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rudnei

Spitfire (all marks) radio antennae wires

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Hi,

I am trying to find out the disposition of radio antennae wires on the Spitfire marks (fighter versions) in RAF/RAAF/RCAF/RNZAF service in WWII. From what I could gather from photos, in general (as built):

  1. Marks I to V: wire running from the radio mast to a short mast on top of the rudder; wire running from the top wire to the fuselage, near the radio mast; wires running from the horizontal stabilizers, near their tips, to the fuselage sides, near the left hand-side radio inspection door and about the same position on right fuselage.
  2. Marks VI to VIII: same as above, but: wire running from the radio mast to a short mast on top of the rudder, if using rounded rudder; to an opening in the front of the rudder, near the top, if using pointed rudder.
  3. Marks IX, XII and XVI: only had the top wire, same as in Marks VI to VIII.
  4. Mark XIV: small whip antenna on the top of fuselage, offset to the right, nearer to the cockpit than to the fin.

 

I would appreciate if you could correct me as I may have made mistakes.

Cheers

Rudnei

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My understanding is that the early Mk 1s had the external aerial running from a point just aft of the aerial mast, through the traingular fitment at the top of the mast then to the small mast on top of the fin. From some time in later summer in 1940, probablt from when the Castle Bromwich factory started better production levels and at the same time as the actual radio equipment was changed, the radio aerial was simply incorporated within the actual aerial mast, with no external aerial wire running from the mast to the fin. As far as I'm aware, this latter arrangement was applied to most of the early Mk IIs. Mk Vs and Mk IXs until the later marks used other arrangements like the whip aerial you referred to. The aerial running from the tip of the horizintal stabilisers to the fuselage around the fuselage roundel was the aerial for the IFF transmitter. I think this wasn't fitted to the very early Mk 1s, but became common fitments during the BoB but I'm unclear when they stopped fitting these. The website you've been directed to is very helpful and Troy Smith is probably the best reference point for further information. I hope this helps a bit and I apologise if this is incorrect or oversimplifies the issue. Paul

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11 hours ago, rudnei said:

Hi,

I am trying to find out the disposition of radio antennae wires on the Spitfire marks (fighter versions) in RAF/RAAF/RCAF/RNZAF service in WWII. From what I could gather from photos, in general (as built):

  1. Marks I to V: wire running from the radio mast to a short mast on top of the rudder; wire running from the top wire to the fuselage, near the radio mast; wires running from the horizontal stabilizers, near their tips, to the fuselage sides, near the left hand-side radio inspection door and about the same position on right fuselage.
  2. Marks VI to VIII: same as above, but: wire running from the radio mast to a short mast on top of the rudder, if using rounded rudder; to an opening in the front of the rudder, near the top, if using pointed rudder.
  3. Marks IX, XII and XVI: only had the top wire, same as in Marks VI to VIII.
  4. Mark XIV: small whip antenna on the top of fuselage, offset to the right, nearer to the cockpit than to the fin.

 

I would appreciate if you could correct me as I may have made mistakes.

Cheers

Rudnei

Rudnel,

 

You can't be as general as that. Other factors involved were the radio fit out, (e.g. HF, VHF, UHF, type of IFF, or combinations), theater of operations, and timescale. For example in point 1 you lump Marks I to V together. They were not all the same and the antennae arrangement differed with updates of equipment and theatre of operations, as well as time of service. Most MK.V aircraft did not have the wire from the mast to rudder, they were fitted with the VHF antenna contained within the mast and did not require a long antenna wire. Many A/C, later, did not have the IFF antenna from from the fuselage to the tail plane, but had an antenna under the wing. (Different IFF fit). Most Mk.VIII aircraft did not have the antenna wire from the mast to fin top, nor the IFF from fuselage to T/P. MKs.IX, XVI etc did not have the wire from mast to rudder, and differed in IFF antenna, dependent on theatre.

 

The types of radio and antenna fitted to the Spitfire can be a quite complicated subject.  To detail all the possibilities would require a fairly long article. This is definitely one situation where the old adage, "research your particular aircraft" applies.

 

Peter

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Thank you for this thread. I just took the mast to rudder wire off a Mk VIII I just made. I would assume then that Mk Vc I am building will have no antenna wiring as well? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Edited by Madmaks

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18 minutes ago, Madmaks said:

Thank you for this thread. I just took the mast to rudder wire off a Mk VIII I just made. I would assume then that Mk Vc I am building will have no antenna wiring as well? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Correct, the only wires would be the IFF wires from the tail planes to the fuselage (roundel area).

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/spitfire-masts-and-aerials.html/2

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

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6 hours ago, spitfire said:

Correct, the only wires would be the IFF wires from the tail planes to the fuselage (roundel area).

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/spitfire-masts-and-aerials.html/2

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

 

It's not unlikely that a Mk. VIII would have had the single rod IFF antenna under the starboard wing rather than the tail-to-fuselage wires since they started being installed sometime in 1943.

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13 hours ago, Madmaks said:

Thank you for this thread. I just took the mast to rudder wire off a Mk VIII I just made. I would assume then that Mk Vc I am building will have no antenna wiring as well? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

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

Edited by Magpie22
Spelling correction

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On 2/13/2020 at 9:53 PM, Magpie22 said:

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

Much appreciated!

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