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Author Topic: Speed Spitfire  (Read 16169 times)
wally7506
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« on: February 10, 2009, 12:42:41 AM »

As I understand it, the "Speed Spitfire" became a VIP hack aircraft throughout WW2.  It was returned to standard Mk Ia configuration but with a PR windscreen and no guns.  The wingtips were rounded to an odd shape.

I'm looking for any data, photos, color information regarding this Spitfire on or around D-Day.

TIA
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Antoni
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 09:44:38 PM »

K9834 was taken from the production line for modification. Airframe changed included shortening the wing sections outside the undercarriage housings to span of 33ft 8in from which all armament was deleted. A lower more streamlined windscreen. Aerial mast and fittings removed. Tailwheel replaced with streamlined skid. Rolls-Royce worked on a version of the Merlin using Benzol and Methanol leaded fuel known as the Merlin II Special. Four-blade propeller and momentum exhaust fitted. New improved cowling, deeper radiator intake, new oil cooler and ducts. When the attempt on the speed record was abandoned the engine was replaced with a Merlin XII and the special race equipment removed prior to it being handed over to the RAF. It was handed over to the PDU RAF Heston 24th November 1940, receiving its originally allocated serial. The skid was replaced with a wheel and canopy replaced with one similar to that used on PR Spitfires. F.24 camera installed. It still retained its blue and siver colour scheme and was test flown on a number of occasions by the General Aircraft test pilot. Very short on range it was only flown on one abortive mission over France. Later it went to the PRU RAF Benson where a Merlin 45 was fitted. There it became the personnel aircraft of Air Commodore John H Bootham (winner of the 1931 Schneider Trophy contest) who flew it over the beach head on D-Day. SOC Coastal Command Cat E 14/6/1946.   
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DazDaMan
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2009, 11:17:38 PM »

The Speed Spit was not restored to Mk.I configuration, except for a standard engine and PRU fittings.

Its colour scheme was pretty much the same as that applied for the speed challenge, except for the application of roundels and fin flashes.  Alfred Price's book "Spitfire At War" (whichever volume it is!) has an excellent in-flight image of the aircraft showing the markings to excellent effect.
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MikeC
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 11:20:21 AM »

Just found this, I'm researching this particular aircraft at the moment.  Just a couple of points:

Firstly, it seems that at some stage a fighter-type windscreen replaced the PR windscreen - see this photo http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/attachment.php?attachmentid=85839&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1118353979 which has been published in a few places I think, I have a larger copy of it in at least one book where it can be clearly seen as a flat windcreen.

Secondly, there is a body of opinion that Air Cdre Boothman's trip over the D-Day beachhead in this aircraft is an "urban myth"; after all, at this point the lack of any useful range, even to France, was a well-known issue.

Principal source "Spitfire in Combat", Alfred Price.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 11:27:40 AM by MikeC » Logged
marluc
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 03:18:03 PM »

Hello:

I´ve found this picture of Speed Spitfire K9834 in its last paint scheme.



As I want to assemble a 1/72 Spitfire at this stage of its life,I´ve a pair of questions:

-Is it painted in PRU Blue with a red lightning stripe?
-The oil radiator under the left wing,was Mk.I or Mk.V style?

Thanks in advance for your help,greetings.

Martin
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Antoni
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 07:38:25 PM »

Royal Blue with Silver lightning flash. Oil coller had a round orifice.
 
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marluc
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 11:50:25 PM »

Thanks Antoni,greetings.

Martin
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JamesF
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 02:44:15 PM »

In his excellent book "The Spitfire Story" Alfred Price has a section devoted to the Speed Spitfire with some excellent photos.  What I find interesting, is the wing planform shape was significantly changed, having a more rounded taper towards the tip.
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