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What a super find...what a great airplane...I hope their in descent shape though!
 

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The Spitfires had fabric covered wings and a lot of wood was used in building them due to the shortage of Aluminum. There is detail in the story about being in good condition, however the proof will be when they are finally exhumed. The Spitfire was said to have small cramped cockpits that would often rub blisters on the shoulders of larger pilots. The Hurricanes were not quite as nimble as the Spitfires, but were more durable. Were it not for the RAF and volunteers from all the non-Axis powers, Great Britain would have fallen to Germany.
 

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I emailed this to my brother. This is right up his runway. He's an active member of the Florida Aviation Historical Society. (They are presently building a Benoist replica for the 2014 Centennial of commercial flight.)
 

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The Spitfires had fabric covered wings and a lot of wood was used in building them due to the shortage of Aluminum.
I thought spits were all aluminum and it was the hurricanes that were wood and fabric.

If memory serves the only part on the spits that was fabric covered were the control surfaces. They tended to balloon a bit and give the original spits sluggish handling at high speeds. They redeveloped the ailerons and covered all control surfaces in aluminum.
 

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I stand corrected about the fabric wings, and I always saw movies of the guns blazing with fabric moving around the gun ports which lead me to think they were fabric. I was the Mosquito 2 engine bomber that was mostly an all wood airframe. Here is an excerpt explaining the fabric around the gun ports on the leading edge of the wings:


Due to a shortage of Brownings, which had been selected as the new standard rifle calibre machine gun for the RAF in 1934, early Spitfires were fitted with only four guns, with the other four fitted later.[SUP][80][/SUP] Early tests showed that while the guns worked perfectly on the ground and at low altitudes, they tended to freeze at high altitude, especially the outer wing guns. This was because the RAF's Brownings had been modified to fire from an open bolt; while this prevented overheating of the cordite used in British ammunition, it allowed cold air to flow through the barrel unhindered.[SUP][81][/SUP] Supermarine did not fix the problem until October 1938, when they added hot air ducts from the rear of the wing mounted radiators to the guns, and bulkheads around the gunbays to trap the hot air in the wing. Red fabric patches were doped over the gun ports to protect the guns from cold, dirt and moisture until they were fired.[SUP][82][/SUP] Even if the eight Brownings worked perfectly, pilots soon discovered that they were not sufficient to destroy larger aircraft. Combat reports showed that an average of 4,500 rounds were needed to shoot down an enemy aircraft. In November 1938, tests against armoured and unarmoured targets had already indicated that the introduction of a weapon of at least 20 mm calibre was urgently needed.[SUP][83][/SUP] A variant on the Spitfire design with four 20mm Oerlikon cannon had been tendered to specification F37/35 but the order for prototypes had gone to the Westland Whirlwind in January 1939.[SUP][84][/SUP]
In June 1939, a single Spitfire was fitted with a single drum-fed Hispano in each wing, an installation that required large blisters on the wing to cover the 60-round drum. The cannons suffered frequent stoppages, mostly because the guns were mounted on their sides to fit as much of the magazine as possible within the wing. In January 1940, P/O George Proudman flew this prototype in combat, but the starboard gun stopped after firing a single round, while the port gun fired 30 rounds before seizing.[SUP][82][/SUP] If one cannon seized, the recoil of the other threw the aircraft off aim. Nevertheless, 30 more cannon-armed Spitfires were ordered for operational trials, and they were soon known as the Mk IB, to distinguish them from the Browning-armed Mk IA, and were delivered to No. 19 Squadron beginning in June 1940. The Hispanos were found to be so unreliable that the squadron requested an exchange of its aircraft with the older Browning-armed aircraft of an operational training unit. By August, Supermarine had perfected a more reliable installation with an improved feed mechanism and four .303s in the outer wing panels. The modified fighters were then delivered to 19 Squadron.[SUP][82][/SUP]
[edit]

 

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The Spitfire and Hurricane were my two favorite airfix model planes as as kid, closely followed by.... the Stuka dive bomber. I just liked it's funky wing design.

It was said that the Stuka's distinctive dive scream was actually the pilot, apparently some of them didn't manage to pull out of the dive in time.....
 

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That's awesome! I would love to be there for that modern-day archeological expedition! Can't wait to see what they look like -- please post pics!
 

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Very cool, hope they are at least semi restorable. Be great if they could be flown tho!

Airwrnech, great choice! One of my favorites also.

Sarge
 

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Hey, they got funky wings like a Stuka! I like them.
When I was a kid they had a TV show called Black Sheep Squadron which was loosley about
VMF214 in the S. Pacific. I fell in love with that airplane. As I grew older and learned more
about G. "Pappy" Boyington and the real storey of the Black Sheep squadron it really became
a favorite of mine.

The top 2 US fighters of the war were the P-51 and the F4U. Since the P-51 had to borrow a
Brit engine to make it really good I move the Corsair ahead. The Merlin engine was awesome
but there is nothing like a big round oil leaking fire breathing radial.

Speaking of the Merlin, one of the best sounding airplanes I have had the opportunity to see
fly was the Lancaster. Four Merlins in tune is music to an aircraft mechanic's ears.
 

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When I was a kid they had a TV show called Black Sheep Squadron which was loosley about
VMF214 in the S. Pacific. I fell in love with that airplane. As I grew older and learned more
about G. "Pappy" Boyington and the real storey of the Black Sheep squadron it really became
a favorite of mine.

The top 2 US fighters of the war were the P-51 and the F4U. Since the P-51 had to borrow a
Brit engine to make it really good I move the Corsair ahead. The Merlin engine was awesome
but there is nothing like a big round oil leaking fire breathing radial.

Speaking of the Merlin, one of the best sounding airplanes I have had the opportunity to see
fly was the Lancaster. Four Merlins in tune is music to an aircraft mechanic's ears.
I loved that show!

I'm a Mustang fan... Yeah its a Brit engine (built by Packard) ... but nothing handles like a mustang even today its still one amazing plane. That wing was pretty cutting edge back then, mathematically designed. It did have an Achilles heal though, the merlin being liquid cooled... one round from a German mouser could bring her down with a lucky shot.

I do have a soft spot for the Corsair though. The air cooled Pratt 2800 was a monster and made up for the drag it created with sheer muscle... and being air cooled when she wasn't swatting zeros she was given the Japanese on the ground a headache!

On the Lancaster... I would love to see one in flight!
 

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Okay, so the P-47 wasn't sexy like the Mustang, nor quite as fast, or as fast as the Corsair, but it and the Corsair were similarly powered, and I think the Corsair and P-47 both sported 8 Browning 50 calibers, Two more than the P-51. If either engine had a couple of jugs shattered, they did still get you home. The P-47 had a bathtub of steel plate the pilot called a cockpit. If I had to go after Jerry, as far as a round trip would have allowed, I'd rather bet my trip home on the P-47.

The Corsair was singularly great just for the fact it was flown by Marines!
 

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Okay, so the P-47 wasn't sexy like the Mustang, nor quite as fast, or as fast as the Corsair, but it and the Corsair were similarly powered, and I think the Corsair and P-47 both sported 8 Browning 50 calibers, Two more than the P-51. If either engine had a couple of jugs shattered, they did still get you home. The P-47 had a bathtub of steel plate the pilot called a cockpit. If I had to go after Jerry, as far as a round trip would have allowed, I'd rather bet my trip home on the P-47.

The Corsair was singularly great just for the fact it was flown by Marines!
I'm a big fan of the P-47. I think it was the only US fighter of that war to be fitted with those 8-.50 BMG guns. The Corsair normally had only 6-.50 BMGs, but a short run of Corsairs came with 4-20mm cannons.
 

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The Spitfire was said to have small cramped cockpits that would often rub blisters on the shoulders of larger pilots.
I would have liked to try out the cockpit in one of those. Back in the mid 1980s I did get to crawl into a Bf-109 cockpit while it was under restoration by a CAF wing outside of Houston. Back then I was probably 150 pounds at 5'9" and that Bf-109 cockpit was formula 1 car tiny, with almost no forward view. It was an awesome thing to sit in that old plane and imagine what it would be like in the air. :cool:
 
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