Spifire produced overseas - pros cons

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What would be the benefits and shortcomings of Allies having more Spitfires, that might be produced in Canada, Australia, and, for the sake of discussion, in the USA?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    You can rule the US out. The US wasn't making much of anything that they wouldn't use themselves and the Spitfire won't pass the structural strength standard. The standard may have been wrong but it won't be changed until it is too late to do anything that counts.

    If you make more Spitfires you need more Merlins. You also have to look at what each country actually produced. A couple of dozen Spitfires (or even a couple of hundred) is not going to change the course of the war.

    For Canada see; Warbirds and Airshows- Canadian WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites

    So when do you start and what doesn't get made instead.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Plus easy availability of Merlin engines manufactured in Detroit.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Back to the aluminum argument?

    Just what British aircraft had production troubles due to lack of aluminium?

    You keep trotting out this claim with, so far, nothing to back it up.

    As for the Packard built engines. None (or not enough) are available until the Spring of 1942 and the two stage engines aren't available until the Spring/Summer of 1943 and then you have to fight with North American for them as North American wasn't getting enough to keep up with P-51 production in the spring/summer of 1943.

    Shortage of Spitfires in late 43 and after doesn't seem to have been a problem.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Australia!

    Take a look at what was actually built in Australia, a country with virtually no indigenous aircraft industry or manufacturing base to support it in 1939. In the end they did quite well, as Aussies tend to do, but the idea that they could have built hundreds of Spitfires is fantastic.

    Hindsight at work again. The Australia of the 1930s was not the Australia of the present day.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Why would the Spitfire be any harder to produce than Beaufort:

    They switched to Beaufighter in 1944.
    Aussies license produced P&W Twin Wasp, a 14 cylinder twin row radial. Why they won't be able to produce Merlins instead?
    They also designed and produced CAC Boomerang, with Spitfire produced under license they wouldn't need to re-invent the wheel.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Australia of 1945 wasn't even the Australia of 1939 :)

    It takes a series of steps to build an aviation industry, even a small one. Thinking you can skip steps isn't going to work well. Just because something was possible in 1944/45 doesn't mean it was possible in 1940.

    Due to the "Vees for Victory" book the Allison engine is probably the best documented of the war time engines (at least in accessible form, ie, one book). Allison had over 800 subcontractors/suppliers. you don't create that sort of network overnight. Some of them may have been supplying Wright or P&W or even Packard. Aircraft engine companies bought screws, nuts, bolts, studs, washers, bushings, gears, and hundreds of other small parts. The American companies bought the carburetors/fuel injection units. The bought the starter motors, the vacuum pumps and other accessories. In many cases they bought the valves and even the valve springs from specialty companies.

    And all the hardware has to be aircraft grade, not 'Sam's hardware and feed store' grade.

    Both Australia and Canada did a fantastic job of setting up production and building advanced aircraft and engines but it took time.
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    They were building P W R-1340 9 cylinder radials before they switched to building R-1830s. A lot of the knowledge and equipment could be used over again.

    Did they have the casting facilities to handle the V-12 blocks?

    Did they have the lathes/grinders to handle the V-12 crankshafts?

    And so on. They got them eventually but did they have them in in 1940-41-42?

    See: Australian home front during World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Please note the start of production of the de Havilland Dragon. Built because it used the same 4 cylinder engines as the Tiger Moth which were produced in Australia. Britain was building Rapides which used 6 cylinder engines even if the cylinders were the same.
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #9 stona, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    Did the Aussie Beaufighters, even of 1944, use an indigenously produced engine? I'm not able to look it up :)

    I'm also not able to look up total Aussie production, but I know it was a very small number compared to UK production. That's the point. How many Spitfires could they have produced and just how much materiel would have been shipped across the globe? The Australian efforts to produce an indigenous tropical filter for their 'Capstan' (Spitfire) aircraft makes sobering reading.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  10. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    No, they used imported engine units.
     
  11. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I believe one thing. If the Spitfire was built in the USA we would have replaced the elliptical wing as unfit for mass production! :lol:
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    No, we would built whacking big sheet metal press molds and stamped them out like car fenders :)
     
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  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    True! Though the same after I wrote that!
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Was the Spitfire's wing so problematic to mass produce? In UK alone there was 20000 Spitfires produced, while in the USA Seversky/Republic managed to produce quite a few of the P-35/43/47 that were supposed to also have elliptical wings.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No it wasn't. Production problems are well documented, but have little to do with the wing.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Problems that seem to be important when building prototypes or small numbers of aircraft can sometimes disappear with the proper investment in production tooling/jigs/fixtures. I was somewhat kidding when talking about the sheet metal presses but if the production order is big enough specialty tools and equipment can pay for themselves and cut labor.
     
  17. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Yet the USAAF took delivery of over a thousand (IIRC) Spitfire Vs and VIIIs via reverse LL.

    A couple of hundred extra Spits at the right time and place might have changed the war.
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference between taking delivery of an item of equipment that is already battle proven when you are still gearing up your own production and permitting your own factories to be tooled up for items that don't meet your own requirements/specification and being stuck with the tooling and/or delaying tooling up the factories for what you do want.

    The Americans got burned in WW I by having a bunch of their factories tooled up to produce foreign weapons and then when the US finally declared war either having a shortage of manufacturing capacity due to foreign contracts or delays in switching factories over to the weapons the US Army wanted to use. For instance US companies held contracts for 3.3 million Mosin-Nagant rifles and Winchester built over 300,000 model 1895 lever action rifles for the Russians in the standard Russian 7.62x54 caliber. And almost a million and a quarter British P 14 rifles lead to the 1917 Enfield.
    American Army wound up using Artillery of British and French design because that's what the factories were tooled up for (and some of the American designs weren't really very good) .
    The Americans refused to do things like build British designed tanks in WW II. IF they thought a design was good enough or if they thought they would use it too then production would be OK'ed.
     
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