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#101 Macca

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 13:52

They used water/methanol or N/O injection for power boost when climbing on later models (109G onwards).

The Bf109 was designed for a 610hp Jumo engine (but first flew with a 695hp RR Kestrel), and reached its peak in the 109F with 1175hp, cantilever tailplane, rounded wingtips, and slow-firing wing cannon replaced by a single fast-firing 'motor cannon'; after that the increasing weight, particularly from the added armament needed to shoot down bombers, meant that it got more and more difficult to fly.

The 109K cured some of the problems; the fin and rudder had always been too small and the tailwheel too short, so a larger tail and taller retractable tailwheel improved stability and rudder reponse, and more importantly raised the tailplane into the propwash. The main undercarriage wheels were widened (requiring bulges in the tops of the wings) which gave a further improvement in ground handling; the cannon in the nose were uprated to one 30mm and two 15mm, with a more streamlined cowling and spinner to improve the speed lost in the 109G; and a hood with better visibility repaced the clumsily-framed early type.

The 109 was smaller than the Spit, about the same size as the (later - 1940 onwards) Russian Yaks and Lavochkins; but the Germans always required more equipment than the Russians, so the Russian fighters stayed light (some weren't even fitted with radios!), and also didn't need a heavy armament as there were no heavy German bombers for them to combat.

Paul M

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#102 JtP1

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 13:53

Originally posted by johnny yuma
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?


Nitrous injection was used in the latter stages of WW2 by the Luftwaffe as GM1.

#103 TooTall

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 16:12

I used to work for the North American Aircraft Division of Rockwell at what used to be called the Inglewood Plant where Mustangs, Mitchells, and later the F-86 Sabres were built. I have, somewhere in my archives, a copy of an internal report that compared the Spitfire with the NA-73, the prototype for the Mustang. I'll have to try and dig it out.

Cheers,
Kurt O.

#104 David Birchall

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 17:05

Like all on this thread I look forward to seeing that report.

As I stated earlier, I have been reading "The Spitfire Smiths" lately and I think I was probably 15 when I last read a WW2 fighter pilot's autbiography. That was Al Deere's story of his many encounters over France and Germany and as a 15 year old I found it exciting stuff. Now at over 60 (Harummph) reading about young men on fire bailing out of burning aircraft, of bombers going down with all the crew, of planes crashing because of administrative cock ups I have a very different view of the absurdity and wastage of war. TNF may not be the place to air this view but I am sure I am not alone.

#105 onelung

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 23:09

Originally posted by TooTall
... I have, somewhere in my archives, a copy of an internal report that compared the Spitfire with the NA-73, the prototype for the Mustang...


That'd be an interesting read - but of course the NA-73 ran the Allison, and it was the Merlin which brought about the transformation.

#106 Mr Plug

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:01

Originally posted by Ron B.
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.


It would hardly be fair to compare the 109 with a Mosquito as they are so totally different in design, construction, purpose, capacity etc etc. It would be like comparing an MTB with a Destroyer.

If you want to get up close and personal with the magnificent Mossie, the De Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre at Salisbury Hall, Colney, is a terrific place to visit. Apart from the original Mosquito 1 protototype, they have a TT35 beautifully restored as a Fighter Bomber, and a genuine FB6 under restoration.

WELL worth a visit!

#107 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:33

Originally posted by Mr Plug
WELL worth a visit!


I'm off! Well, when I've done a few things...

#108 kayemod

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:45

Originally posted by Mr Plug


It would hardly be fair to compare the 109 with a Mosquito as they are so totally different in design, construction, purpose, capacity etc etc. It would be like comparing an MTB with a Destroyer.


Or apples with oranges of course. The Mosquito was such a clever and innovative concept, that it's always struck me as the WW2 plane that Colin Chapman might have designed.

#109 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:46

Originally posted by kayemod
The Mosquito was such a clever and innovative concept, that it's always struck me as the WW2 plane that Colin Chapman might have designed.


Me too!

#110 onelung

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:24

[QUOTE]Originally posted by kayemod
The Mosquito was such a clever and innovative concept, that it's always struck me as the WW2 plane that Colin Chapman might have designed.
[QUOTE]

Originally posted by Tony Matthews

Me too!
[/QUOTE]

Or even Jim Hall ... ? :wave:

#111 kayemod

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:32

Originally posted by onelung


Or even Jim Hall ... ? :wave:


But Colin Chapman would have had over a year's start, Jim Hall wouldn't have started work on the plane until December 1941...

#112 Mr Plug

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:37

Originally posted by kayemod
The Mosquito was such a clever and innovative concept, that it's always struck me as the WW2 plane that Colin Chapman might have designed.


The old 6 degrees of separation thing at work here....was it not former de Havilland Engineer and some-time pal of Colin Chapman, Frank Costin, who designed and produced plywood monocoque cars?

#113 kayemod

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:19

Originally posted by Mr Plug


The old 6 degrees of separation thing at work here....was it not former de Havilland Engineer and some-time pal of Colin Chapman, Frank Costin, who designed and produced plywood monocoque cars?


Yes, the car was the F2 Protos, and Lotus employed a few ex and current De Havilland people in their early days.

#114 Hank the Deuce

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:36

Originally posted by Mr Plug


The old 6 degrees of separation thing at work here....was it not former de Havilland Engineer and some-time pal of Colin Chapman, Frank Costin, who designed and produced plywood monocoque cars?

TO continue that thread, wasn't it the Mosquito which inspired the Lotus 78 "inverted wing" sidepods? I thought I had read something to that effect, whereupon the initial scale model windtunnel testing or somesuch (please forgive me, it would be 22 years give or take since I read it) the message passed on from the tunnel to ACBC was "The Mosquito Flies"?

#115 Glengavel

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:26

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.


Wasn't there a story on TNF a while back about a pilot coming from a Merlin engined Spitfire, jumping into a Griffon engined version and doing some very interesting taxi-ing across the airfield?

#116 Mr Plug

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:10

Originally posted by Hank the Deuce
TO continue that thread..............the message passed on from the tunnel to ACBC was "The Mosquito Flies"?


Phew! Misread that at first. Thought it said: "The Mosquito FILES".....and that we had another ghastly Coughlan-esque Spygate on our hands!!!

#117 kayemod

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 17:51

Originally posted by Hank the Deuce
TO continue that thread, wasn't it the Mosquito which inspired the Lotus 78 "inverted wing" sidepods? I thought I had read something to that effect, whereupon the initial scale model windtunnel testing or somesuch (please forgive me, it would be 22 years give or take since I read it) the message passed on from the tunnel to ACBC was "The Mosquito Flies"?


This took place after I'd left the company, and I didn't have much to do with the racing side in any case, but although the ground effect experimentation as applied to the Lotus 78 followed a similar general concept to the ducted wing root radiators on the Mosquito aircraft, my understanding based on an "If I tell you anything more I'll have to kill you" kind of conversation with a friend who was still working at Lotus, was that the word 'Mosquito' was just the cover name for the whole project, no more significance than that.

This has been an interesting diversion, but to return to the main topic, the Supermarine Spitfire, a book that's been discussed before on TNF is First Light by Geoffrey Wellum. This is a remarkable work, it's about the flying training, Battle of Britain and early war years experiences of the writer, and it's just about the best thing of its kind I've ever read. Like many of us here, I agree wholeheartedly with David Birchall's views on the absurdity and wastage of war, but that doesn't stop me from being fascinated by writings of this kind on the subject. As far as I know this is Wellum's only published book, but it's uncommonly well written. It's completely devoid of jingoism or bravado, it just tells the story of a thoughtful and intelligent ordinary man's wartime experiences, though ending a bit abruptly with his part in the defence of Malta, a second volume to continue the story would be most welcome. He's flying various marks of Spitfire throughout once he moves on from basic training, and there's a great deal of interesting stuff on what these aircraft were like to take off, land, and fly in battle. Very highly recommended.

#118 Ron B.

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 21:51

Originally posted by Mr Plug


It would hardly be fair to compare the 109 with a Mosquito as they are so totally different in design, construction, purpose, capacity etc etc. It would be like comparing an MTB with a Destroyer.

If you want to get up close and personal with the magnificent Mossie, the De Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre at Salisbury Hall, Colney, is a terrific place to visit. Apart from the original Mosquito 1 protototype, they have a TT35 beautifully restored as a Fighter Bomber, and a genuine FB6 under restoration.

WELL worth a visit!

back "home" in New Zealand a company was set up to build/restore a Mosquito. Mosquito restoration Quite an undertaking for a plywood construction ( as were the Vampire,another neat design which I have seen flying as a kid) .The Mosquito was so good the poor old luftwaffe wanted a copy built to compete...it's name? the MosKito .the Folke Wulfe Ta154.



In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy.
The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that?


— Hermann Göring, January 1943,



#119 JtP1

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 22:43

Originally posted by Mr Plug


It would hardly be fair to compare the 109 with a Mosquito as they are so totally different in design, construction, purpose, capacity etc etc. It would be like comparing an MTB with a Destroyer.


On the 31st January 43 Goering was going to make a speech in Berlin, I think to celebrate 10 years since the national Socialists took power. Mosquitos raided Berlin at the exact time he was to make his speech and it was thus cancelled. Goering was so incensed that he had an anti Mosquito sqd of Bf109 created with specially modified 109s to shoot down Mosquitos in daylight. It was apparently disbanded 9 months later, never having shot down a Mosquito.

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#120 onelung

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 22:58

Thanks, kayemod, for the "First Light" recommendation - shall try to chase it up.

May I in turn mention "Spitfire" by Jeffrey Quill .. a fascinating story which deals with Quill's career and with the development of that aircraft through its various marks. Heartily endorsed to those of you who have not read it.

#121 giffo

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 23:17

Originally posted by elansprint72
Giffo- when my son was about 8 we went to Cosford and must have met the same chap; it was mid-week and nobody was around so he gave us the personal tour too, he insisted that Rick should get into all sorts of cockpits, he still talks about that day. I reckon it was 2001 when we were there.



Most likely the same guy. He said he was too sick to fly one opp & lost his whole crew that night. Sadly probably quite a common story. Those trips for kids can certainly be very impressionalbe to a young bloke.
It was for me & I was 32.

#122 onelung

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 02:53

Originally posted by JtP1


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 annoyance as many sqds had not had the accidents caused by W&B. Possibly that is the problem you are referring to?


This issue is discussed at length by Jeffrey Quill in chapter 21 of his book Spitfire - but I quote from it here - "... the fact is that throughout the period of Spitfire wartime operations problems of longitudinal stability imposed a severe limitation on its range."

#123 David Birchall

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 03:38

I really would recommend to you experts "The Spitfire Smiths" isbn 13:978-1-906502-11-9 published by Grub Street.

The 'Chief protagonist' is Wing Commander Rod Smith, who flew Spitfires in combat from 1941 until almost the end of the war. Following the war he entered McGill University and got a degree in engineering specialising in aerodynamics following that he went back to McGill and got a degree in law. So he is able to debate the performance of the Spitfire from a pilots point of view, from an aerodynamicist point of view and as a lawyer!!

Following the autobiographical part of the book is a blow by blow recount of his exchanges with Wing Commander R.P. 'Bee' Beamont in the pages of various aeronautical magazines. It makes fascinating reading! Beamont was a confirmed Hurricane booster while Smith a confirmed Spitfire booster. Bill Gunston enters the fray at one point and even I have heard of him!

The discussion covers a range of aircraft from the Hurricane and the Spitfire to the Typhoon, Tempest, and of course the P51 in it's various guises.

With regard to the post above, Smith said this of the 'problem':

"...wing failures that happened to some Mark V Spitfires in early 1942, following the installation and improper loading of heavy items of operational equipment in the rear fuselage throughout 1941. This caused the centre of gravity to creep back and reduce longitudinal stability to the danger point, so that too quick a pullout from a dive could cause the aircraft to do a pitch-up (nose and tail suddenly reversing positions), something no wing could stand if the dive speed was very high."

The discussion of the Spitfire vs Hurricane is priceless and a specialists insight into the P51 also.

#124 smarjoram

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:26

My Grandfather was a mechanic and during the war worked on Spitfires and other planes. He told me how he had to raid various scrapheaps to find parts to get the machines flyable again and that often the engines ended up with all sorts of German bits on them.

#125 RTH

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:38

Spitfire Owners workshop manual

http://www.haynes.co...tegory_rn=45001

#126 stuartbrs

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:40

It was the spitfires limited range that made it so hopeless for Australia.

Such a beautiful aircraft though, timeless lines, a real thoroughbred.

#127 Claudio Navonne

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 15:44

Some photos from 2008 Goodwood Revival:

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Regards,

Claudio.

#128 bradbury west

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 18:50

http://www.telegraph...-2-million.html

http://www.telegraph...h-the-ages.html
Roger Lund

#129 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 16:52

This afteroon saw the much-publicised two-seat Spitfire Tr Mk IX 'SM520' sold by Bonhams for £1,739,500 inclusive of buyer's premium. Pre-Sale estimate was £1.5-£2-million.

DCN

#130 David Birchall

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 17:02

How does it's being a two seater effect the value?

I mean, I can see that appealing to some: They can take up fare paying passengers, girlfriends etc, but the purists presumably prefer a single seater. Does it balance out?

#131 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 17:17

David - as I understand it the British CAA Permit to Fly frowns upon use 'for hire', so revenue earning in that sense is verboten. The appeal is that a non-licensed, under-qualified or simply timid purchaser could employ an experienced pro as a chauffeur to conduct him around the clouds! The trainers are much rarer, but the true single-seaters are plainly (for most tastes) more desirable. Rather like Jaguar XK-SS versus genuine Longnose D-Type...

DCN

#132 David Birchall

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 18:11

Thanks Doug, I would take any of the examples you have mentioned! :blush:

I suppose all these wealthy geezers who buy these difficult to fly planes would welcome having some two seat time with an experienced pilot....

#133 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 21:34

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Here's der liddle rascal - and its two cockpits. And if you've ever wondered what goes on inside the fuselage of a Spitfire, I did too...

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Photos strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN

#134 Ron B.

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:36

Originally posted by smarjoram
My Grandfather was a mechanic and during the war worked on Spitfires and other planes. He told me how he had to raid various scrapheaps to find parts to get the machines flyable again and that often the engines ended up with all sorts of German bits on them.

With it being ANZAC tomorrow ,Thoughts of the blokes I knew in my younger days come to mind. Especially some of the tradesmen I served my apprenticeship under.
Some were airframe fitters in the Middle east,England etc during the war and all told of the canabilising of crashed or shot up aircraft to keep them flying. An aircraft engineer today would pale at the thought of what was done to keep a plane flying including dragging an engine across a dusty field,bolting it into a Spitfire then watching the pilot takeoff the next morning with smoke streaming from one bank,with the pilot( thankfully) coming back from the flight with another buggered engine,only to repeat the whole process working half asleep..

#135 FrankB

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 14:54

OT - but could anyone recommend a good biography of Sir Hugh Dowding? I know he had an interest in spiritualism and published books on the subject during the war and went on to lecture on the topic in later years. I'm curious to know more about what lead him to this interest and how it may have impacted on the decisions he was making during the war in his military role.

#136 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:38

Take a look here...

http://www.amazon.co...duct/1906502145

DCN

#137 Paul Hurdsfield

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:46

Those pics of these Aircraft should come with some kind of a warning.....I just nearly had an accident :eek:

Fantastic keep em coming :up:

#138 FrankB

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 17:23

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Take a look here...

http://www.amazon.co...duct/1906502145

DCN


Thanks for that.

I tried to find a biography of him last summer after our annual visit to Moffat but came up with nothing at all. I see this book was published in September of last year.

I've often wondered how you find if a biography exists when the subject's name might not be in the title (which is obviously not the case with this book).

#139 David Birchall

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 00:26

One piece of interesting trivia from "The Spitfire Smiths" book: The man who designed the Spitfire's landing gear is the same man who designed the folding 'Baby Buggy'. :smoking:

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#140 kayemod

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 09:10

Originally posted by David Birchall
One piece of interesting trivia from "The Spitfire Smiths" book: The man who designed the Spitfire's landing gear is the same man who designed the folding 'Baby Buggy'. :smoking:


Ahem... Post 81.

#141 IrishMariner

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:55

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.


Wow - what a book. Absolutely definitive. Thanks for the recommendation.

#142 GreenMachine

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:59

Originally posted by FrankB


Thanks for that.

I tried to find a biography of him last summer after our annual visit to Moffat but came up with nothing at all. I see this book was published in September of last year.

I've often wondered how you find if a biography exists when the subject's name might not be in the title (which is obviously not the case with this book).



Dowding and the Battle of Britain, by Robert Wright, Macdonald, 1969.

A sympathetic look at 'Stuffy', but doesn't go beyond the end of the war.

#143 gruntguru

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 02:42

For the engine freaks like myself, "Not Much of an Engineer" by Sir Stanley Hooker has some of the most gripping accounts of Merlin development. "It Was Fun" by Tony Rudd also has some interesting stories from inside the wartime RR factory.

#144 elansprint72

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 22:34

Here's one at rest, Duxford.
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#145 kayemod

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:08

I have to apologise for the link from today's Daily Mail, I couldn't find this story in a more reputable paper, but it's a good excuse to give this excellent thread a bit of a bump.

http://www.dailymail...le-Britain.html

It seems that not content with re-writing history over trifles like solving of the Enigma code by their heroic capture of a German U-Boat, it was the Americans that won the Battle of Britain for us as well. The writer of this article seems to have swallowed all the US 'expert's' findings without question, though I am sure that many on TNF could explain technicalities like the relationship between octane ratings and power output rather better than the reporter has. It's surely only a matter of time before they claim to have been instrumental in the battles of Waterloo, Trafalgar, Agincourt and many others as well, what a shame that Errol Flynn is no longer around to portray all these heroic roles.

#146 Giraffe

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:35

Posted Image
By giraffe138

The most recent Spitfire sighting must be in the skies over Donington Park on Sunday last, in support of the "Help for Heroes" campaign for wounded members of the Armed Forces coming back from Afganistan and Iraq. It belonged to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and made a brief but welcome appearance around lunchtime.

#147 bradbury west

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 12:03

Slightly OT from the Spitfire, but an interesting picture nevertheless
http://www.dailymail...nd-barrier.html
Roger Lund

#148 kayemod

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 14:00

Posted Image
By giraffe138

The most recent Spitfire sighting must be in the skies over Donington Park on Sunday last, in support of the "Help for Heroes" campaign for wounded members of the Armed Forces coming back from Afganistan and Iraq. It belonged to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and made a brief but welcome appearance around lunchtime.



It must have been about 15 years ago, I was in the centre of Bournemouth on a Saturday afternoon. That unmistakable sound nothing quite like it, a Rolls Royce Merlin, a Spitfire, probably from the Battle of Britain flight attending an airshow at nearby Hurn. It flew right over the Square, waggling its wings as it passed. Every single person both young and old looked up, and a hush fell over the shoppers. Many a bald pate and blue rinse lifted to follow the Spit, some both men and women among the watchers, probably had memories of flying a similar plane themselves during the War. An old man standing next to me took off his hat and held it to his chest, I think he shed a tear. Evocative wasn't the word, you just don't forget moments like that.

Edited by kayemod, 13 May 2009 - 14:01.


#149 Giraffe

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 14:05

It must have been about 15 years ago, I was in the centre of Bournemouth on a Saturday afternoon. That unmistakable sound nothing quite like it, a Rolls Royce Merlin, a Spitfire, probably from the Battle of Britain flight attending an airshow at nearby Hurn. It flew right over the Square, waggling its wings as it passed. Every single person both young and old looked up, and a hush fell over the shoppers. Many a bald pate and blue rinse lifted to follow the Spit, some both men and women among the watchers, probably had memories of flying a similar plane themselves during the War. An old man standing next to me took off his hat and held it to his chest, I think he shed a tear. Evocative wasn't the word, you just don't forget moments like that.


My form master at school, Mr.McCann had flown Spitfires in North Africa; the most your average teacher has flown these days is a hovermower. :well:


#150 ianselva

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 14:10

It must have been about 15 years ago, I was in the centre of Bournemouth on a Saturday afternoon. That unmistakable sound nothing quite like it, a Rolls Royce Merlin, a Spitfire, probably from the Battle of Britain flight attending an airshow at nearby Hurn. It flew right over the Square, waggling its wings as it passed. Every single person both young and old looked up, and a hush fell over the shoppers. Many a bald pate and blue rinse lifted to follow the Spit, some both men and women among the watchers, probably had memories of flying a similar plane themselves during the War. An old man standing next to me took off his hat and held it to his chest, I think he shed a tear. Evocative wasn't the word, you just don't forget moments like that.

I used to live in Bournemouth and it may have been the same one ,but I was down by the beach and heard a Merlin and a Spitfire appeared from out at sea ,and it seemed to hurtling towards me at very minimum height ( presumably no minimum height requirement over the sea) and shot over the towards the town , I'm sure this was some Service occasion , but VERY impressive. Probably the late Ray Hanna, as it seemed like his style.