Did the RAF use 2 blade Watts propellers in 1944? Was there a CCW version?

Discussion in 'Technical Requests' started by Rigby, May 1, 2014.

  1. Rigby

    Rigby New Member

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    I have been asked to clarify this by a person who does not have Internet access. The question is; Did the RAF use any older Mk 1 or Mk 11 spitfires in January 1944 that had the 2 blade Watts propellers as had the first 78 Spitfires. Were some of the Mk 1 2 used as trainers but had the 3 blade propellers removed and replaced with 2 blade propellers? There was also another question that it is assumed that all Merlin engines rotated the propeller clockwise as seen from the cockpit but was there ever a Mk 1 or 11 variation that turned a propeller counter clockwise? Could a Griffon engine'd aircraft been in training service with a 2 blade propeller?
    I have trawled the Internet for an answer but from the posts I've seen on this forum I am sure someone will know. Many thanks.
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    In January 1944 I don't believe any Spitfires of any Mark were fitted with two bladed propellers. Why would you downgrade an aircraft, even at an OTU, to a propeller assembly different to that on service aircraft (no CSU) to which pupils would soon graduate? The Spitfire was never a basic trainer. It makes no sense.
    I'd be surprised to find anything older than a Mk V at an OTU in 1944, most Mk1s had been lost or SOC by the end of 1942.

    As far as I know all Merlin engines fitted to Spitfires were geared for a clockwise rotation.

    There is no way that a griffon engine could have been used in conjunction with a two bladed Watts propeller. The engine develops too much power. It's why four and five bladed propellers were introduced. The Germans stuck with three blades on more powerful engines but with a very different geometry to those seen on early war aircraft.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree with Steve. Those Spitfire MkI and MkII airframes which survived by 1944, if not already converted to MkV status, were either very tired aircraft still at OTUs, or used as instructional airframes - one of the reasons very few survive today, which haven't been re-built from recovered wrecks.
    Confusion on such details often arises due to some TV and DVD documentary programmes, and many books, including 'stock' footage or photos, purporting to be from a specific period. Well-known 'clips' (and photos) guilty of this are often included in material covering the Battle of Britain, for example, where pre-war film of Spitfires, and some post BoB footage, is almost always included.
     
  4. Joe Costa

    Joe Costa New Member

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    Walruses did use two two bladed pusher wooden prop. Don't know if they were Watts.
     
  5. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Walrus prop was four bladed, two two-bladed props fixed to the same shaft, manufactured by a couple of different firms, including the Airscrew Company.
     
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