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  1. #1
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    Spitfire IX - 1943 - Definition

    I'm finally far enough along to put some bits up about my Spitfire panel project. It doesn't begin to come close to the Daryll / Tony Hill cockpit on this forum but the objectives are slightly different so here goes:

    To build an instrument panel for a Mk IX Spitfire dated ~1943 using original instruments restored to operation and demonstrate them working on a wall mounted display.

    From the front edge of the cockpit door to just forward of the frame 8 partial bulkhead and from approx 10" below the main fore and aft intercostal to the rear view mirror. The work to be carried out such that if it is decided to expand on this in the future I won't be "built in" to a box I have to extensively rework. Some peripheral items such as gun camera, navigation and identification lights to be mounted around the display to show operation when switched from the panel. Instruments to be driven by vacuum, pressure and 12v as needed to make operational.

    A possible enhancement will be the use of a sound chip with recordings that will produce engine start and running noises in relation to the use of the engine start, magneto switch and throttle settings.

    Vickers Supermarine drawings
    Technical Manuals of the period
    Pilot notes of the period
    Engine notes of the period
    Photography of extant aircraft - in museum settings or restored and flying.

    Wherever possible original, correctly dated parts are to be sourced and used. Replica or modern parts if used are to be identified as such so that in time they may be replaced with the correct items as they become available.

    Because the RAF used the same "standard" instruments wherever possible beween 1936 and the early 1960's it is easy to source many "correct" parts without then necessarily being KNOWN to have come from a Spitfire. The criteria to be used is that parts must be the correct part number and then must have an original Air Ministry serial number of 1943 or earlier. Parts shall have the correct "scale" for the aircraft illustrated. For example the Mk IX Spitfire would have had an airspeed indicator of up to 480 MPH. It would have been in MPH and not the later post war KNOTS. Or the Fleet Air Arm KNOTS of the war period. In reality this ASI could have been in any number of fighters. But if a Spitfire had come in for repair - the part taken from the stores shelf on the day would have been "correct" and so if fitted here is also considered "correct" in this display.

    The reality is - that even with good documentation, photographs and notes there was no definitive Mk IX cockpit. Different production runs, the needs of wartime building and modifications in the field means cockpits varied over time. The test I apply to my replica is that a 1943 Spitfire pilot should be able to sit in front of my work and accept it as a possible version of the cockpit.

    Next post - getting started.
    Last edited by graemesmith; 05-30-2010 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Typo
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  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie Tony Hill's Avatar
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    Re: Spitfire IX - 1943 - Definition

    Good luck Graeme,

    Looking forward to seeing your work. I don't know about "not coming close", as you say, very different objectives and I envy your making a panel which is "real" rather than the constant compromises I have been faced with.

    As you say, there is no "standard" Mk IX (or most others for that matter) The IX was very much a stop gap and as such it shows wide diversity in Panel AND cockpit fittings. Early aircraft are practically Mk V standard but later ones have quite different items on or at eaither side of the panel. Bendex Stroemberg carb cut out fiitings etc, etc etc.. If you need any Pilot's Notes other than the Mk IX (which you obviously have) give me a yell. I have Mk II, Mk V, Mk IX, MK XVI, Mk XIV, Mk 22 and 24, a heap of Seafires, etc

    Can't wait to see your pictures.

    Standard warnings re Radium paint and pulling apart old instruments apply.

    Last edited by Tony Hill; 06-01-2010 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Called away last night in middle!!

    In memory of Flt Lt Tony Hill who, on 5 December 1941, at the request of Doctor R V Jones, successfully photographed a small "Würzburg radar" at Bruneval on the French coast. This from a height of only 200 ft, at high speed, under fire and from a camera mounted obliquely behind the cockpit.

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