separating the intake from the under-wing skin), to solve their cooling problems. He wanted to put it on the Spitfire, but there wasn't room.

Magpie 22

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Ah, the Spitfire.

To me, it is not merely its looks, though when you look at many of the other fighters being built or under development at the time (the Me109, the MS.406, the P-36 Hawk) you can see why it would win any beauty contest hands down. Ally that to the way it became a symbol for the British people, both at the time (the Spitfire Fund) and in the years since, and how it has become -rightly or wrongly- a legend, and everything seems to come together.

Of course I agree but could not excape mentioning some Italian fighter planes, like the Macchi 202 Folgore, the Fiat G55 Centauro, and the Reggiane 2005 Sagittario. Just to be fair.

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Spitfire = sex on wings :wub: ​............................................... enough said :coolio:

Now building his 60 odd Spitfire to date :wub::wub::wub:

Edited by jenko

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Lots of good posts.. :)

I find her beautiful in the shape of the wings and vertical stabs kinda reflecting each other. The Nicely shaped and tapered fuselage back to a good looking rudder.

Her nose and engine compartment also has a nice shape along with the pointy spinner on all models.

Sleek beauty?

I am a big fan of the P-47s look as well and there it is also those not too dissimilar wings and nice shapes but it is more brutal in the engine and has some more wheight which is not a bad thing.. But those wings... The shape.. ^^

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An observation on something I had almost forgotten

I was at an airshow many years ago. It was a big show though I can't recall which one. I was in a crowd of aircrew including some fast jet guys from different countries. Canada and US among others. They were enjoying a good chat and several flying routines passed without a glance.

Then a Spitfire did a solo display. All discussion stopped and every eye turned to watch from beginning to end of display. No exceptions. Once finished they all returned to the chat.

Nuff said

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An observation on something I had almost forgotten

I was at an airshow many years ago. It was a big show though I can't recall which one. I was in a crowd of aircrew including some fast jet guys from different countries. Canada and US among others. They were enjoying a good chat and several flying routines passed without a glance.

Then a Spitfire did a solo display. All discussion stopped and every eye turned to watch from beginning to end of display. No exceptions. Once finished they all returned to the chat.

Nuff said

Had the same experience once--we don't have that many shows. My sons also remarked a change in attitude ...

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An observation on something I had almost forgotten

I was at an airshow many years ago. It was a big show though I can't recall which one. I was in a crowd of aircrew including some fast jet guys from different countries. Canada and US among others. They were enjoying a good chat and several flying routines passed without a glance.

Then a Spitfire did a solo display. All discussion stopped and every eye turned to watch from beginning to end of display. No exceptions. Once finished they all returned to the chat.

Nuff said

Farnborough International Airfare............. every year.

Now that is what I call .......making a statement.

Ps

Can I get back to making my Tamiya 1/32 Mk 9 now ?? :heart:

Edited by jenko

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Subtle compound curves in all the right places. Every iteration from K5054 to the F24 looks stunning if you ask me. The three most beautiful, in no particular order, K5054 in light blue, Mk.Ia (black spinner) and the XIVe bubble top!

Ben

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Nearly 40 years ago, I worked at Rolls-Royce in Bristol as a software engineer. One of the true joys was seeing the griffon engined spit that was hangered there then doing aerobatics. The sight and sound was glorious. All spitfires are gorgeous in my opinion.

My first kit over 50 years ago was the old Airfix 72 Spitfire, bought from Woolies when we were on holiday in Cornwall.

I am too young to remember the war (50's child!), but my dad remembers as a boy in Kent watching the Spitfires and Me109s dog-fighting during the BoB. He told me that at the time he didn't see the brave men (both Brits and Germans) fighting for their lives, just the beautiful aerobatic ballet in the sky.

I may be biased, but there are really only three planes that give me goose-bumps when I see them. The Spitfire, the Harrier (Another frequent visitor to Rolls-Royce Bristol in my day) and Concorde. At least I see Concorde most weekends as I pass the sadly non-operational, Filton airfield on my way to the Mall.

Edited by Alan R

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Denied objectivity fed by years of emotive nostalgia and national pride, any objective discussion of the Spitfire is quite simply impossible in any British or former Commonwealth forum or country. Whilst undeniably aesthetically beautiful as iterated previously, any assignation of "most beautiful" by virtue of logic must lie in the individual eye of the beholder.

Certainly if one were to pronounce most beautiful as by majority consensus in any British forum, the Spitfire wins if only through familiarity with the layman elevated to legendary status through so many years of worshipful hype.

Completely comprehensible. Of a sample taken elsewhere, one might expect the P-51D elevated to iconic status for the exact same reasons. Neither are that to me, but they are both proportionate and undeniably beautiful designs aesthetically, and of their epoch, formidable technically.

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