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Surviving Spitfires - 32 variants left?


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Hi all. If one was to put together a list of Spitfires (and predecessors) and listed one survivor per variant you would arrive at 32 variants going on the info available on demobbed and a few other sources. For predecessors you can add a further three to this number.

 

I am in a bit of a muddle with various Mk.9's on wing and rudder combo sadly, so there may be more.

 

The code letters listed with the aircraft are for my own research plans, but would anyone be able to expand on this list (or redact if something is wrong)? 

 

S.6A N248

S.6B S1595

Prototype K5054

Mk.1 K9942 SD-D

Mk.1 (late) R6915

L.Mk.II MB293

Mk.IIa P7450 DU-W

Mk.IIb P8331 RF-M

L.Mk.III PP972 11-5 N

PR.IV AA810 LY

V.b BM597 JH-C

V.c AR501 DU-E

V.c Trop JG891 T-B

HF.VIIc EN474

LF Mk.VIII MV154 ZX-M

T8 G-AIDN 

LF Mk.IX MH434 ZD-B

LF Mk.IXe ML417 21-T

T.9 MJ627 9G-Q (bubble canopy)

T.9 PT462 SW-A (normal canopy)

PR.XI PL983

F.XII EN224

F.XIVc RN201

F.XIVe MV293 JE-J

F.XV SR462

F.XVI RW382 3W-P (High Back)

F.XVI TD248 (Low Back)

F.XVII SX336 105 VL

F.XVIII SM845

PR.XIX PS853 C 

21 LA198 RAI-G

22 PK519 V6-A

24 PK724

F.46 LA564

F.47 VP441 139-0

 

Cheers,

  WV908

Edited by WV908
MT818 corrected to G-AIDN
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Just now, DaveWilko said:

Sir,what of the three PR.XIX's airworthy in UK?

Doh! Two of them even live an hour from me. Can't see the forest for the trees. Added! 

 

Cheers,

  WV908 

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One also believes,going on information given at a Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association Day at Coningsby some years ago,

that although MK356 was originally built as a IXc,she is or was ten years ago,re-classed as a standard fuselage XVIe.

Her wings were swapped with those of an XVIe when she was restored to flight in 1992,the larger chord rudder fitted because

it gives the aircraft a better range of crosswind handling from(IORC)the same aircraft.

She was fitted originally with a Mk.66 Merlin at the factory,though in 2007 had a "civilian"Merlin(500 series, IORC)fitted.

By 2009(again IORC)a Packard 266 had been restored and fitted,hence the re-classification.

 

Of course,this may all have changed and the aircraft is now indeed a IXc once more.

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22 minutes ago, WV908 said:

Prototype K5054

this is a replica

23 minutes ago, WV908 said:

LF.IXb MH434 ZD-B

it's IXc

there never was a IXb,  unofficially IXA/IXB were used in some squadron record books to differentiate from HF/LF  versions

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36 minutes ago, Jonny said:

There's N3200 owned by IWM and kept at Duxford - a Mk. 1a

 

HTH,

Jonny

 

Hi Jonny, I've used R6915 as my Mk.1a :)

 

34 minutes ago, DaveWilko said:

One also believes,going on information given at a Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association Day at Coningsby some years ago,

that although MK356 was originally built as a IXc,she is or was ten years ago,re-classed as a standard fuselage XVIe.

Her wings were swapped with those of an XVIe when she was restored to flight in 1992,the larger chord rudder fitted because

it gives the aircraft a better range of crosswind handling from(IORC)the same aircraft.

She was fitted originally with a Mk.66 Merlin at the factory,though in 2007 had a "civilian"Merlin(500 series, IORC)fitted.

By 2009(again IORC)a Packard 266 had been restored and fitted,hence the re-classification.

 

Of course,this may all have changed and the aircraft is now indeed a IXc once more.

 

Hi Dave, That's nice and confusing haha. I'll knock her off and keep RW382. Reluctantly though because MK356 is my favourite and this is my long term 1/48 build list. I am however building MK356 in 1/32 ;)

 

32 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

Prototype K5045 - this is a replica

MH424 - it's IXc

there never was a IXb,  unofficially IXA/IXB were used in some squadron record books to differentiate from HF/LF  versions

Thanks Troy, another -1 to demobbed then. I'll knock EN199 off the list to compensate.

 

Yes, the prototype at Tangmere may well be a replica, but so are all the airworthy Mk.1's and a good chunk of the T.9's. This one just doesn't fly :(

 

Cheers,

  WV908 

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There is no distinct version called Mk.1a - the suffix system post-dated the Mk.I, although there were Mk.I (cannon armed) and Mk.Ib aircraft.

What's an LF Mk.II?  If it is a Seafire, then it should be L.Mk.II.  Ditto the L.III not LF.III

There was an LR Mk.II - or should that be Mk.IILR?

Similarly, there was no Mk.IXc.  There were F Mk.IX, LF Mk.IX, LF Mk.IXe, and HF Mk.IXe

F. Mk.VIII or LF Mk.VIII?  I think the MV series were LFs

 

I think that you are getting into deep water if you start differentiating too much, such as tropicalised or not.  As to whether the current aircraft are accurate representations of their original designations, that's definitely a matter of not being too precise as few have matching engines or armament.

 

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Hi @Graham Boak

 

Thanks for the extra info - I've updated the list to have the right designations for the different marks. I've pulled Eduard's trick with the Mk.1 and called R9615 a 'late' Mk.1 

 

The only dispensation I've made for Tropical variants is with the V.c (Trop) - Ironically said aircraft (JG891) no longer has it's Tropical filter. 

 

Some restorations are as close to original configuration as possible whereas others have deliberate omissions (All the BBMF aircraft have no sights and are fitted with modern radio for example). The worst surely are both airworthy PR.XI's which barely even represent the mark. 

 

I am really hopeful that AA810 is going to be a faithful restoration.

 

Cheers,

  WV908

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11 hours ago, WV908 said:

 

Hi Jonny, I've used R6915 as my Mk.1a :)

 

 

Hi Dave, That's nice and confusing haha. I'll knock her off and keep RW382. Reluctantly though because MK356 is my favourite and this is my long term 1/48 build list. I am however building MK356 in 1/32 ;)

 

Thanks Troy, another -1 to demobbed then. I'll knock EN199 off the list to compensate.

 

Yes, the prototype at Tangmere may well be a replica, but so are all the airworthy Mk.1's and a good chunk of the T.9's. This one just doesn't fly :(

 

Cheers,

  WV908 

The airworthy Mark I examples are entirely faithful to the Mark I Spitfire, whereas the K5054 'replica' is a very long way from being truly representative of the original K5054 structure, and is not actually an aeroplane, just something that visually resembles an aeroplane.

And the S.6a and S.6b are not Spitfires in any way shape or form. You might as well call a Walrus a Spitfire.

Edited by Work In Progress
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Hi @Work In Progress That's a shame as the build log of the Prototype Replica leads as if it's structurally identical the original. Certainly with the amount of money that was poured into building it I struggle to see how / why it wasn't done properly. 

 

I'll still keep it on the list as respresentative of the mark, along with the S.6's as they are the direct lineage. You'll note at the top of the OP I state 'and predecessors'. Similarly if there was a Spiteful I'd put it on the list but definitely would not include the Walrus haha :)

 

I have amended the numbering to suit though.

Cheers,

  WV908

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12 hours ago, WV908 said:

Hi Dave, That's nice and confusing haha. I'll knock her off and keep RW382. Reluctantly though because MK356 is my favourite and this is my long term 1/48 build list. I am however building MK356 in 1/32 ;)

Sir,looking at current photographs of MK356 in the present colour scheme worn,the "e" wings are indeed still fitted.

When at Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association Day,the aircraft was flown on an excellent solo display by the retiring

Squadron Leader Clive Rowley(it was his last BBMF flight at an Association Day).

After landing and parking MK356,he came over and spoke the the assembly of Association members,thanking them for

their support during his time on the Flight.

One was fortunate enough to have him autograph a photograph in one's Association magazine of him flying MK356.

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I have a few reservations similar to Work in Progress, as while the work done on the S.6 sure had an effect on the later Spitfire, IMHO claiming a direct lineage is stretching things quite a bit. Same for the K5054 replica, this is not a survivor but a replica that was never asked to fly. Of course it's your list, so anything you feel is worth including can fit in, but it should be clear that a surviving Spitfire is a different thing.

 

On the "proper" Spitfire list, I'd say that while some of these are indeed different variants, others can not be defined as such, the term "variations" would probably be a better choice. A Mk.I is a Mk.I, the various features that may have been introduced during the aircraft career do not turn the aircraft into a different variant. The same could be said for the many modifications introduced during the life of other variants: do the bulges above the wheel well introduced at the War's end turn a Mk.IX into something else ? No, the aircraft will still be a Mk.IX, although it may differ from another example that for some reason did not receive such modification.

Another problem is with subvariants that differ in terms of armament: if a Mk.IX or XIV left the factory with a C wing armament and was later converted to the E wing armament, how should this be considered ? I see for example that you list RN201 as a XIVc but this today features an E wing (and I believe that actually she always had this armament). Funnily, I've seen pictures of MV293 with a reproduction of a C wing armament, that she never carried when operational. Does this make her a XIVc ? Not at all.

Other aircraft for which a lot could be said are the T.9...

PT462 was built as a two seater in the '80s, to a standard different from what a proper T.9 was. She even has a different wing, more similar to the PR.XI type. IMHO this is not a T.9, it's a modern rebuild to a new standard.

NH341 was also rebuilt to a two seater standard well after the end of the War from an airframe that had been lost while flying as a single seater... it's sure closer to a true T.9 but IMHO it ain't one. If you want a proper T.9, there are a few, for example MJ627, that was converted to T.9 standard in 1950 and sold to Ireland for the IAC.

Last but not least (for the moment): what is the difference between a Seafire XV and a XVc ? All Seafire XV had the armament of the C wing (but did not have a proper C wing, they had a Seafire folding wing). So both SR462 and PR451 would be Seafire XVs.

 

The above from the point of view of the armchair historian, now from a modeller point of view things can be a bit different since we as modellers may be interested in all the big and small external features that would make a model different from the other. Here's how yes, both RN201 and MV293 are XIVe but the former features the original canopy while the latter is a low-back with a bubble canopy. The two Seafire XVs are now different as one features the original A-frame hook while the other has the later "stinger" hook.

When it comes to the smaller differences things can turn even more complicated... there are Mk.IXs with original rounded rudder and others with the later pointed style, they are all Mk.IX but are different enough for the modeller. Add a few other features and when you start looking at all these details then the number of variations may well be much larger than you expect

 

Edited by Giorgio N
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4 hours ago, WV908 said:

Hi @Work In Progress That's a shame as the build log of the Prototype Replica leads as if it's structurally identical the original. Certainly with the amount of money that was poured into building it I struggle to see how / why it wasn't done properly. 

It's done extremely well as a museum exhibit intended to give a visual representation of an aeroplane, but it is not, never has been and never could be an aeroplane. The fact that the wings unbolt just outboard of the undercarriage is a bit of a giveaway in that regard.

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According to period Air Ministry publications the Mk9 and MkXVI Spitfires were as follows and this has subsequently been used many times since in various articles and publications;

 

F IX Merlin 61; 63 or 63A; two 20-mm. and four .303-in. guns

LF IX Merlin 66; two 20-mm. and four .303-in. guns.

LF IX (e)Merlin 66; two 20-mm. and two .5-in. guns.

HF IX Merlin 70; two 20-mm. and four .303-in. guns.

HF IX (e)Merlin 70; two 20-mm. and two .5-in. guns.

PR XI Merlin 61; 63, 63A or 70.

F XVI Merlin 266; two 20-mm. and two .5-in. guns.

 

Of course in addition to late/post war Spits having the wheel bulges on the upper wing surface there were a number of changes to the engine nose cowling during production but at the end of the day this did not warrant a new Mark number, pre-fix or suffix so they were all still referred to as a Mk 9 or Mk XVI as defined by the origin of the engine.

 

I agree that there was never a Mk 9b but apparently the 'c' suffix was also never used at the time as all Spits were fitted with this standard/universal wing and it was only with the introduction of the 'e' wing (a modified 'c'/universal wing) that it was felt necessary to add the 'e' suffix in order to differentiate such aircraft.

 

Still makes me wonder how MH434 ended up with what appears to be a 'b' wing configuration as this certainly threw me until I studied Shacklady more closely.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Colin.

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It only appears to be a B wing because a small batch of Spitfires received a leading edge fitting that did not have the outer position.  This was normal for the Seafire III (and IIC?) but the previous fitting was restored to the Mk.IX line - possibly because of the foreseen introduction of the E mods?  I hadn't realised this was in STH - must have another read.

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4 hours ago, DaveWilko said:

Sir,looking at current photographs of MK356 in the present colour scheme worn,the "e" wings are indeed still fitted.

When at Lincolnshire's Lancaster Association Day,the aircraft was flown on an excellent solo display by the retiring

Squadron Leader Clive Rowley(it was his last BBMF flight at an Association Day).

After landing and parking MK356,he came over and spoke the the assembly of Association members,thanking them for

their support during his time on the Flight.

One was fortunate enough to have him autograph a photograph in one's Association magazine of him flying MK356.

 

Hi Dave - The last time I saw her fly was at an LLA day. Being this close to a flying Spit is pretty special;

 

FB_IMG_1601905152153

 

4 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

I have a few reservations similar to Work in Progress, as while the work done on the S.6 sure had an effect on the later Spitfire, IMHO claiming a direct lineage is stretching things quite a bit. Same for the K5054 replica, this is not a survivor but a replica that was never asked to fly. Of course it's your list, so anything you feel is worth including can fit in, but it should be clear that a surviving Spitfire is a different thing.

 

On the "proper" Spitfire list, I'd say that while some of these are indeed different variants, others can not be defined as such, the term "variations" would probably be a better choice. A Mk.I is a Mk.I, the various features that may have been introduced during the aircraft career do not turn the aircraft into a different variant. The same could be said for the many modifications introduced during the life of other variants: do the bulges above the wheel well introduced at the War's end turn a Mk.IX into something else ? No, the aircraft will still be a Mk.IX, although it may differ from another example that for some reason did not receive such modification.

Another problem is with subvariants that differ in terms of armament: if a Mk.IX or XIV left the factory with a C wing armament and was later converted to the E wing armament, how should this be considered ? I see for example that you list RN201 as a XIVc but this today features an E wing (and I believe that actually she always had this armament). Funnily, I've seen pictures of MV293 with a reproduction of a C wing armament, that she never carried when operational. Does this make her a XIVc ? Not at all.

Other aircraft for which a lot could be said are the T.9...

PT462 was built as a two seater in the '80s, to a standard different from what a proper T.9 was. She even has a different wing, more similar to the PR.XI type. IMHO this is not a T.9, it's a modern rebuild to a new standard.

NH341 was also rebuilt to a two seater standard well after the end of the War from an airframe that had been lost while flying as a single seater... it's sure closer to a true T.9 but IMHO it ain't one. If you want a proper T.9, there are a few, for example MJ627, that was converted to T.9 standard in 1950 and sold to Ireland for the IAC.

Last but not least (for the moment): what is the difference between a Seafire XV and a XVc ? All Seafire XV had the armament of the C wing (but did not have a proper C wing, they had a Seafire folding wing). So both SR462 and PR451 would be Seafire XVs.

 

The above from the point of view of the armchair historian, now from a modeller point of view things can be a bit different since we as modellers may be interested in all the big and small external features that would make a model different from the other. Here's how yes, both RN201 and MV293 are XIVe but the former features the original canopy while the latter is a low-back with a bubble canopy. The two Seafire XVs are now different as one features the original A-frame hook while the other has the later "stinger" hook.

When it comes to the smaller differences things can turn even more complicated... there are Mk.IXs with original rounded rudder and others with the later pointed style, they are all Mk.IX but are different enough for the modeller. Add a few other features and when you start looking at all these details then the number of variations may well be much larger than you expect

 

 

A lot to go through there haha! :) So, I've knocked both the S6's and the Prototype Replica off the main list and thus the total variants number, but they still stay on my build list. 

 

With the Mk.1's I've gone for two airframes at different ends of the mods spectrum, but for Mk.IX's I am ignoring things like wing bulges, just focusing on the tails and wing types. 

 

I should do a bit of research on the XIV's regarding wings, but the main aim was as you say, to have both a low and high back. 

 

TR.9's - I knew someone would trip me up on these, just no so comprehensively haha! I plan on picking up Greg's excellent two seat Spitfire book soon so hopefully that will make things clearer for me, but I will swap NH341 for MJ627. 

 

For the Seafire XV's I didn't realise they were different, so I'll knock off PR451

2 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

I guess if you include the S.6 you should also include Supermarine Attacker F.1 WA473 in the FAA Museum.

 

Hi Ed, I guess you could but with it being a jet I'd be inclined not to include it or VV106, also at Yeovilton.

 

1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

It's done extremely well as a museum exhibit intended to give a visual representation of an aeroplane, but it is not, never has been and never could be an aeroplane. The fact that the wings unbolt just outboard of the undercarriage is a bit of a giveaway in that regard.

 

My first visit to Tangmere a few weeks ago was rather quick, so I missed that detail haha

 

1 hour ago, fishplanebeer said:

According to period Air Ministry publications the Mk9 and MkXVI Spitfires were as follows and this has subsequently been used many times since in various articles and publications;

 

F IX Merlin 61; 63 or 63A; two 20-mm. and four .303-in. guns

LF IX Merlin 66; two 20-mm. and four .303-in. guns.

LF IX (e)Merlin 66; two 20-mm. and two .5-in. guns.

HF IX Merlin 70; two 20-mm. and four .303-in. guns.

HF IX (e)Merlin 70; two 20-mm. and two .5-in. guns.

PR XI Merlin 61; 63, 63A or 70.

F XVI Merlin 266; two 20-mm. and two .5-in. guns.

 

Of course in addition to late/post war Spits having the wheel bulges on the upper wing surface there were a number of changes to the engine nose cowling during production but at the end of the day this did not warrant a new Mark number, pre-fix or suffix so they were all still referred to as a Mk 9 or Mk XVI as defined by the origin of the engine.

 

I agree that there was never a Mk 9b but apparently the 'c' suffix was also never used at the time as all Spits were fitted with this standard/universal wing and it was only with the introduction of the 'e' wing (a modified 'c'/universal wing) that it was felt necessary to add the 'e' suffix in order to differentiate such aircraft.

 

Still makes me wonder how MH434 ended up with what appears to be a 'b' wing configuration as this certainly threw me until I studied Shacklady more closely.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Colin.

 

Thankyou Colin, all that info is very helpful in deciphering just what each surviving Mk.IX actually is :)

 

12 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

It only appears to be a B wing because a small batch of Spitfires received a leading edge fitting that did not have the outer position.  This was normal for the Seafire III (and IIC?) but the previous fitting was restored to the Mk.IX line - possibly because of the foreseen introduction of the E mods?  I hadn't realised this was in STH - must have another read.

 

Hi Graham, I didn't realise that you could have different leading edge fits with different cannon bay fits. Makes things a bit more complex doesn't it.

 

Cheers,

  WV908

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It is only the small section that contain the two tubes for the weapons to stick through.  Generally it is no problem except for this short run of LF Mk.IXs, and if you remember there were no Mk.IXb.

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I am honestly not trying to be an awkward sod, even though it probably looks like that, but in your master list the one and only T.8 is undeniably an aircraft that survives but it's a bit of a misnomer to describe it as "T.8 MT818". Much better to call it "T.8 G-AIDN" because that's a much better reflection of its identity as a trainer. 

When it belonged to the RAF it was MT818, but it was a single-seat fighter (as originaly constructed), and bought back and civilian-registered by Supermarine for conversion. After it became the prototype trainer it was never an RAF aircraft. 

 

Same goes for all the Supermarine-converted trainers. None of them were ever on charge with the RAF with those serial numbers in their second lives as trainers. So if you want to count them as trainers, it's probably better history to refer to them as they were first operated as trainers, e.g. G-AIDN (ex F.VIII MT818) for the two civilian factory demonstrators, or by what their military customers called them (e.g. Dutch air force H-97, H-98 and H-99).

 

This post from over the summer may be helpful.

 

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That sounds just like a recipe for confusion.  Aircraft serials and registrations change all the time for a number of reasons.  A military machine goes to a new country or moves on to civilian ownership.  Recognise that by all means but change what you are calling the machine in a discussion and pretty soon you've lost the thread of what you are talking about.

 

There are examples.  I have MT818 with four different identities - MT818, N32, G-AIDN and N58JE. 

 

I have a Mustang recorded with 8 different identities and another with nine. I imagine there are plenty more examples.  You'll need a trail of breadcrumbs to get back alive from a discussion of T-6 identities.

 

Which do you choose - and how do you avoid confusing the reader or the poor guy you're talking to without having to detour into endless detail?

 

My favourite remains Lancaster FM213.  It was FM213 all its life right up until it was retired by the RCAF in the 1960s.  Eventually it reached CWH at Hamilton Ontario where it is painted as a memorial to Andrew Mynarski VC.  Fair enough but they painted the serial as KB726 which was destroyed (in the action for which Mynarski was awarded the VC) in 1944.  I had a conversation with a member there many years ago who actually believed the machine they so carefully maintain and fly is KB726.  She was a true believer and there was no explaining it to her;  I eventually gave up and fled.

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52 minutes ago, RJP said:

Which do you choose - and how do you avoid confusing the reader or the poor guy you're talking to without having to detour into endless detail?

You choose whichever is relevant to what you are trying to achieve with your list.

The detail need not be endless at all, it just has to go as far as it needs to in order to avoid actively confusing people with half-truths.  All the RAF serials associated with Spitfire trainers are unhelpful half-truths because the RAF never had a Spitfire trainer to put a serial on.

 

If the purpose of a list is to show the continuity of existence of certain defining components of an individual airframe then that's one purpose, ideally denoted by the manufacturer's construction number because everything else is just a label applied by a customer or a state of registry. 

 

But if your purpose is to make a list of major variations, then it's important to distinguish between an identity which only applied to one variant, as compared to an identity which only applied to another variant.

 

MT818 was an identity applied to a  Spitfire Type 360, F.VIII, built as factory c/n 729058, by its first customer.  

Spitfire c/n 729058 stopped being MT818 when Supermarine bought it back in 1945, and stopped being a Type 360 the same year as they took it to bits.

As a new Type 502 Spitfire trainer it was G-AIDN when Supermarine registered it on 22 August 1946 and it is G-AIDN now, so that is by far the best way of labelling it as a Spitfire trainer.

If the purpose of a list is to capture all the Spitfire variants extant than even the c/n does not do that because that c/n is the same for two different variants:  Type 360 F.VIII and also Type 502 T.VIII.

 

Edited by Work In Progress
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5 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

or by what their military customers called them (e.g. Dutch air force H-97, H-98 and H-99).

Funnily enough, those were also registered as MK715, BF274 and BS147 respectively :P and kept those serials.

 

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6 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

I am honestly not trying to be an awkward sod, even though it probably looks like that, but in your master list the one and only T.8 is undeniably an aircraft that survives but it's a bit of a misnomer to describe it as "T.8 MT818". Much better to call it "T.8 G-AIDN" because that's a much better reflection of its identity as a trainer. 

When it belonged to the RAF it was MT818, but it was a single-seat fighter (as originaly constructed), and bought back and civilian-registered by Supermarine for conversion. After it became the prototype trainer it was never an RAF aircraft. 

 

Same goes for all the Supermarine-converted trainers. None of them were ever on charge with the RAF with those serial numbers in their second lives as trainers. So if you want to count them as trainers, it's probably better history to refer to them as they were first operated as trainers, e.g. G-AIDN (ex F.VIII MT818) for the two civilian factory demonstrators, or by what their military customers called them (e.g. Dutch air force H-97, H-98 and H-99).

 

This post from over the summer may be helpful.

 

 

Honestly you're not being awkward haha - I'd rather have the info be right and I will give that thread a read. I'll correct the T.8 to G-AIDN :)

 

5 hours ago, RJP said:

That sounds just like a recipe for confusion.  Aircraft serials and registrations change all the time for a number of reasons.  A military machine goes to a new country or moves on to civilian ownership.  Recognise that by all means but change what you are calling the machine in a discussion and pretty soon you've lost the thread of what you are talking about.

 

There are examples.  I have MT818 with four different identities - MT818, N32, G-AIDN and N58JE. 

 

I have a Mustang recorded with 8 different identities and another with nine. I imagine there are plenty more examples.  You'll need a trail of breadcrumbs to get back alive from a discussion of T-6 identities.

 

Which do you choose - and how do you avoid confusing the reader or the poor guy you're talking to without having to detour into endless detail?

 

My favourite remains Lancaster FM213.  It was FM213 all its life right up until it was retired by the RCAF in the 1960s.  Eventually it reached CWH at Hamilton Ontario where it is painted as a memorial to Andrew Mynarski VC.  Fair enough but they painted the serial as KB726 which was destroyed (in the action for which Mynarski was awarded the VC) in 1944.  I had a conversation with a member there many years ago who actually believed the machine they so carefully maintain and fly is KB726.  She was a true believer and there was no explaining it to her;  I eventually gave up and fled.

 

You have got me on this one actually as there are a handful of spits on my list where I have listed their real identities, but they actually currently wear different ones - MT818 and MV293 being the prime candidates here. The intention though is that the list represents those given aircraft as they are right now - so both AA810 and EN224 are little more than twisted metal at present but will fly when rebuilt :)

 

4 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

You choose whichever is relevant to what you are trying to achieve with your list.

The detail need not be endless at all, it just has to go as far as it needs to in order to avoid actively confusing people with half-truths.  All the RAF serials associated with Spitfire trainers are unhelpful half-truths because the RAF never had a Spitfire trainer to put a serial on.

 

If the purpose of a list is to show the continuity of existence of certain defining components of an individual airframe then that's one purpose, ideally denoted by the manufacturer's construction number because everything else is just a label applied by a customer or a state of registry. 

 

But if your purpose is to make a list of major variations, then it's important to distinguish between an identity which only applied to one variant, as compared to an identity which only applied to another variant.

 

MT818 was an identity applied to a  Spitfire Type 360, F.VIII, built as factory c/n 729058, by its first customer.  

Spitfire c/n 729058 stopped being MT818 when Supermarine bought it back in 1945, and stopped being a Type 360 the same year as they took it to bits.

As a new Type 502 Spitfire trainer it was G-AIDN when Supermarine registered it on 22 August 1946 and it is G-AIDN now, so that is by far the best way of labelling it as a Spitfire trainer.

If the purpose of a list is to capture all the Spitfire variants extant than even the c/n does not do that because that c/n is the same for two different variants:  Type 360 F.VIII and also Type 502 T.VIII.

 

I never realised this - thanks! :)

 

11 minutes ago, Ed Russell said:

Why not - it's just a Spitfire variant with a jet engine!  😁

 

Would everyone else let me get away with it though? ;)

 

Cheers,

  WV908

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