Spitfire Mk1 or Mk 11 ?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by gijive, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. gijive

    gijive Member

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    I have a Corgi Spitfire Mk 1 ( so called) ZP A Adolf Mallan and a cheaper Atlas one both with tri bladed propeller.

    Corgi 50th AN31919 Supermarine Spitfire MK1 Decert. on eBay, also Aircraft, Corgi, Diecast Vehicles, Toys Games (end time 04-Jan-09 14:08:21 GMT)

    Now take a look at this from a 1944 published book, British Aircraft- R.A.Saville-Sneath Vol One.

    [​IMG]

    So according to the book, printed when Spitfires were still the top British fighter of the day, all MK1 Spitfires had two blade propellers.

    Does anyone know a model kit which has the right 2 blade propeller?
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Only the early Spitfire MkI had the two blade propellor. By the begining of WW2, the aircraft were fitted with one of two types of three-bladed prop; the DeHavilland or the Rotol props. There is a 1/48th scale kit, recently released by Airfix, of the Spitfire MkI which has a two-bladed and three-bladed prop included, and, I believe, the early flat-topped canopy, to go with the two blade prop. Note that the book you posted gives the date for the Spit MkI as 1938, the year it was introduced into full, Squadron, front-line service. Even those Spits in service, that had the original two-bladed prop, were updated throughout, and fitted with the three-blade prop, as well as new radios, armoured windscreens, bulge-top canopy and, later, additional armour behind the pilots seat and many more mods etc.
     
  3. gijive

    gijive Member

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    Cheers so by that token there is very little between a MK1 and MK11 in terms of model making?
     
  4. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    Nope. At the beginning of the War a two-speed (three blade) de Havilland propeller was fitted to Spitfire Mk Is as standard. In June 1940 both de Havilland and Rotol constant speed units were tested, the de Havilland unit being selected for use on the 25th June. Modifications were made to aircraft in the field and it was built into new production aircraft. By 16th August every Spitfire and Hurricane in the RAF had been converted to the constant speed unit. Previous to this MAP had instructed Supermarine to fit the Rotol constant speed unit to ten Spitfires after first replacing the Merlin IIIs with a specially modified engine. The de Havilland unit was rated at 91% but the Rotol Mk III VP CS was claimed to be better than this.

    In May 1939 the choice of propeller for the Spitfire MK II was being considered. Trials were carried out with various Rotol and de Havilland types with different types of blades. Mr Collins of the Air Ministry said the best propeller for the Mk II appeared to be the Rotol CS with magnesium blades. After further trials MAP instructed de Havilland to produce metal blades and not to use magnesium and Rotol was to concentrate on wood and Jablo blades. The Spitfire Mk II was fitted with Rotol 3-blade CS variable Pitch (VP) RX5/1 magnesium; or RX5/3 3-b CS VP Jablo; or RX5/14 3-b CS VP Jablo; or RS/24 (Merlin 45). All 10ft 3in diameter; or de Havilland 3-b CS VP Bracket Type 5/39A dural diameter 10ft 9in.

    So the Mk I has a de Havilland propeller and the Mk II usually a Rotol (less pointy spinner) propeller although different units were sometimes fitted during repairs.

    Because the Merlin engine of the Mk II was started with a Coffaman cartridge starter a small tear-shaped fairing had to be added to the starboard side just behind the propeller.

    To make a model of a Mk II from a Mk I you therefore have to add the Coffman Starter bulge and find a Rotol propeller with blunt spinner as these are seldom provided in the kit. See Utracast site with has a number of Spitfire propelllers available including a Mk II conversion: Ultracast

    If, however, you want to model a Mk IIb then you will also need to replace the wings.
     
  5. gijive

    gijive Member

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    Thanks for the very interesting and full answer. So my two die-cast models are correct after all. I wonder just how correct?
     
  6. ponsford

    ponsford Member

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    Not quite antoni. Your source(s) are somewhat inaccurate on some points.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In December 1939 No. 54 Squadron recorded the delivery of the following “Rotol Spitfires”: N.3097, N.3103, N.3104, N.3110, N.3111, N.3122, N.3124, N.3130, N.3160, N.3172, N.3174, N.3176, N.3183, N.3185, N.3187, N.3188. In January 1940 N.3180 and N.3184 were also taken on charge and the old Spitfires sent to No. 152 Squadron.

    Spitfire N.3171, Merlin III Rotol Constant Speed Airscrew, Comparative Performance Trials., 19 March 1940 (delivered 13 November 1939)
     
  7. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Gijive, in answer to your original question, the Hasegawa 1.72 Spitfire Mk.I kit had a two and a three-blade prop. The kit was originally issued in the 70's and, as far as I know, still hasn't been updated.
    The two-blade prop form was quite accurate as far as I remember, atleast in comparison to photos.

    Evan
     
  8. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Its difficult to see how his sources are wrong - they are mentioning 10 Spitfires modified with the new CSP propeller for experimental and operational trial purposes, to gain experience with the installation and choose the best solution.

    Your papers seem to indicate the fate of 7 or 8 of these 10 trial planes.

    I see no contradiction.
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks for the precise clarification. Of course, my post was a generalisation, without consulting my references, just in order to establish that the wartime MkI Spit had a three bladed prop. Incidentally, there were cases of all three of the three bladed prop types being fitted to squadron aircraft during 1940; of course, when in for a 'major', the prop, and other neccessary equipment, would be updated whenever possible.
     
  10. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    I have been checking some photos. Not too many Spits with the fixed 2-bladed props amongst them of course, as only the first 78 produced were fitted with these.

    Still, there are some pictures, No 19 Sqn's Spitfires were lined up and photographed in May 1939, and all aircraft have two bladed props. I couldn't find in the hurry any later photos of them for the rest of the year, but I did find photos of No. 87 Squadrons Hurricane's, photographed on 6 December 1939 when the King inspected the unit. All Hurricanes have two bladed propellers. Apparantly it took longer to retrofit Hurricanes, I wonder though when these initial batch of Spitfires were retrofitted with 3-bladed two pitch or CSP props?
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'd have to check, Kurfurst, but I have a feeling it was August, 1939, possibly sooner.
     
  12. ENGINE NUT

    ENGINE NUT New Member

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    I was very interested in these posts and thought that one of you experts might answer my burning question. The company I work once apon a time manufactured the rotol hub for the spitfire and has been asked recently to make some more! My question is though how many spitfires replicas or originals are still flying? and how many will have the rotol hub and how many with the de-haviland? Can anyone give me a clue because not even the customer knows!!
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'm not sure of the current figure for flying Spitfires across the world, as more appear each year. However, about ten years ago, there were at least 36 fully airworthy Spits, of various Marks. I think that figure, which, no doubt, someone here will be able to correct, will be nearer 50 or more now.
    Many of those that were using the 'wrong' model of Merlin engine, due to the availability, or lack of, have been re-engined, or at least fitted with the correct shaped exhaust, prop etc, to make them look, at least, more authentic to the actual Mark number.
     
  14. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    From my observation, it seems like many of the currently flying Spitfires have nearly no regard for retaining the characteristics of their original Mark. Then again, a lot of these photographs I have in various books may be a decade or more in age. Prop blades and exhaust stacks are pretty easy to see though.
    As far as I am concerned, they're still beautiful regardless of whether the engines match.

    Now here's a good question for you: The original distinction between a Mark IX and a Mark XVI Spitfire was the manufacturer of the engine. The Mk.IX used a RR Merlin and the Mk.XVI used a Packard Merlin. If the Mk.XVI is re-engined with a RR Merlin, what should it be called?

    - Ivan.
     
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