spitffire IX radiator flaps

Discussion in 'Building Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by zaxos345, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. zaxos345

    zaxos345 Member

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    Good morning guys, as you may have noticed at the Start to finish section, i am building the Tamiya's 1/32 spitfire IX. My question is how should i depict the radiator flaps on ground in order to be historically correct, open or closed?
    I dont know anything about its operation, when, why and how, the only thing i know, and i found it here, is that on IX models the operation was automatic through a thermostat. I search through a lot of photos and i saw that in most cases they were closed but i am not sure if the planes were IX or other modes where the operation was selectable by the pilot.
    Waiting for your information and advises.

    John
     
  2. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Hi Mate,

    Radiator was thermostatically controlled and only opened at (IIRC) about 80C
    As you obviously know, the IX had no means for the pilot to "interfere" in the process. The twin radiator Spits had much better cooling than the Baby Spitfires.


    If you are depicting an aircraft sitting "shut down" I would close them I think.

    If starting up, your choice early in startup and if later and "ready to roll" probably full open at taxi.

    FWIW
     
  3. zaxos345

    zaxos345 Member

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    Thanks Darryl, i am going to depict it on ground and with the engine not running, so closed then. You see that is what i was thinking about but i have seen a lot of guys who build this bird, on ground and with the radiators open. What matters me is to build it as historically accurate as i can thats why i ask for info.
    Thanks again, john
     
  4. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    No worries John, I will dig a little deeper just to make sure.

    If accuracy is super important, I owe you nothing less!!

    I'll post back soon.
     
  5. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    John,

    "While warming up press the radiator test button and see that flaps open"

    Therefore they are assumed to be closed at that point.

    cheers
     
  6. zaxos345

    zaxos345 Member

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    Thanks Darryl, i have the manual but this i didn't see it. Thanks

    John
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Darryl is quite correct. However, the shutters were normally part-open on the ground, which I think was caused by bleed-off, although I'd have to check to be certain. I believe that once the main electrical system was energised, the shutters then closed, and could then be selected for the engine requirements.
    In this pic of MH434 at Duxford, the shutter on the starboard wing can just be seen 'drooping'. I also have pics of a MkXVI, in the same hangar, with the shutters closed!
    You probably already know, but the aircraft never had the flaps lowered on the ground, when parked, except for maintenance work.
    If you need better detail shots, let me know.
     

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  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Good info guys. I was wondering the same thing.
     
  9. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    G'day Terry,

    Interesting. Certainly on the Baby Spitfires the radiator shutter is never actually "closed", there is still some airflow in the "closed" position.

    I would be interested whether the later Marques had, perhaps, different "closed" positions, even from each other. There were a few different types of radiator used over the series.

    The I, II and V had a manual lever (as we know) but what most may not know is that this had only 6 notches in the gate.

    The positions being as far as I have ever been able to ascertain (from aft to forward)

    1. Closed (but see above)
    2. Guns Warming
    3. Normal Flight (referred to sometimes and in some places as "closed"!!)
    4. )
    5. )
    6. ) 4-6 degrees of transition to Full Open at 6.

    The flaps were, as you say, never down on the ground (apart from a quick test if time allowed on startup) , apart from the landing rollout. The undercarriage severely disrupts airflow through the radiators and the flaps further reduce this to zero effective cooling. In the Baby Spitfires this gives no real taxi time on landing. Lowering gear/ flaps too early in the circuit also causes major problems with temps.

    Thans for the info on the Mk IX. I know I saw a (quite expensive) book on her for sale on the internet somewhere. I is supposed to be very good. I'll have to chase her up again.

    Ah, every day I learn something new.


    cheer
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'll do a bit more digging and, if I can contact him, ask a mate who used to fly a MkIX and a MkXIV on the display circuit.
    Most pics I have taken, and others I have seen, show the rad shutter open on the 'baby' Spits. Certainly when I did the work with the BBMF years ago, I remember the MkII and MkV mainly had the rad shutter part open, as on this MkI and MkV at Duxford last year.
     

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  11. zaxos345

    zaxos345 Member

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    #11 zaxos345, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
    Guys thank you very much for the info, you are '' moving libraries ''. I am amazed of how much you have digged in those matters. Anyway i tend to depict then in the closed position, i think, from what you have said, that either way is not wrong.
    Terry (Airframes, hope to name you right) i dont know how easy it is for you but as a matter of fact i need some pics of the IX bird. A close one of the horizontal stabilizer and elevators (because i will leave the elevators dropped i need to know the color of the inside non exposed portions of it and of the stabilizer) and some of the landing gear, to see the wiring on it as well as some other details.
    Also Tamiya suggests to open a hole on the leading edge of the starboard wing, near the fuselage and also to open a rectangular opening at the same wing near the fusalage but at the bottom part of the wing. I dont know the purpose of those openings and if i should do it or not. If you dont understand what i mean i can provide you some photos of the instructions.
    Thanks again, John
     
  12. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    No worries John, glad to be of any help.

    Terry, the I and V look to have the radiator flap fully opened there, judging by the GA's I have. That would also fit with the Pilot's Notes which instruct you to stop, pull up the flaps and put the shutter fully open upon leaving the runway.

    Modern pilot's I have talked to say that now both of those things are actually done as soon as positive directional control is established on the landing run. Considerations such as stone chips to flaps etc mean they come up, so radiator can be opened. In wartime there was not the same fuss and flaps left down meant aerodynamic braking on short fields and while they were down, no point inopening radiator anyway!

    cheers

    .
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I had a feeling 'care and preservation' might have something to do with currently flying Spits. That said, I've been looking at wartime pics of MkIXs, and they seem to be equally split between rad shutters open and closed!
    John, no problem. Send me an e-mail address by PM, and I'll get some photos sorted. Some will be from books, so there might well be copyright problem posting them here.
    The holes in the wing sound like they are for the gun camera - this could be port or starboard, round or rectangular, depending on the wing type and construction batch. Again, I should have some pics of these.
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I had a feeling 'care and preservation' might have something to do with currently flying Spits. That said, I've been looking at wartime pics of MkIXs, and they seem to be equally split between rad shutters open and closed!
    John, no problem. Send me an e-mail address by PM, and I'll get some photos sorted. Some will be from books, so there might well be copyright problem posting them here.
    The holes in the wing sound like they are for the gun camera - this could be port or starboard, round or rectangular, depending on the wing type and construction batch. Again, I should have some pics of these.
     
  15. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, on early IX's the circular hole at the port wing was for a fuel cooler. On some, the gun camera wasn't fitted when the fuel cooler was located there but some were retrofitted on the right side. I think on later IX's, the fuel cooler was omitted and the camera reverted to the port side.
     
  16. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    That sounds about right Andy.
     
  17. zaxos345

    zaxos345 Member

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    #17 zaxos345, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
    I made a mistake, confused with port and starbord, Tamiya says to open both the circular hole and the rectangular ones to the left wing as you sit on the cockpit, port if i am not mistaken, near the fuselage. It says to open both, does not give you a choice between them. Providing that i dont know their usage i dont know what to do. Shall i open them both or live them as it is? :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    John
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I don't know of any with both on the same wing. As Andy posted, when the fuel cooler was in the wing root, the gun camera was on the opposite wing. The camera itself measured roughly nine inches by four, plus the housing, so it would be difficult to mount alongside the trunking for the cooler. I could be wrong, but I'll see what I can find and let you know when I send the photos.
     
  19. zaxos345

    zaxos345 Member

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    This is what makes me confused also Terry, from what you and Andy have said it seems that Tamiya got it wrong here. First thing when i have time i will post aphoto of the instructions, who knows maybe i am wrong in a way i cannot understand.

    John
     
  20. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Two good pics showing fuel cooler on port wing, nothing on right. However, you may find some pictures with openings in both wing roots. Like Terry says, two openings in one wing doesn't sound right.
     

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