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Author Topic: Question about Spitfire Mk.IX seat  (Read 6887 times)
marluc
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« on: December 12, 2008, 02:46:51 PM »

Hello everybody:

This is my first post here.I would like to know if the Mk.IX seat was made of bakelite only or has aluminium as well,and if it was painted Interior Green or left unpainted.Thanks in advance for your kind answer,best regards:

Martin
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Editor
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 10:13:25 PM »

Hello everybody:

This is my first post here.I would like to know if the Mk.IX seat was made of bakelite only or has aluminium as well,and if it was painted Interior Green or left unpainted.Thanks in advance for your kind answer,best regards:

Martin

Hi Martin, and welcome to the forum. I have just looked it up in Paul Monforton's Spitfire Mk IX/XVI Engineered. Photos of all Spitfires IX/XVI presented in the book - restored as well as preserved in original condition - show that same red-brown plastic seat as was used on the earlier Spitfire models. It was produced from an early composite plastic called SRBP - Synthetic Resin-Bonded Paper and was left unpainted. The seat backing though had a leather cushion, colored dark brown on the only shown preserved seat which had this feature left in (worn but) original condition.

Hope this helps.

/Martin
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marluc
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 02:16:28 PM »

Thanks a lot for your answer Martin.Sometime ago,I read (don´t rememeber exactly where) that the "plastic" seats broke under high stress caused by high G´s during combat manoeuvres.Because of this,the seats were added an external shield of aluminium to reinforce it and it was painted Interior Green,while the "bucket" remained in its original colour (Red Brown).This is why I made my question.
Thanks for the information about the kind and name of the composite plastic.Best regards:

Martin
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NZTyphoon
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2008, 01:08:53 PM »

Hi both Martins
 If I remember correctly there is some mention of  the "plastic" seats breaking in "Spitfire" by Morgan and Shacklady, although I can't cite page numbers cos I've lent my copy out Roll Eyes  I'm reasonably sure the SRBP seats were first fitted to Spitfire Vs...

Regards

Jeff
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Editor
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 11:09:49 AM »

Thanks a lot for your answer Martin.Sometime ago,I read (don´t rememeber exactly where) that the "plastic" seats broke under high stress caused by high G´s during combat manoeuvres.Because of this,the seats were added an external shield of aluminium to reinforce it and it was painted Interior Green,while the "bucket" remained in its original colour (Red Brown).This is why I made my question.
Thanks for the information about the kind and name of the composite plastic.Best regards:

Martin
Martin,
Just checked again in Monforton's book. There's no trace of the backing aluminium shield an ANY of the presented seats.
BTW, a hypothesis. Could that be the the plastic material for the seats was changed during the long Spitfire production... I have no proof of it whatsoever, but it wouldn'tr surprise me to find that SRBP was an imporvement over an initial less-than-perfect plastic used for the seats. In any case, aluminium shield, if used, sounds like a makeshift solution in wait for a more permanent one.
/Martin
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Spits
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 12:57:55 AM »

No aluminium sheilding,6mm steel for armour plate.There were aluminium brackets used on the seat and small repairs on cracks might have used aluminium.Aluminium seats were discontinued in Feb 1940 in the MkI,s.Today you cannot fly a Spitfire with a Bakelite seat sor you must change the seat or change the mounting points. Grin
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2009, 05:08:17 PM »

It's a common misconception that the plastic seat replaced the metal; it didn't, in fact mod 189 stated, specifically," To introduce the plastic seat as alternative design to assist production and provide alternative manufacture," and it was incorporated onto the production line from May 14th., 1940.
  19-4-42, mod 522 was "To strengthen plastic seat."
  In 1945, mod 1117 "To strengthen seat to enable "Q" type harness to be embodied" had the added note "4B essential on fitment of mod 922 if pilot's seat is metal or plastic and has a wall thickness of less than .15" "  This seems to indicate the metal seat stayed in production, throughout, in fact I have found drawings, in the RAF Museum library, for metal seats in the Spitfire and Seafire, with post-war mods added to them.
  Incidentally, mod 922 was for the introduction of the "QK" harness, which was still a Sutton, not, as so many believe, one with a quick-release parachute-type box; that was the "QS," which came in August 1946.
Edgar
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