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#51 Paul Parker

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:10

Stephen W quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by elansprint72
A remarkable and very brave Gentleman; I could not believe how tiny the rear turret was.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Rear gunners were selected by height; a friend of the family was a rear gunner and he was barely 5' 4" - he still had the axe issued to gunners so they could chop through the persplex 'bubble' to get out in an emergency.




My late ex-father-in-law was just over 6 feet tall even in his later years and he was nevertheless a Lancaster
tail gunner. Who survived his many ops with nary a scratch!

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#52 Phil Rainford

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:19

The Imperila War Museum ( North ) had an exhibition a couple of years ago on Bomber Command, in which they had a bubble from a Lancaster on show......

Don't care what height those guys were, they have my total respect

PAR

#53 Tony Matthews

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:28

Originally posted by elansprint72
http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/0946219486

This is the only book you will ever need- details on every Spitfire made, that is each single aircraft, not each type. Runs to 634 pages and you need to get to page 75 before you leave the Type 300 prototypes behind!

All the info on the many different types of wings from elipse, clipped, folding through to laminar flow, with all the variants in between. All the engines too, including the diesels! Hundreds of photos and cut-away tech drawings, rigging diagrams, etc. It is the DEFINITIVE book.


Pete, thought you would be interested to know that on reading your post I ordered a copy of the book, and am now struggling with the sheer weight of it! Superb, thanks for the tip.

#54 Terry Walker

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:27

I could kick myself. A few years ago I was poking around in a second hand bookstore and come across a workshop manual for the Spitfire! Just like the one you get for a car, encluding engine of course, that obviously had it's own workshop manual.

I couldn't see much chance of me needing a workshop manual for a Spitfire any time soon, so I didn't buy it. The bookshop has since vanished.

#55 onelung

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:28

Originally posted by elansprint72
[B]

Geoff, sent you a PM, sorry, I missed your post here. According to the book P7674 was fitted with an experimental 2-stroke diesel I'm sure there is at least one other reference to a diesel but whilst this is an excellent book; the index is below par and 600-odd pages of tiny print takes some going through.
:eek:
If I find the other ref I'll give you a shout.

Thanks Pete... I've gone back into my shelves and found reference to RR & diesels in relation to Kestrels & Condors (RR Heritage Trust, "The Rolls-royce Crecy" - chapter one). There were a lot of diesel goings on during the inter-war years, evidently.
I had no idea, however, that any diesel had been fitted to a Spitfire airframe (and flown?). I shall stay tuned.

#56 FrankB

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:38

Originally posted by Terry Walker
I could kick myself. A few years ago I was poking around in a second hand bookstore and come across a workshop manual for the Spitfire! Just like the one you get for a car...



Haynes do in fact publish a manual in exactly the same format as their car manuals... http://www.haynes.co...catalogId=10001 I would imagine however that an original RAF (RAAF?) manual would be quite a desirable (and hence expensive) collector's item now.

#57 ellrosso

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:44

Always a huge fan of the Spitfire, but was the Me109 the better plane overall? Any comments? Obviously the Battle of Britain was the ultimate decider but from a pilots point of view, which was superior? I wonder if there is the same enthusiasm for the 109 in Germany
as there is for the Spit in the Commonwealth.
Regards, ellrosso

#58 onelung

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 13:41

I'll take a P51, thankyou very much - and, If I were German, it'd be the Fw109.
Now, back to the diesel Spitfire discussion - I know one has to be careful of Google, but here's what it has to say on the matter....

"Two years prior to the Hawker Henley's arrival (Summer 1941) a Supermarine Spitfire Mk II, P7674 had been delivered to Hucknall and was fitted with a Crecy mock-up to enable cowling drawings and system details to be designed. It had also been agreed that the first production Spitfire Mk III would be delivered to Hucknall in early 1942 minus its Merlin engine for fitment of an airworthy Crecy; this delivery did not occur however.[12] A Royal Aircraft Establishment report (No. E.3932) of March 1942 estimated the performance of the Spitfire fitted with a Crecy engine and also compared this to a Griffon 61-powered variant of the type. The report stated that the Crecy's maximum power output would be too much for the Spitfire airframe but that a derated version would have considerable performance gains over the Griffon-powered fighter.[13]"

I love the comment made in the R-R Heritage Trust's "The Rolls-Royce Crecy" to the effect that by comparison, the R-R Vulture ws trouble free (!)
It was the Vulture and its problems which resulted in the Lancaster, of course. Four good ones much better than two bad ones. QED.

#59 kayemod

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:03

Originally posted by onelung
I'll take a P51, thankyou very much - and, If I were German, it'd be the Fw109.


A discussion like this could go on for ever, but I have a book Testing Aeroplanes in Wartime by Air Commodore Allen Wheeler, out of print for many years, and quite scarce these days. The author was a test pilot during WW2, and he discusses just about everything that flew during the conflict. No question that the Spitfire, Mustang, BF109, FW190 and others were very fine aircraft in their different ways, but his verdict after flying every single one of them, was that the Spitfire was the best defensive fighter of WW2, and the P51 was the best offensive fighter. On the Spitfire v 109 debate, anyone remember Adolf Galland's quote when asked what he needed to win the war in the air? He's said to have asked someone like Hermann Goering for "A few squadrons of Spitfires".

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#60 kayemod

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:06

Here's the quote, just found it in another book.

During the Battle of Britain, in a front line General Officer briefing on Luftwaffe tactics, Reichsmarshall Goering asked what his pilots needed to win the battle. Werner Mölders replied that he would like the Bf 109 to be fitted with more powerful engines. Adolf Galland replied: "I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my squadron." Goering was speechless with rage.

#61 Stephen W

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:18

Originally posted by kayemod
Here's the quote, just found it in another book.

During the Battle of Britain, in a front line General Officer briefing on Luftwaffe tactics, Reichsmarshall Goering asked what his pilots needed to win the battle. Werner Mölders replied that he would like the Bf 109 to be fitted with more powerful engines. Adolf Galland replied: "I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my squadron." Goering was speechless with rage.


This appears in the film "Battle of Britain".

#62 onelung

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:22

Originally posted by kayemod


A discussion like this could go on for ever ....


I absolutely and utterly concur. My post was very much tongue-in-cheek ;)

#63 kayemod

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:36

Originally posted by Stephen W


This appears in the film "Battle of Britain".


Hardly surprising, Adolf Galland was a technical adviser for that film, he's listed in the credits.

#64 elansprint72

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 15:19

Just remembered that I actually owned and built a diesel powered Spitfire and flew it from Avro's Woodford airfield. It was a control line model and flew like a brick on two strings; didn't last long. :rotfl:

#65 Phil Rainford

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 15:24

Originally posted by kayemod
Here's the quote, just found it in another book.

During the Battle of Britain, in a front line General Officer briefing on Luftwaffe tactics, Reichsmarshall Goering asked what his pilots needed to win the battle. Werner Mölders replied that he would like the Bf 109 to be fitted with more powerful engines. Adolf Galland replied: "I should like an outfit of Spitfires for my squadron." Goering was speechless with rage.






PAR

#66 elansprint72

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 15:29

Originally posted by Tony Matthews


Pete, thought you would be interested to know that on reading your post I ordered a copy of the book, and am now struggling with the sheer weight of it! Superb, thanks for the tip.


Hope you enjoy it but I bet you don't read it in one sitting! :lol:

#67 David Birchall

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 18:17

Originally posted by Paul Parker
Stephen W quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by elansprint72
A remarkable and very brave Gentleman; I could not believe how tiny the rear turret was.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Rear gunners were selected by height; a friend of the family was a rear gunner and he was barely 5' 4" - he still had the axe issued to gunners so they could chop through the persplex 'bubble' to get out in an emergency.




My late ex-father-in-law was just over 6 feet tall even in his later years and he was nevertheless a Lancaster
tail gunner. Who survived his many ops with nary a scratch!


My father was 5'5" and was a gunner in WW2 until he got the smart idea of getting transferred and became an airframe fitter!
A couple of things come to mind. Shortly before he died ten years ago we were going through his old photos and I was asking him for captions for them. One was a photo of a crash landed British bomber-he flipped it into the pile and I grabbed it-"What is the story of this?" I asked. "Oh, I was in the dorsal turret" was the quiet response. He told a story of going up in a Hamden bomber in the belly turret. The turret had to be turned around to enter and once the gunner was inside there was no way out. They took off and as they climbed my father was in the perfect position to see the extremely narrow rear fuselage shaking and twisting. He hit the intercom button and told the skipper. The skipper responded "If it stops shaking bail out!"

I took him to Hamilton aircraft museum where the head curator showed us one of the few flying Lancasters in the world is kept. Dad looked at it for a moment and said "The dorsal turret is in the wrong position!" The head curator was astounded "Don't tell anyone else" he said "I didn't think anyone would notice"....

#68 JtP1

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 19:45

Originally posted by elansprint72
Just remembered that I actually owned and built a diesel powered Spitfire and flew it from Avro's Woodford airfield. It was a control line model and flew like a brick on two strings; didn't last long. :rotfl:


Build Noel Stephenson Spitfire from the free Aeromodeller plan, they fly reasonable well. Spitfires are supposed to make poor models, probably because the tail is too small when scaled down. Although the tail surfaces are probably too small as designed for the full sized aircraft as the engine power grew. Later models have much larger tail surfaces.

#69 kayemod

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 21:06

Originally posted by David Birchall


He told a story of going up in a Hamden bomber in the belly turret. The turret had to be turned around to enter and once the gunner was inside there was no way out.


Don't want to cast any aspersions David, but are you sure your Dad got the type of plane right?

Hampdens didn't have any turrets. They had single hand-held .303 machine guns in dorsal (upper) and ventral (lower or 'belly') positions, and both were only accessible from inside the aircraft. Could he have been thinking about the much larger four-engined Halifax?

Come to think of it though, as far as I know, no Halifax ever had a ventral turret either, so what plane could it have been?

#70 David Birchall

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 21:23

I think I got the right plane-my father certainly would have! Pencil thin rear fuselage-I may be confusing the turret story with something else but the story of the whole tailplane assembly wiggling I remember very clearly!

ps According to Wiki the guns were upgraded to twins when it was found that singles were inadequate....

#71 JtP1

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 22:48

Originally posted by David Birchall
I think I got the right plane-my father certainly would have! Pencil thin rear fuselage-I may be confusing the turret story with something else but the story of the whole tailplane assembly wiggling I remember very clearly!

ps According to Wiki the guns were upgraded to twins when it was found that singles were inadequate....


That sounds like 5 Group Hampdens led by Arthur Harris at the time(up till mid to late 41). He asked a local engineering company to modify the gun mounts to fit twin Brownings. The company was Rose Forgrove of Saxilby Lincs. He used the tatic of ordering the stuff without authorisation, but in sufficient quantity that he could never hope to pay for it from his service pay.

Getting around a Hampden in flying clothes was not exactly easy. The fuselage must have been around 36" wide from photos of pilots sitting in them. There was no chance of replacing an injured pilot in flight and there was only one.

#72 Pete Lyons

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 23:05

Apologies if someone else has already posted this—I looked but didn't spot such a post:



(If that doesn't work at your end, just go to YouTube and search for "decadenet +spitfire")

#73 JtP1

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 23:43

Try this flying link



#74 Mal9444

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:19

Originally posted by Terry Walker
I could kick myself. A few years ago I was poking around in a second hand bookstore and come across a workshop manual for the Spitfire! Just like the one you get for a car, encluding engine of course, that obviously had it's own workshop manual.

I couldn't see much chance of me needing a workshop manual for a Spitfire any time soon, so I didn't buy it. The bookshop has since vanished.


By the same token, I have a set of pilot's notes for the Spitfire, as issued with the aircraft by the Air Ministry. I am not a pilot, nor ever like to be, of anything at all, let alone a Spitfire. I found them clearing out a (very old) desk that I inherited in an office where I once worked. It didn't seem right to throw them out, so they are round here somewhere...

They made fascinating reading, of course. I had no idea it was quite so complex.

#75 onelung

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:09

Spitfire (Mk II) Pilot's Notes here

#76 David Birchall

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 15:02

Originally posted by Mal9444

They made fascinating reading, of course. I had no idea it was quite so complex.


Open the throttle, press the trigger, Tally Ho!!
How hard can it be? :blush:

#77 Gary Davies

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 15:50

Originally posted by David Birchall


Open the throttle, press the trigger, Tally Ho!!
How hard can it be? :blush:


Reminds me... I've long thought that, with that narrow undercarriage, landing a Seafire on a carrier must be one of the hardest things in the world to do.

#78 Mal9444

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 16:06

Originally posted by onelung
Spitfire (Mk II) Pilot's Notes here


That's the one.

#79 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 16:15

I understand that actual landing upon the carrier with the Seafire's narrow-track undercarriage was the easy bit, since the wide-track undercarriages of other aircraft applied a much greater lateral lever moment if the aircraft - or the carrier deck - was in roll. Once an arrester wire had been hooked its drag kept the narrow-tracked Seafire more in less in line.

The really tricky bit was in keeping the undercarriage attached at all to these relatively ultra-light and fragile thoroughbred airframes, and vice versa. In contrast types like the Firefly, Barracuda, Martlet/Wildcat, Avenger, Corsair or Hellcat, Bearcat and Sea Fury were built like brick ----houses. Where they tended to bounce and survive, the tender Seafires crumpled and broke.

DCN

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#80 TrackDog

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 17:24

Originally posted by kayemod


A discussion like this could go on for ever, but I have a book Testing Aeroplanes in Wartime by Air Commodore Allen Wheeler, out of print for many years, and quite scarce these days. The author was a test pilot during WW2, and he discusses just about everything that flew during the conflict. No question that the Spitfire, Mustang, BF109, FW190 and others were very fine aircraft in their different ways, but his verdict after flying every single one of them, was that the Spitfire was the best defensive fighter of WW2, and the P51 was the best offensive fighter. On the Spitfire v 109 debate, anyone remember Adolf Galland's quote when asked what he needed to win the war in the air? He's said to have asked someone like Hermann Goering for "A few squadrons of Spitfires".



From what I remember from my reading such books as THE FIRST AND THE LAST, FORKED-TAILED DEVIL, FLYING FORTS and a lot of issues of WINGS and AIRPOWER; the ME 109 was really an outmoded aircraft by the latter part of the war; and especially after the introduction of the P-51 it usually came off second best in jujst about any kind of dogfight, unless the pilot was an absolute genius. Most Allied fighter pilots didn't worry too much about fighting 109's later in the war; but the FW 190 was a very different story...it was much more manouverable, had greater firepower, and was usually flown by a pilot of higher caliber than the 109. The TA 152 model was the ultimate version of the design, and was greatly respected by Allied pilots.

The Me109 had such a narrow undercarriage that many student pilots didn't survive their training flights...it wa very difficult to land until one was practiced in doing so. It was cramped, very difficult to see out of, and the canopy was so heavy that in most instances if it had to be abandoned, the only recourse a pilot had was to roll over on his back to allow the canopy to swing open. Also, a lot of balance horns and control surface hinges were exposed into the slipstream, making them vulnerable to debris and battle damage, as well as robbing speed.

The Me 109 may have been a world-class fighter in 1939, but by 1944 it desperately needed a re-design.


Dan

#81 kayemod

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 18:16

Originally posted by Vanwall


Reminds me... I've long thought that, with that narrow undercarriage, landing a Seafire on a carrier must be one of the hardest things in the world to do.


A little known fact is that the Spitfire/Seafire undercarriage, a very clever piece of design, was designed by one Owen Maclaren, I think that's the correct spelling. This is the same Owen Maclaren who more or less invented what we now refer to as a 'baby buggy', he founded the eponymous company that started making the things sometime in the mid-sixties. Sadly, they company went bust about eight years ago, and the buggies we see today are made in China.

#82 David Birchall

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:00

I am presently reading "The Spitfire Smiths", the story of two Canadian brothers who became Spitfire pilots. On page 73 I found the following passage-One brother is on board the USS Wasp in a squadron of Spitfires en route for Malta:

"May 9th [1942] 580 miles from Malta. We took off today. One of our lads went off the end and the ship cut him in two. he never came up. I took off and found one wing tank out of commission, so after the others had finished I landed back on the Carrier--the first Spit to do it. The Americans made a terrific fuss and presented me with the Navy Wings and a cake. Had a grand time that night but they wouldn't let me take off when trouble remedied."
[He flew to Gibraltar the next day]
What he doesn't say is, he had no arrester hook and stopped only six feet short of the end of the deck on his second attempt at landing!

#83 JtP1

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:12

Originally posted by David Birchall
I am presently reading "The Spitfire Smiths", the story of two Canadian brothers who became Spitfire pilots. On page 73 I found the following passage-One brother is on board the USS Wasp in a squadron of Spitfires en route for Malta:

"May 9th [1942] 580 miles from Malta.


Was that statute or nautical miles?

#84 Mal9444

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:15

Originally posted by JtP1


Was that statute or nautical miles?


Well, that would certainly make a big difference when attempting to land on with no arrester hook.

#85 JtP1

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 15:58

Originally posted by Mal9444


Well, that would certainly make a big difference when attempting to land on with no arrester hook.



No, it made a big difference as to whether a Spitfire reached Malta or not!

#86 David Birchall

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 16:42

Originally posted by JtP1



No, it made a big difference as to whether a Spitfire reached Malta or not!


Remember they were carrying wing tanks-hence the need to return to the carrier. Elsewhere in the book one of the brothers sees a Spitfire converted for use in the desert war for the first time and comments on the huge external air filter and fuel tanks that reduced cruising speed to 137 mph!!

Edit: There is a photo of this Spitfire taking off for the second time from the carrier-it has a large belly tank fitted. I can try to post the photo if you would like.

#87 JtP1

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 18:57

Originally posted by David Birchall


Remember they were carrying wing tanks-hence the need to return to the carrier. Elsewhere in the book one of the brothers sees a Spitfire converted for use in the desert war for the first time and comments on the huge external air filter and fuel tanks that reduced cruising speed to 137 mph!!

Edit: There is a photo of this Spitfire taking off for the second time from the carrier-it has a large belly tank fitted. I can try to post the photo if you would like.


The May resupply was the second one. The first by Wasp in April had failed by loss of aircraft from lack of fuel and ground losses on landing when the airfields were raided. The RAF had asked for the launch to take place at 580 miles. Unfortunately the RAF navigated in statute miles and navies navigate for quite logical reasons in nautical miles. Thus the April launch was too far from Malta even with the long range tank. It was the long range tank that Smith dropped and resulted in his return to the ship.

It's ok, I know the shape of the 1942 slipper tank.

Just checked and it must have been an earlier hurricane resupply that they messed the range up on.

#88 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 20:53

This afternoon I was in the garden when a Mustang took off from nearby Rochester Airport before flying over my house. I grinned from ear to ear as I always do when I hear an RR Merlin engine. Made my day! :clap:

#89 onelung

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 22:58

Packard Merlin: even better than the original?

A bit of Googling suggests to me that the range of a P-51 was almost twice that of a Spitfire, internal fuel in each case - no external tanks. No wonder Goering wanted the 'stangs......

#90 JtP1

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 01:45

Originally posted by onelung
Packard Merlin: even better than the original?

A bit of Googling suggests to me that the range of a P-51 was almost twice that of a Spitfire, internal fuel in each case - no external tanks. No wonder Goering wanted the 'stangs......



The Packard Merlin was developed in some forms to be better than the original, although the first one made only produced half the rated power. They had forgotten to put the piston rings on the pistons. Merlin/Spitfire developement effectively stopped with the introduction of the Griffon engined MKX11.

P51 still required drop tanks to get the range and had a tank behind the seat which restricted manouverability until emptied. If a dive was carried out and the tank still with fuel, the extra weight could cause the aircraft to crash on pull out at low level. Basically the CG was too far back with the tank filled. Later Spitfires gained extra range as the fuel tanks were built in, but never to quite match the P51.

The two aircraft were designed 6 years apart and for different functions. The Spitfire was designed as a defensive fighter to operate over its own territory, which would have made it excellent for defending the 3rd Riech. The P51 is an excellent long range high altitude escort fighter with the knowledge gained in 6 years between the designs. The US navy considered navalising the P51, but turned it down because in every area except high altitude top speed a Corsair was better. This without the P51's poor low speed airelon control for carrier landing.

Galland's quote is also taken out of context. He remark came after recieving instructions on how he was to escort bombers during the BoB. He considered the restrictions Goering wished placed on the Bf109 made the Spitfire a better fighter for the task. P51s usually operated in exactly the manner that Galland wished to operate the 109.

#91 onelung

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:11

Good post: yes, and likewise, as soon as the 109's tried to duke it out over Mother England, they had limited endurance remaining for the battle and had to break off engagement.

and ..

The two aircraft were designed 6 years apart


makes me suspect that the same (if not exactly 6 years..) would apply to the 109 cf Spitfire "which is better" discussion.

BTW .. with all these Spitfire experts latching onto this thread, are we any closer to finding out whether a Spit ever had a diesel engine installed or not (the latter - not - I suspect to be the case, but welcome information).

#92 JtP1

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:39

Originally posted by onelung
Good post: yes, and likewise, as soon as the 109's tried to duke it out over Mother England, they had limited endurance remaining for the battle and had to break off engagement.

and ..
makes me suspect that the same (if not exactly 6 years..) would apply to the 109 cf Spitfire "which is better" discussion.

BTW .. with all these Spitfire experts latching onto this thread, are we any closer to finding out whether a Spit ever had a diesel engine installed or not (the latter - not - I suspect to be the case, but welcome information).



The Spitfire vs 109 is a more valid discussion. Both are similar in performance. If you compare all factors, the Spifire carries 60 sq ft of wing area with effectively no drag penalty, 242 vs 181. I haven't looked up the exact 109 wing area, so don't berate me. The 109 is around 1000lbs lighter, so the wing loading is higher. This results in the fitting of the Handley Page slots in the leading edge to bring the landing speed under control. There was still a high wastage of 109s on ground handling accidents, around 1500 written off in the first 18 months of the war.

The 109 was definately past its best by the end of the 109F of 41, being steadily overloaded with extra equipement for the rest of the war. There was more developement available in the Spitfire airframe and it was readily adapted to meet requirements to the detriment of the future of Supermarine.

In simplistic terms the Spitfire gains a laminar wing in the 22 and a moderised bubble canopy fuselage for the wing in the 24. The Spiteful gets the 24 fuselage and a new laminar wing. The laminar wing ends up in the Attacker and the Swift gets the Attacker fuselage with a swept wing. Compare a Swift to Hunter which had the benefit of a clean sheet of paper.

If one starts comparisons in time periods. Compare a Bf109 to a Fw190, they are some 5 years apart and consider the strides made in that time frame inside the same country.

#93 cdrewett

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:49

There's another aspect to the Spitfire v !09 discussion, and that is their ease of handling on take-off and landing. All the reports I've read by people like Ray Hanna and Winkle Brown who flew both types speak of the 109's instability and tendency to ground loop on landing due to its narrow track and excessive camber. Germany lost as many young pilots in 109 accidents as in 109 combat. Whereas all Spitfire pilots praise its ease of handling near the ground and its much more comfortable cockpit, although that's a relative term.
Chris

#94 Ron B.

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 06:43

As nice as they are,and although I've never flown I one do admire the Spitfire. But if one is to compare the 109 against any British aircraft,compare it againt the Mosquito. No comparison at all actually. And no, I have never flown a mosquito either but when I was at school,most of the male teachers ( and a couple of women teachers) were returned service people. My English teacher had been a mosquito pilot and on his desk he had a brass Model of one ,made he said from shell casings melted down by his groundcrew and cast at some airfeild in the UK. They made one for each member of his flight at the end of hostilities.
We would get him talking about flying ,to save doing school work..;) and he would tell us about fighting Me109's etc etc at night over Germany until he got shot up and in his crippled plane made his way back across the channel,only to get up and do it again..

#95 Odseybod

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:23

Originally posted by JtP1
Compare a Bf109 to a Fw190, they are some 5 years apart and consider the strides made in that time frame inside the same country.


Or even a Bf109 and Me262 - slightly further apart but both from the same 'stable'!

#96 aaron

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:24

I learnt a new fact from the son of a Spitfire pilot just a few months ago, which only shows my ignorance. He said that many a good pilot who had survived the very worst of the dogfighting, later lost their lives when the controls were altered in later MKs causing some to make an instinctive reaction, only to cause their own demise. Someone with better specific knowledge than me might like to illuminate us on this little known (at least to me) aspect of the Spitfire legend. Aaron.

#97 JtP1

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:00

Originally posted by aaron
I learnt a new fact from the son of a Spitfire pilot just a few months ago, which only shows my ignorance. He said that many a good pilot who had survived the very worst of the dogfighting, later lost their lives when the controls were altered in later MKs causing some to make an instinctive reaction, only to cause their own demise. Someone with better specific knowledge than me might like to illuminate us on this little known (at least to me) aspect of the Spitfire legend. Aaron.


Came across a thing years ago where around 42, some Spitfires had a weight and balance problem (cg). All Spifire sqds were ordered to carry out W&B checks. This caused some annoance as many sqds had not had the accidents caused by W&B. Possibly that is the problem you are refering to?

#98 Paolo

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:13

Originally posted by onelung

makes me suspect that the same (if not exactly 6 years..) would apply to the 109 cf Spitfire "which is better" discussion.


The Bf 109 is actually more of a contemporary of the Hurricane (which bettered in everything but sturdiness) than of the Spitfire.

#99 JtP1

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 12:41

Originally posted by Paolo


The Bf 109 is actually more of a contemporary of the Hurricane (which bettered in everything but sturdiness) than of the Spitfire.



The Spitfire and Hurricane were designed to the same contract specification and both them and the 109 flew within months of each other, albeit the 109 used a RR Kestrel to fly first. Both the Spitfire and Hurricane flew with their intended engine.

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#100 johnny yuma

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 13:14

I read somewhere a snippet of information that experiment had been made on Nitrous injection for the Me109 but abandoned.This surprised me as I did not know nitrous was much understood in the 1930s.Any comments or info ? Had Britain looked at it for the Spitfire?