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keith in the uk

The Red Crow bar debate starts here

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Having seen many Spitfire models built over the years I was wondering if there has ever been any definitive proof that war time Spitfires carried a Red crow bar ?

I am led to believe that only restored Spitfires have a Red Crow bar for safety reasons and have always pointed this out to finished models with this apparent Faux Par , however if there is a pic of a wartime Spitfire with a Red crow bar I will stand corrected and drink my bottle of liquid poly.

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I do believe that they were fitted to the Mk 5's onwards and were silver at first. Only being painted red after the war.

Any Spit gurus able to elaborate?

 

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Post war international agreements required items of safety equipment to be coloured red.

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I was sort of hoping the "Red Crow Bar" would be a pub somewhere.  Come to think of it "Liquid Poly" wouldn't be a bad name for a drinking establishment.

 

I deferred to better informed opinions than mine and painted the only one I've done a silvery/aluminium-y colour. 

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There is no debate remaining that I am aware of on here, it is long established that red crowbars mounted in doors are post-war, and Battle of Britain Spitfires did not have them in any colour.

A couple of the previous threads:

As for what required the red paint, Nick Millman a couple of years ago tracked it down to DTD Technical Circular No.489 of 5 Apr 1945, which, to quote Nick:  "set out the marking of aircraft escape doors, hatches and break-in panels, requiring (amongst many other things) that all knobs, handles and releases on camouflaged surfaces were to be painted yellow and on uncamouflaged surfaces to be painted red."

Edited by Work In Progress

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I've spent the last 30+ minutes trawling through the IWM's Spitfire photos. I would say that those that have the crowbar fitted, all bars are silver/steel/metallic. 

 

I have also noticed that a few have the brackets for said bar, but there is no bar.

 

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Chris

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4 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

Come to think of it "Liquid Poly" wouldn't be a bad name for a drinking establishment.

I'd have thought that was someone's drunken pet bird.

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Thread creep alert! Fire extinguishers weren't red either.

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8 hours ago, Peter Roberts said:

So what colour was the hand rail in the Lancaster cockpit, WW2 era?

 

Oops, more thread creep.

 

Yellow I believe  :hmmm:

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No thread creep please, and keep it polite 

 

thx

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At the risk of creating more thread creep. The really important question is not the colour of the crowbar but how often was it used? 🤔 😉

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Well crowbars at dawn it is! 🤠

 

Ed your link doesn't work. Edit working again. 

Edited by noelh

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22 hours ago, MilneBay said:

The really important question is not the colour of the crowbar but how often was it used? 🤔 😉

 

Often the reason for trouble opening the canopy was a bullet/cannon strike on a canopy rail or the framing which prevented the canopy being opened or jettisoned. How often were the crowbars used? Who knows.

 

If you did have to use it, then you probably would have wanted to be in the situation where you were on dry land rather than in the air in combat under fire or after ditching. Actually ditching in a Spitfire was considered more dangerous than bailing out due to the fact that despite what films such as "Dunkirk" like to show, single engined fighters tended to sink incredibly quickly even when perfectly ditched. The P-51B pilot notes for example state that the aircraft will sink within 2 seconds of ditching, and I can't remember which marks but in the Spit pilot notes it recommends bailing out rather than ditching for that reason. Tragically Butch Aikman watched Paddy Finucane (a very gifted Spitfire pilot) make an absolutely perfect ditching and yet the aircraft sunk immediately.

 

Did the crowbar save lives, very probably but it's also probable that in certain circumstances where it could be used as a last resort it was possibly too late for the poor pilot to extricate himself from the situation, crowbar or not. 

 

 

 

Edited by Smithy
Typo

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On 1/15/2020 at 9:42 PM, Julien said:

No thread creep please

Are we allowed to talk about TREAD Creep marks ???  :whistle:

 

Sorry.... I'll get my coat...

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Did other aircraft of the Spitfire era have crow bars fitted ? If so what colour were they ?

 

Dick

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