The Spitfire Site

A Tribute to Britains Finest Fighter

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 on: September 22, 2017, 06:34:47 AM 
Started by Editor - Last post by gilly617
For what it's worth, I have reasonably regular contact with various modern operators/engineers and restorers of Merlin-engined aircraft.

Their unanimous consensus of the major difference between the Packard built Merlins and the ones made by Rolls Royce is that the Packard ones :

'Tend to keep their oil in the inside'.

Meaning the Packard ones leak less oil and appear to be manufactured to a higher standard.

Just my 10c worth.


 on: September 22, 2017, 03:53:18 AM 
Started by NZTyphoon - Last post by gilly617
I think that you might have been very close to the answer Edgar. My research on Vc AA963 'Borough of Southgate' has thrown up the problems they had trying to make the 4 x cannon 'C' configuration work. They never got it to function properly so the 'C' option of four cannons on a mark V was shelved indefinitely and most thereafter were produced with the 'B' wing armament configuration. Yes there was a slight weight penalty with four Hispano's (and ammunition) but it wasn't the core of the problem. I believe the technical issue was the heating of the 20mm gun bay(s). The Hispano cannon didn't relish the cold and needed some warmth to function reliably, especially at altitude where it was appreciably colder. The starboard wing cannon armament (either 2 or 4 guns) was heated adequately from the starboard under-wing radiator. Not so the port wing as it had to be heated from the same sole under-wing radiator from the other wing and there was significant heat loss to the port wing. At that time during 1941 the problem presented itself as a marked yaw when the gun button was pressed as the starboard cannon(s) fired reliably whilst one or both port cannon frequently jammed, resulting in asymmetric recoil and sudden loss of sight picture, which doesn't help matters if you are trying to shoot someone down. They had similar problems in 1940 when they first fitted a pair of cannon to the mark IIb's of 19 Squadron during the B of B and had to give 19 Squadron back their 'A' wing Spits after their cannons continued to jam in this manner.

I believe the smaller outer wing blisters were part of their technical efforts to solve the cannon heating issues on the 'C' wing exactly as you surmised in your earlier post.

Incidentally the few photos showing what are apparently 4 x cannon armed Spitfire Vc's aboard the USS Wasp to reinforce Malta are misleading. The dust thrown up from the constant bombing of the Malta rock had an abrasive effect on everything mechanical, especially the Hispano's mechanism and barrel, which resulted in them wearing out quickly and depleting the stock of spare cannons/Hispano barrels in the armoury. The same limestone dust also required them to fit the Vokes filter to the aircraft. They relieved this situation by fitting a spare pair of Hispano's in the outer bays before they left the UK, which were quickly removed and put into stores upon arrival at Malta. An erroneous story explaining this was that they had run short of 20mm ammunition on Malta and that they were removing the extra pair of cannon to ease their ammunition usage in order to make stocks last. They actually had plenty of 20mm ammunition for the Hispanos when in fact they were dangerously short of the cannon themselves. Every Spitfire that made it through to Malta meant two more spare guns for the armoury.

 on: February 11, 2017, 07:32:55 PM 
Started by andrea - Last post by andrea
Hi everyone,
I am an aircraft modeller ( 58 ) and a part time historian with a specific interest. For more than 35 years I am trying to build one specific Spitfire F VIII model, the JF344., 32. squadron RAF, Italy, February, 1944. ( No, I am not a rivet counter, I need just one letter).
I have more than forty pages big file about the pilot, i.e., late F/Lt. John McAndrew Brodie, a Canadian from St.John.  but still I do not have any photo of the aircraft.
After my research and the big help from  Mr. Zoran Petek from Zagreb, Croatia, than also the Britmodeller member "magpie22" ( thanks once again ) and some other members of the  various forums, I know now that the squadron code was "GZ", but I do not know an individual letter of JF344 within 32. squadron, in February, 1944..

Here I need your help

I know  that it was not "M", Mk. VIII (JF404, Michael S, Lewis, sq. leader).
Also, it was not  "N", Mk. VIII, (JF364, which was also flown by  F/Lt. John McAndrew Brodie, just a week before his tragic death at 14th February 1944.).
Also,  for "O", Mk.VIII, there is a picture from Vis aifield, summer 1944., and that was later.
All (?) of the aircrafts (Mk.VIII) were in  Grey/PRU Blue camo, with extended wingtips and with standard rudder.

Aircraft "A" is Mk. IX (MA??? or MH??? ), Grey/Green camo, also Vis airfield, summer 1944.
Aircraft "B" is Mk. IX, MA 618, after  32., sq. ORB, pilot  R.G.P. Dulhunty,  or( MA 619???), after one picture on the internet which is doubtful because there is no MA 619 in ORB for January/February 1944.,  also  Grey /PRU Blue camo.
Aircraft "D" is Mk.IX , MA802,  pilot F/Sgt. Gerry.F. Bishop,  shot down at 03.03 1944.,  POW, I saw a part of his plane recently.

After this, my conclusion is that all Mk. IX  were "A" flight, and  Mk. VIII were"B" flight. This is also after a suggestion from "magpie22". Right???

It is almost 100 % possible that JF344 was fitted with the extended  wing tips and the standard rudder ( like others  that one can see at the pictures easily found on the internet ( type: 32. squadron , Italy, Foggia ).  I am not sure for the  copyrights, so I am not enclosing it . Allegedly, all JF batch up to the JF7xxx had extended wing tips and standard, ( short) rudder.
Also, very possible that  at the February 1944., the camo was Grey/PRU Blue ( the original camo was Dark Earth/Middlestone/Azure Blue).
The pictures of the gun and the machinegun from JF344 one can see at : www.allspitfirepilots.org

Please , send me your opinions, and ( hopefully ) photographs, if any.
Sincerely yours

P.S. Excuse me on my English.

 on: February 11, 2017, 01:08:00 AM 
Started by Big_guy - Last post by Big_guy
On a later variant I would think that this was a fuel cooler intake, but I'm wondering if this a gun camera opening on a Mk.V? Depending on the photos I'm looking at, it's either open as you see below, visibly faired over with a metal plug, visibly taped over (with what looks like maybe a 0.303" MG tape patch?). In the photo below I have highlighted the opening in question, along with another tape-patched area to left side of the opening. This shows up on a few period photos, so it's not a one-off thing. Any educated insight would be appreciated.

Apologies for not being able to upload the photo until now....

 on: January 17, 2017, 09:39:04 PM 
Started by Aleksander - Last post by Aleksander
Next three:

Spitfire XIX (1/48) Airfix

Spitfire Mk XIVe (1/48) Academy


Nearly forgotten - Spitfire VI (1/48) - Hasegawa


 on: November 11, 2016, 11:08:18 AM 
Started by Skycandy - Last post by Skycandy

I am looking for information about a pilot called W.M. Skinner. I have a Pilot's notes from the spitfire 1 with merlin 2 or 3 engine with his name on it. it also has a poor readable stamp on it. I would like to know if anyone can give me information about the aircraft it belongs to, where it flew and any information about the pilot. if anyone recognises the stamp as I would  like to know what it is suppost to say. I will include two foto's.

I hope you can help me! Love to hear.

Best regards

 on: November 03, 2016, 06:52:40 PM 
Started by oldgun - Last post by oldgun
Here's a undtated picture from Værnes Air station showing a "Photo-Spit" said to be a PR MK XI

 on: November 03, 2016, 06:08:54 PM 
Started by oldgun - Last post by oldgun
I have in my possession a strange BFP said to have been removed from a Spitfire wreck apr 1952-53.  I have searced and looked a lot on different forums and internett sites but I have not been able to get a positive ID of this Item.

The finder back in the fifties are sure that it was a Spit. The story is confirmed from others as well. Thes Spitfires belonged to RNoAF sqdr 331 at Værnes Air Station in Middle Norway and was dismissed around 1952. All aircrafts were sent to a scrapyard sadly.. There was however also 3 or 4 special equpped Spitfires said to have been a small recognation wing (Named photo-Spit locally). These were also post war stationed on Vaernes Air Station before they were scrapped... I am very curious to hear if some of this forums expertice may be able to tell me more about this

 on: September 29, 2016, 10:38:50 AM 
Started by Aleksander - Last post by DazDaMan
Very nice work!

 on: September 29, 2016, 10:35:40 AM 
Started by DazDaMan - Last post by DazDaMan
A wee while ago, a guy came up to buy a painting from me, and he then began to ask about the numerous(!) Spitfire models I had out on display.  Within ten minutes, he'd convinced me to build a model for his brother, who is a massive Spitfire fan.  

I met with the guy's brother, and his spec was simple: build a Battle of Britain-type Spitfire.

During the course of the discussion, he'd mentioned reading Geoffrey Wellum's book, First Light, and had watched the TV-film made from it.  That helped make my mind up for the colour scheme, as I knew the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire IIa had worn Wellum's markings once.  

Anyway, this was the end result - Revell's big Spitfire IIa.

I rather enjoyed this one - apart from the fiddly seat components.  In fact, I've ended up buying myself one to build!

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