The Spitfire Site

A Tribute to Britains Finest Fighter

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Author Topic: Favourite Spitfire book?  (Read 12495 times)
Edgar Brooks
Full Member
Posts: 183

« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2009, 11:17:25 AM »

I've only just managed to get a copy (to be honest, I'd never heard of it, until recently) of "I Kept No Diary," by Air Commodore "Rod" Banks, who was closely involved in engine and fuel development.  He credits Dr. Bill Sweeny, of Esso, for blending hydrogenated 100 octane fuel to meet British requirements, and it was Banks, himself, who, in January, 1937, pleaded for engines to be developed to run on it.  "Sweeney's Blend" was tested at Wright Field, found to be a great succes, even on the more sensitive air-cooled radials, and the first consignment left America, in the S.S. Beaconhill, in June 1939; stockpiling commenced, but the decision to actually use 100 octane wasn't made until March, 1940, for Fighter Command, with Bomber Command following in 1941.  Apparently the advantage of 100 octane was found under "Buster" conditions, since higher boost was possible, so fighters could pull away (or towards) the enemy that much faster.
Jr. Member
Posts: 68

« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2009, 12:30:37 AM »

According to The Merlin in Perspective: The Combat Years by Alex Harvey-Bailey the Merlin III was boosted from 1,030 hp at 5,500 feet to 1,310 hp at 9,000 feet using +12lb/sq.in.  A limit of five minutes was imposed on using the extra boost and the pilot had to report using it in his log book.

Just for further interest - and, because it is completely OT - I will add some interesting information on this topic in another forum.
Posts: 19

« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2009, 11:36:47 PM »

Alfred Price's The Spitfire Story is a definite, but I also loved Jeremy Flack's photographic books on them produced back in the 1980s/1990s.  Brilliant stuff.
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