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Author Topic: Clip wing spitfires  (Read 9126 times)
AceBiggles
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« on: February 24, 2011, 09:34:52 PM »

Hi chaps,

i am new to this forum and hopping you may be able to clear some things up for me.

i have heared a story about the clipp wing spitfires that i am unsure of. it has never been mentioned in anything i have read but perhaps someone here knows for definate one way or the other.

i have been told that the American Eagles squadron in the RAF modified their standard Spitfires to clip wing varients before Supermarine produced the LF version officially. does this match up with anything anybody else has ever heard before?

hope some one can help me

Cheers

Alex
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 09:32:52 AM »

This could be difficult to verify, one way or the other, unless there are some definite dates.  Between November 1942 and February 1943, the A.&.A.E.E. carried out a series of tests, on a couple (each) of Vb & IXs, and found that there were insufficient advantages to outweigh the disadvantages, and recommended that the Spitfire's wings should not be clipped.  However, Supermarine introduced the clipped wing to various Marks (not the Vb, curiously) from 29-12--42, so it appears that someone wasn't listening.
Edgar
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AceBiggles
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2011, 01:04:45 PM »

Thanks for that, still not sure on the story though, i will keep on digging.
Alex
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Editor
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 12:03:29 AM »

I have a vague recollection of having read the same story before, but sadly can't remember the source nor the context. It would be interesting if true. Technically, the wing tips of the Spitfire were easily detachable, so there should be not obstacles for such a "conversion" except for official approval and - flight testing.
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 08:53:38 AM »

On the Vb, I suspect that it was fairly easy, but, when the official mod (792) was introduced, for virtually every Mark except the Vb, on 29-12-42, the Ministry allowed 8 hours for the work to be done.  The drawing, for the Vb tip, shows a simple, shaped, piece of wood, but the later tips involved refitting the light sockets and wiring, so presumably took that much longer because of it.
Edgar
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AceBiggles
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2011, 04:29:05 PM »

All very interesting, but seems nobody knows if the story is ture! does anybody know anything of the Eagle squadron? were their spits clip wing ones? if so when did they recieve them and what mark were they?
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Randall1879
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 11:07:53 PM »

Hello,
As a Spitfire fanatic (who is anxiously waiting for the Airfix Mk XII, which is still on the boat unfortunately) I am glad to have access through this great site to information I can't always get from my library. I have several Airfix 1/48 Seafire/Spitfire kits, as well as the very thick winged Mk XVI kit. I was in a conundrum about what to do with that kit until I stumbled upon a real live picture of an late model LF Mk XIc that is in Spitfire, Flying Legend. The modex is 2I-T, serial # ML417. To make a long story relatively short, the wing is immensely thick compared to any other spitfire wing I have ever seen. If you look carefully you will find no cannon bulges, the cannon on the outside mounting (looks like the short barrel) and just the wheel bulge on the top of the wings. Where did this wing come from, Hawker? It gives me hope for my Mk XVI kit, I just need the proper markings for whichever squadron flew this model. Can anyone help with this seeming anomaly? Hopefully some fellow Spitfire aficionados "across the pond" can help me out. I also stumbled on a photo taken of my son next to the aircraft in question when the Planes of Fame Museum did it's tribute to D-Day air show. Unfortunately the picture was taken from the wrong angle to cover the wing leading edge.  Also, is there a high altitude/SDF forum, I want to convert an Airfix Mk Vb into a Mk VI. Thanks!
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JamesF
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 10:56:27 AM »

All my information tells me the clipped tips was to improve roll rate at low altitude.  During the last year of the war, most XVI's had clipped tips, as ground attack had become the main task.  I've never heard of any modification to the aerofoil section however?  One of the reasons for the Spitfires success was the very thin wing and shape of the aerofoil.  I would have thought putting a big thick wing on it, would have drastically changed the perforrmance?
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Jaybee
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2011, 10:30:47 AM »

I don't think that the absence of cannon bulges on ML417 is particularly significant, as it was one of the T.XI conversions produced by Supermarine post-war, and the bulge is on a removeable panel. It's quite possible that a flat panel was substituted as part of the conversion, as all armament was removed. Certainly ML407, the ' Grace Spitfire ' which was another T.XI also lacks cannon bulges. The wheel bulge was a late-war introduction when the undercarriage was modified to suit hard runways, and several flying Spitfires have been retro-fitted during restoration. Certainly ML407 has them, the point being that the bulge was needed to accommodate the revised leg geometry, so it's presence strongly suggests a normal Spitfire wing section. The only change to the wing section I have come across ( prior to the laminair wing ) was the raising of the leading edge by one inch on some Mk.VIII's, which from photographs would only be noticeable at the leading edge root fillet.
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Edgar Brooks
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2011, 08:33:30 PM »

To make a long story relatively short, the wing is immensely thick compared to any other spitfire wing I have ever seen. If you look carefully you will find no cannon bulges, the cannon on the outside mounting (looks like the short barrel) and just the wheel bulge on the top of the wings. Where did this wing come from, Hawker?
Never trust photographs; if the photographer had to get in close, and compensated by using a wide-angle lens setting, everything near to the camera will appear bigger/distorted. ML417 is now in the U.S., but, long before it left, I was able to get up close to it, and take measurements; believe me, there's nothing odd about its exterior, whatsoever.
Edgar
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type 300
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2011, 10:03:14 PM »

Hi guys, first post on this forum so be gentle.... with regard to the removal of wing tips, if as the A&AEE report suggests there was little improvement in the roll rate by removing them, another reason may have been that of cost; although relatively small, there is a huge amount of work inside a wing tip, with its own spar and nose ribs, and trailing ribs etc, if it made little difference, to performance, it might have made more production wise.

With regard to Eagle sqn, I wouldn't have thought they would have been the architects of the modification, its not as if they saw any more action, or had any more influence within the RAF, more likely the guys in the desert campaign, they were far enough away from high command, to repair A/C without a good supply of genuine spares,they are I believe credited with altering the supercharger, building improv 2 seat trainers, and carrying ground crew, in unorthodox locations!
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