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Early PR Spitfires


dad's lad
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I'm testing my limited knowledge of Spitfires now but would I be correct to assume that Mk.I's and Mk.II's were never tropicalized using the Vokes filter and therefore any PR Spitfires with such a filter would have been based upon the Mk.V airframe?

 

If the latter is true, would I be correct to assume that the Mk.V's rounded oil cooler would be needed plus a Mk.V propellor unit?

 

I'm using the Pavla set designed for the Airfix Mk.I which only shows to use the supplied resin oil cooler which doesn't look rounded.  If my assumptions are correct, I can use the Airfix Va as the starting point with a spare Vb propellor and spinner.

 

Regards

 

Clive

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Yes, by the time Spitfires were tropicalised, any operational ones (including PRs) would have had the later style oil cooler (with the "tail", too).

 

Prop could be variable, so ideally find a subject you've got a photo of.

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14 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

Yes, by the time Spitfires were tropicalised, any operational ones (including PRs) would have had the later style oil cooler (with the "tail", too).

 

Prop could be variable, so ideally find a subject you've got a photo of.

Thanks, it would help if people would decide what mark an Airframe actually is. Pavla would have BR880 "Flying Scotsman" as a PR MK.VI whilst AIMS Decals would have the same aircraft as a PR.Mk.IV!! As far as I can tell, AIMS are correct.

 

Clive

Edited by dad's lad
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Many of the earlier PR Spitfires were upgraded to Mk.V standard anyway.   The key point being the engine.  However the PR marks are dependent more upon camera fit and fuel capacity.  According to Spitfire The History the Mk.VI should have blisters under the wing for additional fuel tanks and the enlarged oul tank under the nose.  However, STH fails to mention the oiil tank for Mk.IVs...

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5 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Many of the earlier PR Spitfires were upgraded to Mk.V standard anyway.   The key point being the engine.  However the PR marks are dependent more upon camera fit and fuel capacity.  According to Spitfire The History the Mk.VI should have blisters under the wing for additional fuel tanks and the enlarged oul tank under the nose.  However, STH fails to mention the oiil tank for Mk.IVs...

Thanks as always Graham, I need to invest in some decent reference material.

 

I've found it doesn't help when researching PR variants that the numbering changed (e.g. PR.IV becoming PR.ID)

 

Clive.

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Wrong way round.  PR Type D became PR Mk.1D which then became PR Mk.IV.  It certainly doesn't help using PR (and Seafire) Mark numbers that don't mean the same thing as the fighter Mark numbers.  Hence the later allocation of individual numbers.

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24 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Wrong way round.  PR Type D became PR Mk.1D which then became PR Mk.IV.  It certainly doesn't help using PR (and Seafire) Mark numbers that don't mean the same thing as the fighter Mark numbers.  Hence the later allocation of individual numbers.

Whoops, was nearly there.

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1 minute ago, The wooksta V2.0 said:

Ideal reference for the Merlin PR Spitfires is the two volume set released by Ventura in New Zealand.  Not sure if it's OOP, but it's worth it's pricetag.

Thanks, I'll have a look around.


Clive

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11 minutes ago, The wooksta V2.0 said:

Not sure if it's OOP, but it's worth it's pricetag.

A mere £858.87:D  I'm quite for paying for something really useful but that seems a tad excessive.

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2 minutes ago, alt-92 said:

A mere £858.87:D  I'm quite for paying for something really useful but that seems a tad excessive.

Righto then, looks like you lot will have to put up with my inane questions for longer then...😁

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1 hour ago, dad's lad said:

Pavla would have BR880 "Flying Scotsman" as a PR MK.VI whilst AIMS Decals would have the same aircraft as a PR.Mk.IV!! As far as I can tell, AIMS are correct.

I have checked in Morgan & Shacklady's 'Spitfire the history' and also Bruce Robertson's 'British Military Aircraft serials' and neirther lists BR880 as being allocated to a Spitfire. Unless somebody cleverer than me knows different or I have misread both books?

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10 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

since there was no PR.VI I assume it's just a typo. 

STH thinks that there was such a thing:  The Type F (LR) converted by Heston Aircraft 1941/42, pp241/242.  Gien that there was a Type G or Spitfire PR Mk.VII, this seems reasonable enough.

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30 minutes ago, Nigel Bunker said:

I have checked in Morgan & Shacklady's 'Spitfire the history' and also Bruce Robertson's 'British Military Aircraft serials' and neirther lists BR880 as being allocated to a Spitfire. Unless somebody cleverer than me knows different or I have misread both books?

I've just checked, Pavla has it as BR880 whilst Model Alliance has it as BP880 and AIMS as MP880. To further complicate matters, Pavla and AIMS have it in PRU Blue whilst Model Alliance says "dark blue" which I assume was the so-called "Bosun" blue.

 

Unless there was more than 1 Flying Scotsman I'm completely confused by now.

 

Clive.

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I suspect it should be BP880 which was a Spitfire PR IV(T) as BR880 in non allocated block as was MP880

First Flight 31.1.1942

1 PRU 6.2.1942

Crash landed en route to Middle East 16.3 1942

Heston Aircraft Limited 20.6.1942

RAF Benson 13.1.1943

India 23.9.1943

Failed to return ops 5.3.1944

 

All taken from Morgan & Shacklady

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42 minutes ago, dad's lad said:

I've just checked, Pavla has it as BR880 whilst Model Alliance has it as BP880 and AIMS as MP880. To further complicate matters, Pavla and AIMS have it in PRU Blue whilst Model Alliance says "dark blue" which I assume was the so-called "Bosun" blue.

 

Unless there was more than 1 Flying Scotsman I'm completely confused by now.

 

Clive.

I'd not trust Model Alliance research, plenty of it was erm, not great.

 

 

OK ( I was typing while the above ot posted)

http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p028.html

BP880 PRIVT 2551 Super M46 FF 31-1-42 1PRU 6-2-42 crashed en route to Middle East 16-3-42 HAL 20-6-42 Benson 13-1-43 India 23-9-43 Abandoned over Bay of Bengal on PR mission 5-3-44

 

No Spitfire serialed MP***

 

sticking Spitfire PR BP880 into a search

 

spacer.png

http://micklem.com/681/BP880-1.jpg

 

 

 

 

BP880-2.jpg

 

 

which looks like other PRU blue Spitfire I have seen taken in India.  "Bosun Blue" or some dark blue means the roundel don't show up, and get ringed, or they use a lighter blue.

 

PS EDIT

See the link for a lot more very useful PR Spitfire images.

 

Note, the book "Eyes of the Phoenix"  is a really useful book, far more than might appear from the titles, as it has very good and extensive set of colour references for the types covered in the book, so not just RAF, but FAA and US colors for the Lend Lease types, as well as being a very interesting book in it's own right, and is not bank breakingly expensive

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyes-Phoenix-Photo-reconnaissance-Operations-South-East/dp/0951989944

 

 

 

55 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

STH thinks that there was such a thing:  The Type F (LR) converted by Heston Aircraft 1941/42, pp241/242.  Gien that there was a Type G or Spitfire PR Mk.VII, this seems reasonable enough.

Thanks, hadn't spotted that, though this is a PR VI, not related to the MK.VI fighter.

 

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13 minutes ago, Nigel Bunker said:

I suspect it should be BP880 which was a Spitfire PR IV(T) as BR880 in non allocated block as was MP880

First Flight 31.1.1942

1 PRU 6.2.1942

Crash landed en route to Middle East 16.3 1942

Heston Aircraft Limited 20.6.1942

RAF Benson 13.1.1943

India 23.9.1943

Failed to return ops 5.3.1944

 

All taken from Morgan & Shacklady

Thanks hugely Nigel, so if Model Alliance are right with the serial, do I assume the colour is correct too? The only picture I can find online is a rather grainy one that LOOKS like PRU blue.

 

EDIT: Was typing this as Troy's reply was coming in. 

 

Clive.

Edited by dad's lad
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5 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

I'd not trust Model Alliance research, plenty of it was erm, not great.

 

 

OK ( I was typing while the above ot posted)

http://www.airhistory.org.uk/spitfire/p028.html

BP880 PRIVT 2551 Super M46 FF 31-1-42 1PRU 6-2-42 crashed en route to Middle East 16-3-42 HAL 20-6-42 Benson 13-1-43 India 23-9-43 Abandoned over Bay of Bengal on PR mission 5-3-44

 

No Spitfire serialed MP***

 

sticking Spitfire PR BP880 into a search

 

spacer.png

http://micklem.com/681/BP880-1.jpg

 

 

 

 

BP880-2.jpg

 

 

which looks like other PRU blue Spitfire I have seen taken in India.  "Bosun Blue" or some dark blue means the roundel don't show up, and get ringed, or they use a lighter blue.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, hadn't spotted that, though this is a PR VI, not related to the MK.VI fighter.

 

Thanks Troy, I did find that link but I can't see the pictures.

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According to the RAF census as of end June 1944,

18 mark I in the Mediterranean and another 8 had been lost overseas, some mark I shipped to equip training units, whether they had Vokes filters is unknown, the Middle East preferred the Aboukir filter.
1 Mark II had been shipped to a Dominion Air Force (Canada), otherwise the version stayed in Britain, none listed as overseas or lost overseas.
1 PR.III had been shipped to a Dominion Air Force (Unknown), otherwise the version stayed in Britain, none listed as overseas or lost overseas.
PR.IV, 43 in service overseas, after 61 overseas losses (versus 126 losses at home).

End census information.

 

The early PR versions were quite experimental with plenty of changes and modifications of changes, and so on.  The first attempt to classify things was using letters, A to G where camera and fuel fit were the main determinants of what letter was allocated.  D was for example the very long range version with leading edge wing tanks.

 

PR Spitfires began coming off the production/delivery to RAF line in August 1940.  It looks like it was in early/mid 1941 the letters to at least D were standardised and possibly by June 1941 when the first PR.IV came off the production line mark numbers were in use.  The two series eventually reaching "G"/Mark VII.


The earlier production PR types were called mark III and being mostly shorter range had come from "C", based on the mark I fighter, Merlin III engine.  The PR.IV began production 3 months after the mark V fighter and were based on that version, fitted with Merlin 40 series engines and had the wing tanks, "D".

 

You can see where the A = mark I, G = mark VII come from.

BP880 was one of the first PR.IVT (Tropical) versions built, in January 1942.  BR880 and MP880 did not exist.  There are photographs of mark IV in the Middle East with Vokes and others with Aboukir filters.

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2 minutes ago, dad's lad said:

Thanks Troy, I did find that link but I can't see the pictures.

I can, perhaps try a different browser, or check your settings?  I'm on Firefox.

 

Note my comments on Eyes of the Phoenix i added as well, which you may have missed as an edit, as the pictures of BP880 are in there.

PS EDIT

See the link for a lot more very useful PR Spitfire images.

 

Note, the book "Eyes of the Phoenix"  is a really useful book, far more than might appear from the titles, as it has very good and extensive set of colour references for the types covered in the book, so not just RAF, but FAA and US colors for the Lend Lease types, as well as being a very interesting book in it's own right, and is not bank breakingly expensive

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyes-Phoenix-Photo-reconnaissance-Operations-South-East/dp/0951989944

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

I can, perhaps try a different browser, or check your settings?  I'm on Firefox.

 

Note my comments on Eyes of the Phoenix i added as well, which you may have missed as an edit, as the pictures of BP880 are in there.

PS EDIT

See the link for a lot more very useful PR Spitfire images.

 

Note, the book "Eyes of the Phoenix"  is a really useful book, far more than might appear from the titles, as it has very good and extensive set of colour references for the types covered in the book, so not just RAF, but FAA and US colors for the Lend Lease types, as well as being a very interesting book in it's own right, and is not bank breakingly expensive

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyes-Phoenix-Photo-reconnaissance-Operations-South-East/dp/0951989944

 

 

I'm using Edge so that might be the cause. Thanks for the link to the book, it's straight into my Amazon basket.

 

Clive.

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9 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

"Eyes of the Phoenix"  is a really useful book

Seconded, a very good book if you're interested in SE Asia air ops in WW2

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