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Spitfire Mk.1 undercarriage system - Engine-Driven?


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I have recollections of Edgar suggesting the change over of undercarriage retraction mechanisms occurring around May 1940. I may have something in my files (print out of earlier posts) - will check. It would seem April/May is the time period. I also recall that Edgar noted there were no retrofits of the new mechanism and indeed there are anecdotes of pilots flying the early pump type equipped Spitfires (eg Wellum) with the later equipped Spitfires during the BoB, and also at OTU’s into 1941.

 

Edit: correction, 'May 1940' should read 'April 1940'

Edited by Peter Roberts
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On 12/04/2021 at 19:52, Rolls-Royce said:

I was just perusing the photos in WingLeader's Photo Archive on the Spitfire MK I. 

 

@Rolls-Royce are you able to give me a link to that (unless I'm being particularly stupid in not finding it?).

 

Many thanks

 

David

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32 minutes ago, DeepSea said:

@Rolls-Royce are you able to give me a link to that (unless I'm being particularly stupid in not finding it?).

 

Many thanks

 

David

I was looking in my personal copy of the book, David. However, you can look at an online facsimile and scroll down the page here:

https://uploads-ssl.webflow.com/5a3134b40672a700015a5d31/5ea6cf979a5ca9e4fe65a619_Spitfire Bookbrochure.pdf

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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A diagram in Morgan and Shacklady (pg 60) shows the master contactor for the TR9 radio in roughly the same starboard rear window area. P9450 was equipped with the TR9D as shown by the triangular piece on the radio mast. Perhaps what we're seeing is that contactor relocated slightly due to the change in the hydraulic system?

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My thoughts on this whole subject are, basically,....What the heck was Supermarine thinking????? Why mess about with a manual system in the first place? And then, just to add injury to insult, put the hand pump in such a stupid place??? Did they have no common sense?

 Sorry, rant over.  It's just that, as a car mechanic, I see really dumb engineering/design issues every day. Regards, Pete in RI

Edited by europapete
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We should remember that this was their very first high-performance aircraft with retractable gear. The previous Model 224 fighter prototype had a fixed undercarriage. The Supermarine Walrus flying boat of the same time period had retractable wheels and a hand pump for the gear. In fact, the pump lever in the Spitfire is the one from the Walrus, bent to fit in the Spitfire's cockpit.

All their prior designs had been flying boats and floatplanes.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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3 hours ago, Rolls-Royce said:

We should remember that this was their very first high-performance aircraft with retractable gear. The previous Model 224 fighter prototype had a fixed undercarriage. The Supermarine Walrus flying boat of the same time period had retractable wheels and a hand pump for the gear. In fact, the pump lever in the Spitfire is the one from the Walrus, bent to fit in the Spitfire's cockpit.

All their prior designs had been flying boats and floatplanes.

 

Interesting point re: the Walrus. I believe the associated hydraulic tank mentioned earlier, mounted behind the seat, was also from the Walrus. Something about not having to re-invent the wheel?

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Finally managed to trawl through my files and found the following; an answer from Edgar, dated 8 October 2013, in answer to "Spitfire Landing Gear Question" posted on Hyperscale by Iain on the same date:

 

Iain: "Does anyone know when the manual hand-pump for operating the undercarriage was replaced by a motorised hydraulic system? ......."

 

Edgar: "Definitely in the Mk.I; can't give an exact date, but it appeared as an amendment to the Air Publication in April 1940, so would have been just before that, I'd say."

 

Seems to be in line with what has been posted here in this thread. The Air Publication Edgar mentions may also be 1565A, as also posted here earlier (?)

Edited by Peter Roberts
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Only of relevance due to the fact that there are so few photos with the visible hydraulic tank:


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N3072 of 611 Squadron Digby 1940

Edited by V Line
Factual correction of caption.
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6 hours ago, V Line said:

Only of relevance due to the fact that there are so few photos with the visible hydraulic tank:


spacer.png

 

602 Squadron aircraft, Drem early 1940.

According to Osprey Aces this is N3072 of 611 Squadron.

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