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Spitfire help... calling experten! Mk F IXb. Vs. Mk IXc?


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Hi guys...  i neen help from a spitfire expert.  I am getting ready to start a build of an Eduard 'Early' Mk.IX spitfire kit in 1/48.

 

I was interested in a different scheme from the ones in the kit.  I liked the Air Aces TV show on George Beurling.  I am probably spelling his name wrong.  

 

He was a maverik and loner, and I loved hearing about his life in the war.  Anyway, I just found a decal sheet for a Mk9 he flew in early 1944 at Biggen Hill.  The sheet calls this aircraft out as a Mk F IXb.

 

So i dont know spits like i know Wurgers.  What is the 'F' in the designation and can I build this scheme from the Eduard kit?  Is there a 'b' wing?

 

Thanks for any help you can give me!

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F is for fighter, and is part of the designation of all RAF fighters in this period.   The designation is somewhat confusing, in that the suffix b was used to describe an armament arrangement of 2 cannon and 4 machine guns: however the Mk.IX had a redesigned wing claimed to be universal: it could carry 8 machine guns or four cannon or two cannon and 4 machine guns.  In practice the first was never used and the last only rarely.   This was called the c wing when fitted to Spitfire Mk.Vs as the Mk.Vc as opposed to the earlier variant Mk.Vb.  When the Spitfire Mk.IX went into production the first variant was called the F Mk.IX.  It was not given a suffix as they all built with the same armament so a suffix was not needed.  The second main variant was the LF Mk.IX, where the engine was changed from the high-level optimised Merlin Mk. 61 or 63 to the slightly lower level optimised Merlin Mk.66.  In normal service use this was referred to unofficially as the Mk.VB.  However it had the same wing as earlier Mk.IXs - there was no such thing as a Spitfire with a b wing  (For other reasons apart from the armament - the universal wing was stronger and had a different undercarriage arrangement.

 

It is common nowadays to see the designation F Mk.IXc - this is not correct but does help to distinguish most aircraft from the later production LF Mk.IXe with an armament of 2 cannon and two 0.5 machine guns - several earlier aircraft were modified to this standard.  Early 1944 would be too early for this variant in production.

 

I do not know enough about the Eduard 1/48 kit to be sure, but I strongly suspect that it is not the F Mk.IX (which had a number of differences from the later ones) but an early production LF Mk.IX.  As such this is very likely to be the aircraft that Beurling flew, but there were a number of small differences in the production run which may be worth checking, using the serial number as an approximate guide.  Did it have the wide blisters over the cannon bay or the later narrow ones - could be either.  Did it have the original horn balance elevators (a simple angle near the tip) or the later larger one - probably the former?  These details aside, you should be good to go.

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Hello Bob

"F" stands for "Fighter" and refers to Spitfires IX with Merlin 61 or 63 engines. "LF" Spitfires IX were considered low altitude fighters, as the second stage of their Merlin 66 engine compressor kicked in several thousand feet lower than earlier 61 and 63 engines. I think "HF" Spitfires IX had Merlin 70 engines.

B wing on Spitfire IX did not exist and this topic had been discussed quite recently. Spitfire IXb was an informal name for early Spitfires IX. I think that in Beurling's case, this is due to a photo in Brian Nolan's book Hero, which shows his plane in Biggin Hill in November 1943, and its caption describes her as "Spitfire IXb. Cheers

Jure

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Jure:  I think you meant to type that the term Mk.IXB was an informal name for the LF Mk.IX.  The Merlin 66 was not a low-rated engine, in the same sense that the Merlin 45M in the Spitfire LF MK.V was.  It is just slightly lower-rated than the earlier engines, only by a matter of a few thousand feet.  The LF Mk.IXs were not specifically low-altitude fighters, they just sacrificed a little high altitude performance for a superior performance at low, middle and not-quite-so-high altitudes.  The same engine changes were between the P-51B and P-51D: it is just a slightly modified supercharger.

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Ok, thanks very much guys...  i was not aware of any b suffix.  Probably that photo caption was just used by the aftermarket decal company.

 

I will check the serial and see if its similar to any of the eduard kit schemes and build it similar...

 

Thanks!

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MH883 is the number on this spitfire, but I cant tell from photos which type of gun blister it has...

 

Can anyone tell from this number?

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MH883 LFIX CBAF M66

39MU 7-10-43 405 ARF 26-10-43 ros 16-2-44 412S 30-4-44 AST 302S 19-10-44 Returning to St.Denijs Westrem airfield hit by allied AA fire force landed in a field CB 1-1-45 DeH 14-2-45 sold Turkey 16-1-47

Narrow blisters, C-type wing, Aerovee Vokes airfilter. 
What you need as Eduard kit is what they call the IXc late version.

 

This is a well-known picture of MH754 (412 Sqn RCAF)

y4mVJrU7SpgjOjlM4WUXJ3b992C6zMD4-FQ3vNec

 

LFIX CBAF M63 rebuilt with M66

33MU 18-9-43 405ARF 28-9-43 411S CAC ops 22-5-44 412S 22-6-44 Engine cut crashlanded SE of Caen 29-6-44

 

You can see the left wing detached, and the bulges over the cannon.

 

Also, some searching in a few seconds turned up this:

 

 

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In case anyone was wondering why Spitfire wings jumped from c to e, there was actually a ‘d’ wing. This was found on PR Spitfires and had no armament but carried extra fuel tanks in the D-shaped box structure ahead of the main spar.

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MH 809 shows narrow blister and enlarged horn elevator, it's probably the case for MH 883

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Timeline, using the official designations,

Supermarine, October 1941 first Vc, February 1942 last Vb, June 1942 first F.IX, September 1942 last Vc, November 1942 first F.VIII, February 1943 first LF.IX, May 1943 first LF.VIII, June 1943 last mark IX.
Vickers, June 1942 first Vc (1 aircraft, next 5 in August), December 1942 last Vb, February 1943 first F.IX, August 1943 first LF.IX (ignoring production of 1 in April and 1 in June) October 1943 last Vc and F.IX
Westland, first Vc April 1942, last Vb June 1942.

 

The RAF aircraft census starts using the F, HF and LF designations in May 1943.

 

The Ministry of Aircraft Production put out monthly production reports, from March 1942 onwards at least.  No doubt they are not an exact match to when the RAF made designation changes to Spitfires, but they give an idea of the timetable.

 

First mention of F designation, F.VB in December 1942, the last production.  The F designation does not appear again until March 1943, when all Spitfires in production receive it, Vc, VII, VIII, IX and XII.  In April 1943 the HF and LF designations appear. F.Vc, F.VII, HF.VII, F.VIII, LF.VIII, F.IX, LF.IX and F.XII.  The F and HF VII appear in May but then become F.VII in June, April and May production is given as a single figure, not broken down into F and HF.

 

Before December 1942 the reconnaissance version Spitfires were designated P.R.U. III and IV.  In December 1942 the PR designation is used, the first PR.IX were built in November 1942 but the MAP reports miss them.

 

Other types,
In March 1942 the Beaufighters have c or f suffixes to mark numbers.  The TF.X appears in December.
In March 1942 the Mosquito are F.II and T.III (in June 1942 the first mark VI is an F.VI).  The mark IV becomes B.IV in September, the same month as the PR.VIII appears.  In January 1943 the NF.XV and FB.VI appear but the F.II designation is still in use.

In May 1942 the Wellington Ic are split between Ic and Torpedo Ic and Torpedo and Leigh Light VIII.  In April 1943 the GR designation is first used.

In March 1943 the Warwick I becomes the B.I.

As a warning about the limits of the reports, in October 1943 the Halifax II becomes the B.II but the mark III and V do not use the B designation.

And so on.

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Both of the Eduard Mk. IX kits, Early and Late, contain the parts you need for what you want to build. The Early kit comes with two sets of wings, one with wide blisters and one with narrow. The Late kit has only the wings with narrow blisters. Other than that, the plastic is identical; both boxings provide both types of elevators and carb intakes.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, fubar57 said:

http://hedgehoghollow.com/buzz/bbspit.html

 

Went through the book about Beurling, "Sniper of the Skies" and it just shows the above aircraft

Thanks Fubar...  i found that picture, and another of the aircraft crashlanded, with same codes but maybe different aircraft.

 

It almost looked like it had large blisters but i could not tell for sure.

 

I still am not clear on what the difference looks like on the elevator?  Can someone tell me what eduard kit parts are the large horn elevator?  Are horns the balance weights or actustion horn on elevator?  Thanks

Edited by Tokyo Raider
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5 hours ago, Seawinder said:

Both of the Eduard Mk. IX kits, Early and Late, contain the parts you need for what you want to build. The Early kit comes with two sets of [top] wings,

One critical bit that needs to be added to this solution: the bottom wing half is specific for each version due to the integration of the carb intake. 

So unless you want to scratchbuild the AeroVee join, you'll need the late box.

 

38 minutes ago, Tokyo Raider said:

I still am not clear on what the differenceooks like on the elevator?  Can someone tell me what eduard kit parts are the large horn elevator?  Are horns the balance weights or actustion horn on elevator?  Thanks

 

From this useful (but big) topic:

 

Drawings by Jumpei Temma 

Mk.V - 'old' horns, not enlarged:

y4mtOMkZ_nHRx2BzdOEorDO48POKzqvi5BDlHTjg

 

Mk.VIII (and also on the later Mk.IX): 
Enlarged horns:

y4m9OmNdtgD3bZm1nPyrq_qVvW9vCoyA_H5fHwjZ

 

 

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above early Mk IX.
below,  the MH 809, late Mk IX.
compare gun blister and elevator cut out

 

spacer.png

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Also, note the cheesecutter IFF on the top picture :)

 

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14 hours ago, VMA131Marine said:

In case anyone was wondering why Spitfire wings jumped from c to e, there was actually a ‘d’ wing. This was found on PR Spitfires and had no armament but carried extra fuel tanks in the D-shaped box structure ahead of the main spar.

 

Sorry, but I don't think that's the true explanation.  Yes, there was the "Type D" PR Spitfire, but I've never seen any documentation that supports this being thought of as a Spitfire "D wing".  What I HAVE seen is documentation that suggests the new armament set-up was made "E" to follow the Hurricane armament "D", these suffixes (unlike other suffixes!) pertaining specifically to armament variations.  Now, just to show how rigid such policies were, there was, for a limited time, a Hurricane IIE (though whether that was ever truly official I can't say).

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I know that you've done a lot of work on this, but the Hurricane armament suffixes were not the same as the Spitfire ones, and the Typhoon ones were different again.  Which makes it somewhat unlikely that the D designation on the Spitfire was reserved for 2x40mm cannon.  (There was, perhaps, a single Typhoon with this armament?  But not referenced in this way.)  I understand that the "bowser" wing on the PR Spitfire was given the name D wing because the first version to have it was the PR I Type D, later PR Mk.IV.   I've not seen any original documentation but thereafter it appears to have been commonly referred to as the bowser or D wing.  Later LR Spitfires were thus mark whatever, with the wing from a Type D.  (Although presumably based on the stronger "universal wing rather than the initial design.)  Or is this another one of those myths?

 

Given the existence of Spitfires with a Type D wing, or even a wing from a Type D, wouldn't it be a good idea to avoid the D as an armament suffix?  I know staff officers have a poor reputation, but they aren't all daft.

 

The Hurricane Mk.IIE was intended to be a "universal" aircraft, much as the Spitfire C wing, but with an additional range of underwing stores.  It was thought to be too ambitious for the timescale, and studies ran on to be the Mk.IV, itself never as universal as intended.  I have seen the Hurricane fighter-bomber referred to as Mk.IIE on one official document, and Mason uses this designation for the equipment of 607 Sq., the first dedicated RAF fighter-bomber unit.  I am not sure whether it was used as such on the unit: the NELSAM at Sunderland has copies of the ORB, I believe.  Use of it certainly died out.

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40 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

 

Sorry, but I don't think that's the true explanation.  Yes, there was the "Type D" PR Spitfire, but I've never seen any documentation that supports this being thought of as a Spitfire "D wing".  

Thanks Bob for chiming in with this.  Yes the PR Types A, B, C, D, E & F  Purposefully done to befuddle modellers in the 21st Century. There is a nice summary of PR types here:

 

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_spitfire_PR.html

 

Ray

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3 hours ago, gingerbob said:

 

Now, just to show how rigid such policies were, there was, for a limited time, a Hurricane IIE (though whether that was ever truly official I can't say).

 

3 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

 I have seen the Hurricane fighter-bomber referred to as Mk.IIE on one official document, and Mason uses this designation for the equipment of 607 Sq., the first dedicated RAF fighter-bomber unit.  I am not sure whether it was used as such on the unit: the NELSAM at Sunderland has copies of the ORB, I believe.  Use of it certainly died out.

The Hurricane IIE is used in the Ministry of Aircraft Production reports, March to October 1942, with 168 built, later the total built is adjusted to 270.  The RAF does not use the IIE, instead reports ordering and receiving 230 IIBB and 40 IICB, with the second B standing for bomber.

 

I have never seen an official document reporting the designation D wing for a Spitfire beyond Morgan and Shacklady reporting the PR.IV Type D.

3 hours ago, Ray_W said:

There is a nice summary of PR types here: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_spitfire_PR.html

Notes on the web site.  PR Spitfire production,

Supermarine go for 17 PR.III (August 1940 to March 1941) and 244 PR.IV (February 1941 to February 1943), total 261.
The Ministry of Aircraft Production go for 30 PR.III and 229 PR.IV, total 259.
The RAF go for 30 and 232, total 261 in February 1943, but back to 30 and 229 by June 1944.  The RAF further notes 18 conversions to PR.III and 68 to PR.IV as of February 1943, then 16 and 70 in March, becoming 13 and 71 by June 1944.


Morgan and Shacklady go with 0 PR.III and 229 PR.IV with the note R7029 to R7044 and R7055 and R7056 were Spitfire mark V converted to PR standards, originally designated F. Mk. V (PR C), from R7035 on they were redesignated PR.IV Type D and are counted as such in the book.  Then production from AA781 on.


If you look at the online Spitfire histories the PR.III are P9551 and 2, X4332 to 5, X4383 to 6, X4491 to 7.  all of which are reported to be flying in 1940 or January 1941.  The PR.IV serials include the 18 R serials above, first flights May to June/July 1941, then X4498 to X4505 and X4538, first flights around February 1941.  Somewhere in R and X serials it would appear the RAF and MAP think 13 are really PR.III.


Going through the Morgan and Shacklady serial list, firstly the summary says BS491 was not a PR.IV but it is in the list,  while the summary has AB466 which is not in the list, the total Spitfires listed, including R7035 to R7044 plus R7055, R7056 and BS491 but excluding AB466 is 228.


The online listing has AB466 as a mark V and adds to the Morgan and Shacklady list the following PR.IV, EN153, R7029 to 34, X4498 to X4505 and X4538, so 228+1+6+8+1 = 244.


There is an amount of debate when it comes to built as versus delivered as.


Also there were 526 FR XIV and 200 FR XVIII built.

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On 3/7/2021 at 1:09 PM, Tokyo Raider said:

Hi guys...  i neen help from a spitfire expert.  I am getting ready to start a build of an Eduard 'Early' Mk.IX spitfire kit in 1/48.

 

I was interested in a different scheme from the ones in the kit.  I liked the Air Aces TV show on George Beurling.  I am probably spelling his name wrong.  

 

He was a maverik and loner, and I loved hearing about his life in the war.  Anyway, I just found a decal sheet for a Mk9 he flew in early 1944 at Biggen Hill.  The sheet calls this aircraft out as a Mk F IXb.

 

So i dont know spits like i know Wurgers.  What is the 'F' in the designation and can I build this scheme from the Eduard kit?  Is there a 'b' wing?

 

Thanks for any help you can give me!


Coolest thing about Buzz is he served in the same squadron I served in, we had a lot of unpublished wartime photos in the squadron archives. I was fortunate to get to know Stocky Edwards, who was our commanding officer in the war. He knew Buzz well and has many amazing stories from the war. Stocky is still with us, 100 years young and still in great health, as is his wife. And they still live independently in their home. Wonderful people who always welcomed me in their home (and all squadron mates).

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2 hours ago, Scooby said:


Coolest thing about Buzz is he served in the same squadron I served in, we had a lot of unpublished wartime photos in the squadron archives. I was fortunate to get to know Stocky Edwards, who was our commanding officer in the war. He knew Buzz well and has many amazing stories from the war. Stocky is still with us, 100 years young and still in great health, as is his wife. And they still live independently in their home. Wonderful people who always welcomed me in their home (and all squadron mates).

Truly a treasure!  I am in awe of the greatest generation!

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2 hours ago, Tokyo Raider said:

Truly a treasure!  I am in awe of the greatest generation!


Stocky told me a story of commanding a formation of 116 Spitfires for a VE Day flypast, two of his guys collided during the flypast and he was very concerned about their well-being (they were fine). As it occurred he heard a Brit broadcast, “dam Canadian’s, screwing up our flypast.”

 

We took Stocky for a Hornet flight when he was 78 years old, the Boss had him pull 6G. He handled it better than the professional football player we had in the second jet. Stocky wanted more!

 

Yes, greatest generation.

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19 hours ago, alt-92 said:

One critical bit that needs to be added to this solution: the bottom wing half is specific for each version due to the integration of the carb intake. 

So unless you want to scratchbuild the AeroVee join, you'll need the late box.

Well, at least in the box I've got (Profipack), the Early kit contains both upper and lower halves for both versions -- two complete sets of wings -- B sprue for early, C sprue for late. C3, the wing bottom, is called out as not used, but it is in the box.

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