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Undercarriage Indicators


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Most (some?) WW2 fighter aircraft seemed to have had undercarriage down indicators in the form of a rod that protruded above the wings surface and acted as a visible confirmation to the pilot that all was down correctly. This certainly seems to have been the case with he early Spitfires and the A6M2 Zero but I understand that with the later Tempests these were replaced by a light inside the cockpit instead.

 

My question is were these rod indicators replaced with a light on later marks of the Spitfire, I'm thinking specifically the Mk VIII, or was this innovation never used on them?

 

Regards

Colin.

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I've come to the conclusion that the Tempest retained the gear down indicators on the wings even after the cockpit light arrays were installed. They're just very hard to see in most photos.

 

There are several earlier threads here about Spitfires.

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The external indicators were on early Spitfire VIIIs. Somewhere in the JF5xx series they were dispensed with. I have never seen them on an RAAF Spitfire VIII, which were JF620 onwards.

The Pilot's Notes describe both the "electical visual indicator", (which is immediatly to the left of the "blind six" instument flying panel), and the "mechanical position indicators", that came up through the wing upper surface. 

 

The electrical visual indicator was two semi-tranparent windows on which the words "UP" on a red background, and "DOWN" on a green background were lettered. The words were illuminated according to the position of the undercarriage.

 

HTH,

Peter M

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Mk VIII; mod 931 apr 1944: to delete undercarriage visual indicators - weight decrease -3.3lbs

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I recall that there was a recent post enquiring about the colour of the wing indicators on the Tempest and the conclusion was that at some point they were deleted in favour of the internal light system. Certainly the well known pic of a Tempest V series 1 coded JF+G undergoing re-arming and re-fueling (Typhoon & Tempest At War, pages 122-123) shows 'erks' walking/standing on the wing exactly where the indicator would have been so this would seem to bear this out.

 

Regards

Colin.

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2 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

I recall that there was a recent post enquiring about the colour of the wing indicators on the Tempest and the conclusion was that at some point they were deleted in favour of the internal light system. Certainly the well known pic of a Tempest V series 1 coded JF+G undergoing re-arming and re-fueling (Typhoon & Tempest At War, pages 122-123) shows 'erks' walking/standing on the wing exactly where the indicator would have been so this would seem to bear this out.

 

Regards

Colin.

Yes, I started that thread. Since then, one of my UK modeling friends sent me photos of a late Mk. V (restored, museum) that clearly shows the gear down rods.

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