Vickers Leading Edge

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Sep 24, 2020
This is a fairly well constructed piece with 4 top hat sections coming down to a leading edge. It was metal covered with two stringers per side and coming to bolt holes at top and bottom. It has multiple inspector stamps with V as well as part numbers 397488 and also MCMH and MHCH overstamped as well as one stamp with MM inspector.

I cannot match it to any Vickers aircraft or Vultee.

Any suggestions ?


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If it is British, the 329 indicates a Spitfire Mk II (although I believe the same part may have been used on the Mk VA).
MM over xx in a circle was an inspection stamp for Morris Motors.
V over xx in a circle was an inspection stamp for Vickers.

NOTE that Morris Motors was owned by the Nuffield Group, which was responsible for setting up the Castle Bromwich factory for Spitfire production. Control of the Castle Bromwich factory was given to Vickers when the Nuffield Group failed to perform. I think all Spitfire Mk II were manufactured at Castle Bromwich and associated plants, so the MHCH manufacturer's code should be from an associated plant. The generic manufacturer's code for the Vickers manufacturing group of plants with which Castle Bromwich is associated was VACH (Vickers-Armstrongs CHester), so the CH in MHCH is probably for a plant located in CHester or at least associated with the VACH group.
In WW2 Vickers Armstrong had a shadow factory just over the Welsh border but near Chester. It has, confusingly, over the years been variously referred to as Chester, Hawarden and more recently Broughton.
A factory still exists on the site owned by Airbus building wings for the Airbus range of airliners.

Thank you - I had been checking Spitfire as the numbering sequence looked right. The problem I had was that 291 i MK II but if it was wing it would have been followed by 07 and not 7. The 74 would imply floats and the Mk ii did not have floats. I spent several hours hunting through Spitfire drawing trying to find anything that looked close - without success.

Ewen I recently started restoring two aircraft chairs - one was DHC ( de Havilland Chichester) and the second was DHB ( de Havilland Broughton ) bit are early fixed Vampire chairs. The DHB is an NF made at Broughton and the DGC a T11 made at Chichester.
Hey BFreer,

The part numbers on the Spitfire were usually stamped/marked by 7-, 8-, or 9-digit numbers. The first 3 digits (329 in this case) would be the aircraft model number (ie the Mk II), the 7 would indicate the outer main plane, the last three digits would be the subpart number. The 0 in the 07 would (usually?) not be stamped on the part, in the same way as the / was (usually?) not stamped on the part, but the 0 and / would be included in the parts list catalogs (ie 32907/xxx).

Many of the assemblies and subparts were common to multiple aircraft model numbers. Usually the 3297xxx would indicate that this is the first model this particular assembly was used on (though I cannot authoritatively say this was always the case). As I mentioned in my previous post this particular item may have been used on the Mk VA as well, and if it is specific to the 8-gun 'A' wing used on both then it would probably not be listed in any of the other Spitfire model parts lists.

I think the above is correct, but if not please let me know (anyone). :)
Part Numbers

if 3297448 = 329 07/448 then

329 07/168
329 07/255
329 07/330
329 07/448
329 07/733

and all are part of the outer main plane, in this case a rib leading edge former.

if 3297488 = 329 74/48 then

329 71/68 is part of the ski arrangement or anti-icing equipment
329 72/55 is part of the fighting top
329 73/30 is part of the auxiliary oil tank
329 74/48 is part of the float arrangement
329 77/33 is part of the trailing portion - bottom outer (no idea what this refers to)

I do not think the Spitfire had parts for ski arrangements, anti-icing equipment, fighting top, auxiliary oil tank, or float arrangements, that looked anything like the parts in the pictures. :) But the parts in the pictures do look like a mangled rib leading edge former from a Spitfire wing - or a similar aircraft wing.
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I spent many hours looking through Spitfire restorations and concluded that it could not be Spitfire as the construction = thick twin top hat dural structure - was not the same.

I have eventually identified it as Short Stirling. The 3 at the front of the part number is the locater - the 29 is the Stirling part identifier .

A high ground wreck image shows the exact same part at a Stirling crash site.

Sorry it was not easy as the part number and V stamps suggested Spitfire

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