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Author Topic: BoB Spitfire Night Operations  (Read 2706 times)
Othcosta
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« on: July 13, 2009, 06:11:14 PM »

Hi there!

Spitfire used in night fighter operations during BoB and  with the bottom painted b/w used to have roundels painted on it?

Best regards from Brazil,

Othniel
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Antoni
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 08:51:01 PM »

Until 6th June 1940 day fighters were painted half Night/half White on the undersurfaces. This was so the Observer Corps could distinguish friendly aircraft formations from enemy ones and track them, as for technical reasons the radar stations could only track aircraft 180 degrees in front. Once inland they could only be tracked by sight by the OC. This scheme had nothing to do with night operations. To make these markings as clear as possible no roundels were painted on the undersurfaces of the wings. On 6th June 1940 this scheme was replaced with Sky undersurfaces. Roundels on the undersurfaces of wings were introduced officially from 11th August 1940. Until November 1940 night fighters used the normal day fighter scheme until ordered to be painted all over Special Night. 
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Othcosta
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 09:58:05 PM »

Hi Antoni!
Thanks for your kindly answer!
I’m building a Tamiya 1/48 Mk I used by Desmond Sheen of  No 72 Sqd (June 1940) that appears at page 82 of Osprey Spitfire Mk I-II Aces. That plane “RN +N” shows a “blinker fitted on the fuselage just in front of the cockpit – a squadron level modification bolted onto the fighter to shield the pilot’s eyes from glare of the exhaust stubs during night flying”, so I supposed this was a night fighter. Well, from the photo I can see a dark colored bottom (black?) as Aeromaster  decal sheet indicates a b/w bottom. But I can’t see the roundels so I’m I doubt about it. Any hint?
Thanks in advance,

Othniel
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 11:18:41 PM »

Spitfires could be fitted with a fixed (i.e. permanent) shield, from December, 1939, under mod 133, which was replaced by a removable shield, under mod 146, from January 1940.  Presumably this meant that the shields could be fitted, or removed, at will.
Edgar
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Antoni
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 10:28:58 AM »

I do not have the book but I think I know the aircraft. Serial number not known, possibly painted out. 72 Squadron circa May/June 1940, sometimes given as Gravesend May 1940. Kiwi badge under the glare shield. Exhaust glare shields described as ‘fitted for night flying exercises”. No mention of night operations. Normal fighter scheme for the period. Undersides half Night, half White divided along the centreline. Yellow band on fuselage roundel and stripes on fin ordered 1st May 1940. No roundels under the wings.
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