The woodmans favourite axe

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Readie, May 27, 2011.

  1. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    #1 Readie, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
    Six handles and three new heads but, still the best axe he ever had...

    Now, before you think I have gone completely mad I'm referring to the English icon, the Spitfire and why I love them.

    For the Spitfire the BoB was only the beginning. J Smith's view that the design should be developed rather than replaced was proved right. Spitfires were armed with cannon, for ground attack missions they were fitted with rockets and bombs and a maritime version was fitted with folding wings. When Spitfire production finally ended in 1949 more than 22000 machines had been produced- not bad for a design that came close to being strangled in its infancy by red tape.
    It's hard to say whether the final Spitfire the MK24 was in any sense the same machine that had fought in the BoB. It kept the name but, the engine was twice as powerful, it weighed about a ton and a half more and was 100mph faster.
    It had changed from a finely balanced rapier- described by one over confident German pilot as a ' pretty little toy' into a fearsome broadsword. the big engine and big guns were revealed by bulges in the sleek outline. A tear drop canopy and low back gave it a completely different shape, Its huge 5 bladed propeller was efficient but, ungainly and required an oversize tail fin to counteract its torque.
    But, through most of the changes Mitchell's wing design survived, very much as he had conceived it in the 1930's.
    Only in the final version were the last vestiges of Mitchell's design replaced. It had become like the woodman's favourite axe.
    The machine had changed beyond recognition but, the name survived because no one wanted to say goodbye to the Spitfire. It represented Britain's finest hour and at a critical moment in history was the best tool for the job.
    The Spitfire finally passed into history with the coming of the jet age but, not before a MKXIV became the first RAF fighter to shoot down a ME262 in combat.
    The RAF flew its last operational Spitfire mission on the 10 April 1954 and the type was finally withdrawn from service in 1957.

    In my view the Spitfire is unique and still is a potent symbol today.
    People of all ages will stand and stare at the outline and listen to the Merlins and Griffons and, for a few minutes at least, be proud to be British.



    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJXkg4CrozA


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


    Cheers
    John
     
  2. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    #2 Lighthunmust, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
    Gotta step away from the keyboard, but I'll be back. I just had to say I LOVE THE SPITFIRE before leaving.


    I'm back. The Spitfire is more that a great plane, it may be the greatest inspirational aircraft of all time. Even though the Hurricane was the real hero of BoB, the Spitfire was the symbol heroism. I am an anglophile. My grandmother was English. I had family in London during the Blitz. My great-uncle was a RAF pilot who flew Mosquitos. They would come to the States to visit every few years. I grew up listening to stories about how much the Spitfire was an icon of British technical skill and personal heroism. I still get a warm feeling in my heart when watching "Battle of Britain", "633 Squadron", and "Piece of Cake". Of course they should have used Hurricanes in PoC.
     
  3. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely right. The Spitfire is more than just a machine. Long may they fly.
    Cheers
    John
     
  4. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The same could be said of the 109 the first and last were utterly different machines with no major parts commonality. Anything in production for so long is going to be a different machine at the end of the development cycle.

    Love the Spit my particular favourites are the pink PR versions. Anyone who flew at low level in an unarmed plane painted pink had balls of pure steel.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Me-109 and Spitfire designs both date back to 1934. Both aircraft were still competitive during 1945. I cannot think of any other 1934 fighter designs which proved so effective over such a long service life.

    But what sort of man would fly a pink aircraft? :shock:
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Pink is actually a very good camouflage it works at sea some Royal Navy vessels were painted pink, it also works in the desert the SAS use pink special Landrovers called Pink Panthers. During the Desert Storm operations a lot of RAF aircraft were pink.

    The Pink didnt work at altitude or on a bright day but against overcast a pink aircraft almost disappears. Low level PR Spits were often pink, mid altitude were often pale green or just normal brown and green and high altitude were pale blue, very high altitude (above 30,000 ft) were a dark but not quite navy blue.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I expect so. Enemy flak gunners were gaping in disbelief rather then shooting. :lol:
     
  8. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    #8 Readie, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
    True enough, but the Spitfire is a celebrated national treasure and means a lot to the English, a flyby by the BBMF is an honour given only a times like the recent royal wedding, whereas the Me109 maybe admired as a good aircraft but, it does not mean the same to the Germans. I don't think that a LW flyby would go down terribly well in some parts of Europe do you?
    Cheers
    John
     
  9. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    The Bf109 is impressive in appearance and record, but not particularly inspirational. I have never heard any paeans to the Messerschmitt.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Germans lost the WW2, UK was one of main contributors @ the winning side. No wonder people in Britain would go 'WOW' anytime they see a plane that helped, 1st time in defense, then in attack. 109 did not shared such luck.
    Plus, Spit has an appearance of supermodel, as far as photographers born after WW2 are concerned.
     
  11. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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  12. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    The one area of appearance that the 109 excels at is looking deadly. IMHO few aircraft look deadlier that a yellow-nosed Bf109E, E as in evil looking Emil!
     
  13. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I wonder if they were designed to try and intimidate?
    Cheers
    John
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps so. That's why Me-109s weren't painted pink. 8)
     
  15. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    Only the brave fly pink dave.:shock:
     
  16. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    Not pink, but they were known to use the equally silly looking, counterintuitive, polka-dot paint job.:lol:
     
  17. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Is there a picture of this paint scheme somewhere?
     
  18. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    #18 Lighthunmust, Jun 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
    Look for a picture of a 109 in North Africa.


    Found one. The Great Book of WWII Airplanes, page 422. Two Bf109E-4s in North Africa. Source of photo is Bundesarchiv
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    There were some 'G's with polka dot cowls in Russia. Evan (Crimea River) recently built a model of one.
     
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