Am I making this up or did I hear right.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Salvage, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Salvage

    Salvage New Member

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    I was wondering if anyone out there could point me in the right direction I don't remember for sure where I heard about this. The more I think about it seems like a story my father told me when I was a teenager and me reading books about WW2 Planes. At any rate, my question is this : Did the RAF use striped down Spit Fires to help stop the V1 Flying Bomb attacks, I heard that pilots would use these unarmed Spitfires to fly up along side the bomb and stick the tip of the wing of their plane under the wing of the bomb and tip it over, I remember them being called "Wing Tippers". I haven't had much luck finding any solid info on on the subject and I was hoping that someone could just tell me if I have stories mixed up or if this stuff is true. But I am also looking for Color Pictures and or drawings of the Planes that made up the UK's Aces. I am restoring a 1995 Honda Magna and I want to base the paint on a British Fighter, The Spitfire is my first choice and if "Wing Tippers" are real then I planed on starting by looking at how the Top scoring Tipper plane was painted. I know its a odd question but maybe someone can help me out. Thx
     
  2. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    The story is partly true. Some Spit pilots did tip over V-1s, however it was a "last resort" and I don't believe Spits or any other aircraft were specifically modified for this purpose. So, you'd be looking at a standard cammo pattern.

    Of course, if you insist on doing a tribute to unarmed Spits, you can go with the colour schemes of the reconnaissance Spitfires, which were Sky Blue or, better yet, Pink.


    :lol:
     
  3. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Pilots were always expected to use their guns; any use of part of the airframe, which might result in damage, and (time) costly repairs, was officially frowned on. It's known, though, that there were unpainted (not stripped) Tempests used by the F.I.U. (later renumbered 501 Squadron.
    Edgar
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #4 stona, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
    Various aircraft were used against the V1s in an operation codenamed 'Diver'. Mosquitos,Tempests and Mustangs were all used. At least two squadrons equipped with Spitfires were involved. These were fully armed service aircraft from operational squadrons though I remember that there were engine 'tweaks' for the Merlin engined aircraft. Normal procedure would be to shoot down the V1 with machine gun or cannon fire but there are a few instances of tipping (or toppling as it was called at the time) the missile by the method you describe. There is a well known picture of a Spitfire carrying out this manoeuvre.
    All these aircraft would have been camouflaged in the 'Day Fighter Scheme' of Ocean Grey and Dark Green over Sea Grey Medium undersides with relevant tactical markings.
    Cheers
    Steve

    Edit. If Edgar says there were unpainted Tempests then there were.
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    While I agree that the use of guns was preferred, there was an official document I used to have a copy of that showed how to wing tip a V1. So while it may have not been preferred, they still had a guideline on how to do it.
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    From Wiki

    The Defence Committee expressed some doubt as to the ability of the Royal Observer Corps to adequately deal with this new threat, but the ROC's Commandant Air Commodore Finlay Crerar assured the committee that the ROC could again rise to the occasion and prove its alertness and flexibility. He oversaw plans for handling the new threat, codenamed by the RAF and ROC as "Operation Totter".

    Observers at the coast post of Dymchurch identified the very first of these weapons and within seconds of their report the anti-aircraft defences were in action. This new weapon gave the ROC much additional work both at posts and operations rooms. Eventually RAF controllers actually took their radio equipment to the two closest ROC operations rooms at Horsham and Maidstone and vectored fighters direct from the ROC's plotting tables. The critics who had said that the Corps would be unable to handle the fast-flying jet aircraft were answered when these aircraft on their first operation were actually controlled entirely by using ROC information both on the coast and at inland.

    The average speed of V-1s was 350 mph (560 km/h) and their average altitude was 3,000 ft (910 m) to 4,000 ft (1,200 m). Fighter aircraft required excellent low altitude performance to intercept them and enough firepower to ensure that they were destroyed in the air rather than crashing to earth and detonating. Most aircraft were too slow to catch a V-1 unless they had a height advantage, allowing them to gain speed by diving on their target.

    When V-1 attacks began in mid-June 1944, the only aircraft with the low-altitude speed to be effective against it was the Hawker Tempest. Fewer than 30 Tempests were available. They were assigned to No. 150 Wing RAF. Early attempts to intercept and destroy V-1s often failed, but improved techniques soon emerged. These included using the airflow over an interceptor's wing to raise one wing of the V-1, by sliding the wingtip to within 6 in (15 cm) of the lower surface of the V-1's wing. If properly executed, this manoeuvre would tip the V-1's wing up, overriding the gyros and sending the V-1 into an out-of-control dive. At least three V-1s were destroyed this way.[15] That the method was from time to time actually effective could be seen over southern parts of the Netherlands when V-1s headed due eastwards at low altitude, the engine quenched. In early 1945 such a missile soared below clouds over Tilburg to gently alight eastwards of the city in open fields.

    The Tempest fleet was built up to over 100 aircraft by September. Also, P-51 Mustangs and Griffon-engined Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIVs were tuned to make them almost fast enough, and during the short summer nights the Tempests shared defensive duty with de Havilland Mosquitoes. There was no need for airborne radar; at night the V-1's engine could be heard from 16 km (9.9 mi) away or more, and the exhaust plume was visible from a long distance. Wing Commander Roland Beamont had the 20 mm cannon on his Tempest adjusted to converge at 300 yd (270 m) ahead. This was so successful that all other aircraft in 150 Wing were thus modified.

    The anti-V-1 sorties by fighters were known as "Diver patrols" (after "Diver", the codename used by the Royal Observer Corps for V-1 sightings). Attacking a V-1 was dangerous: machine guns had little effect on the V-1's sheet steel structure, and if a cannon shell detonated the warhead, the explosion could destroy the attacker.
    A Spitfire using its wingtip to "topple" a V-1 flying bomb

    In daylight, V-1 chases were chaotic and often unsuccessful until a special defence zone was declared between London and the coast, in which only the fastest fighters were permitted. The first interception of a V-1 was by F/L JG Musgrave with a No. 605 Squadron RAF Mosquito night fighter on the night of 14/15 June 1944. Between June and 5 September 1944, a handful of 150 Wing Tempests shot down 638 flying bombs, with No. 3 Squadron RAF alone claiming 305. One Tempest pilot, Squadron Leader Joseph Berry of No. 501 (Tempest) Squadron, shot down 59 V-1s, and Wing Commander Beamont destroyed 31.

    The next most successful interceptors were the Mosquito (623 victories),[16] and Spitfire XIV (303),[17] and Mustang (232). All other types combined added 158. Even though it was not fully operational, the jet-powered Gloster Meteor was rushed into service with No. 616 Squadron RAF to fight the V-1s. It had ample speed but its cannons were prone to jamming, and it shot down only 13 V-1s.[18]

    In late 1944 a radar-equipped Vickers Wellington bomber was modified for use by the RAF's Fighter Interception Unit as an Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.[19] Flying at an altitude of 4,000 feet (1,200 m) over the North Sea, it directed Mosquito fighters charged with intercepting He 111s from Dutch airbases that sought to launch V-1s from the air.

    The first bomb disposal officer to defuse an unexploded V1 flying bomb was John Pilkington Hudson in 1944.[20]
     
  7. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Rather like balloon strafing in WWI, making a gun attack against a V-1 was a rather risky pastime because the target had the nasty habit of blowing up in your face. The concept of "tipping" the V-1s was one way of stopping a V-1 without risking it blowing up and taking you with it. The concept was to disrupt the airflow over one wing of the V-1 by bringing your wingtip into close proximity. The resultant change in lift caused the V-1 to deviate from its straight-and-level flight, toppling the internal gyros which kept it straight and level, and hence the V-1 would crash (hopefully in an unpopulated spot).
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #8 stona, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
    Loads of gun camera footage of conventional attacks on V1s here.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKZpUvz4MZo

    Good one at about 6.30 where the pilot,camera running,tracks the V1 until it hits the ground.

    Around the 45 sec mark in this video you see why shooting these things down was an unpopular task.

    Strange Planes Shorts: The V1 : Video : Military Channel

    By the way eyewitnesses,including my own grandmother,always say that the engine stopped and then they knew the missile/pilotless aircraft was coming down. Infact at a set range the elevator moved to a full nose down position which caused the missile to dive and incidentally stalled the engine.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    There are some of those that exploded dangerously close to the attacker in the youtube clip! :shock:
     
  10. Salvage

    Salvage New Member

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    Though Pink would be high Vis . . . I dont think I could stand riding a pink bike. Sky blue would look really nice however. Do you know a good place to get good pics of the Reconnaissance Spitfires ?
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It was a grey/blue really.
    Here's an original.

    [​IMG]

    And a nice restoration

    [​IMG]

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  12. Elmas

    Elmas Active Member

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    From wiki:

    300px-Spitfire_Tipping_V-1_Flying_Bomb.jpg
     
  13. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    add to elmas pic.....
     

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  14. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Read once somewhere that some Spitfires or Tempests had reinforced wingtips for precisely this purpose... get back to yas on that if I find that info again.
     
  15. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I too recall that.
     
  16. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    Hi,

    The colour was known, as far as I know, simply as 'PRU Blue', it's humbrol paint no.230 if you want to use hundreds of those little tinlets :lol: Personally I think it's a beautiful colour. I reckon the best source would be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's PR.XIX, one picture of which is posted above. A company called Hangar 11 also have a PR.XI recently repainted. Both will be accurate reproductions of the shade of blue.
     
  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I doubt a modification for a procedure which was rarely practised and was not standard procedure. Normally the V1s would be engaged with gunfire. You'll notice on the RAF gun camera video I posted they are referred to as 'pilotless aircraft'. Besides to topple the V1,when it was attempted,the wing tip did not make contact with the V1.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  18. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere in the past that the Germans fitted an anti-tipping switch to the V1. If the a/c was tipped the switch triggered an explosion of the warhead. Anyone here of this?
     
  19. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    #19 Edgar Brooks, Sep 20, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
    They didn't; Spitfire wingtips were made of wood ribs and spars, covered in aluminium held in place by countersunk screws, and could not be all-metal, so were incapable of taking too much strain without buckling/breaking.
    Also they were held in place by only four small bolts, with the join covered by a strip of metal, secured by countersunk screws. If the bolts were pulled too much, and too often, the retaining threaded holes, in the wing proper, would have become elongated, or torn, and thus inoperative, necessitating a new wing.
    Add to that if the pilot got it even slightly wrong, and hit the V1's wing with his wing, rather than the tip, it would be liable to buckle, and, again, need a replacement.
    Hawker were never asked to strengthen the Tempest's wingtips, because they were fast enough to catch the V1, and carried 4 x 20mm cannon, so that was considered sufficient. S/Ldr Berry was the top V1 "ace," most, if not all, at night, and all shot down.
    Strengthened wingtips would have meant a tacit admission, by the Air Ministry/RAF top echelon, that tipping was officially sanctioned, and it never was.
    Edgar
    P.S. Regarding the "pink" P.R. shade, it would be better described as an off-white; having seen a genuine wartime sample, I can tell you that the only way to tell that it's pink is to lay it on a sheet of white paper.
     
  20. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    I guess you guys know better, so I'll take your words for it... still going to try and find that info though to see what the story was. (May be a case of me getting my wires crossed of course)

    Cheers,
    Evan
     
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