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Thread: Spitfire Practice flight

  1. #1
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    Default Spitfire Practice flight

    It's been a wet cold cross-windy spring, and very difficult to get the vintage aircraft in the air, but I managed to get in 2 flights in the Spitfire.

    https://youtu.be/RqAz1-gSk3A

    Dave

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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    So I really like my job. I go to work happy most days. I envy no man. But... damn.
    - Chris

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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    That's something I'll never be able to do. Damn! That cockpit seems to have a few non-stock items in it
    "The future is already here it's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    It's been a wet cold cross-windy spring, and very difficult to get the vintage aircraft in the air, but I managed to get in 2 flights in the Spitfire.

    https://youtu.be/RqAz1-gSk3A

    Dave
    Dave, since there aren't many opportunities to ask questions of someone who flies vintage WWII aircraft, I hope you don't mind if I ask a few.....

    1) Obviously, the GPS/plotter dead center at the top of the instrument panel in't exactly WWII stock ... but I'm wondering about the rest of the instruments. Are these genuine vintage WWII instruments, rebuilt or restored? Might they be 'NOS' (New Old Stock) found in ancient hangars and shops that are exact matches for the original Spitfire instrumentation? Aside from the GPS, would the rest of the panel be exactly as it would have been, during the war?

    2) When doing a restoration of one of these planes, is the original builder's documentation available? Plans, specifications, etc? How about materials used, when a part needs to be duplicated because the original is too corroded or damaged.... does the restoration demand that the same original alloy be used, or is it the case that more modern metals can be used, e.g., substitution of aluminum for steel, in some parts?

    3) Are there any other ways in which there would be significant differences from the original WWII design, done perhaps for added safety, or to meet more modern airworthiness regulations? For example, I would imagine that the engine start battery or batteries, originally, would have been rather ordinary lead-acid designs... but modern batteries (perhaps AGM types) are lighter, more energetic, quicker to recharge, and longer-lasting... would that be the kind of substitution that would have been made, during restoration?

    Thanks in advance!
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  5. #5
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Thanks for the video!

    I noticed the engine has an on-board starter. Did the WWII Spitfires have that?
    Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy a boat that will pull right up next to it!

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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    I've had some marvelous adventures on ships and with women, none of which I would trade for your Spitfire flights. But your flights are marvelous, thank you for posting them.
    Yachting, the only sport where you get to be a mechanic, electrician, plumber and carpenter

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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Awesome. Thanks Dave. What was the average age of the boys that scrambled these machines day and night in anger during the Battle of Britain? We owe a lot to them.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
    .

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    That's not a GPS/plotter, it's an in-flight entertainment screen. This week they're showing "The Battle Of Britain ".
    Ask me! I've got my Leatherman!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Great video but..... sheesh... give a guy some warning that you're going to do barrel rolls! Where's my barf bag?
    Thanks for sharing these videos. Fascinating stuff.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    It's been a wet cold cross-windy spring, and very difficult to get the vintage aircraft in the air, but I managed to get in 2 flights in the Spitfire.

    https://youtu.be/RqAz1-gSk3A

    Dave
    Keep that wet spring away from the wing spars. (For others: Spitfires have a wing spar that is a series of metal tubes, each inside the other, crimped and pinned to hold together, creating a tapered assembly. Very fast to manufacture, but very susceptible to corrosion between the tubes. Was not a concern at original manufacture, their life in battle was much shorter than the onset of corrosion.)

    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Thanks!

    Yeah I've got to spray that PVC elbow green.

    Norm, those are mostly genuine WWII flight instruments. That's why the Artificial Horizon and the Directional Gyro don't work -- there's radium on the dials and no one will overhaul them. Plans -- some aircraft have more published plans than others; ours was rebuilt from a total wreck using plans. The wings were built using a Spitfire wing-jig. Not all the WWII alloys are available anymore, so we use same-or-better, but always attempting to remain true to the original as long as safety isn't compromised too much. (It's a balance.) Upgrades: some, yes, such as extra fuel tanks in the gun bays, and a modern (slightly hidden) VHF radio. We put in a 24V electrical system for better starting etc, but it's a Gill lead-acid battery -- aircraft-rated limits the choice a bit.

    Stil, yes they all had starters, but usually needed to be plugged in to a battery cart to get cranked. Our 24V battery has enough oomph that I can start independently.

    Steve, the average age was about 20. The TV series Piece of Cake is good, as is the video First Light.

    Bob, yes those are the spars and spar-web. It's unusual, but made a slim wing. Corrosion isn't quite so bad as you might think, those are aluminum extrusions, not ferrous. There are Spitfires flying today with 1945 wings on, with original spars.

    Off to the airshow tomorrow! (St. Hubert, just south of Montreal.)

    Dave

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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    oh that's just delightful, thanks for taking us along!
    The premise is WRONG, Bob!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Way cool - thanks!

    What are you doing about it?




  14. #14
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Wayyyyy cool, thanks for that.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    When I was a kid my Dad was an English professor at the University of Washington. As a family member I had free run of the library system. I made full use of that access and eventually I discovered the engineering library. Such treasures! One of the books I was actually able to check out and bring home was an original service manual (not the equally fascinating but very different Haynes manual) for the Spitfire showing things like the proper points of support when sighting in the guns or working on the landing gear, techniques for repairing the stressed-skin monocoque and other fascinating facts. I also read a training manual for the P-51 providing guidelines for, among other things, the use of "full military power". Pretty cool stuff for a twelve year old boy. With all of the info available at our fingertips now, I wonder if any kid today could ever experience the thrill of finding something like those books buried in a stack somewhere, unread for decades.
    - Chris

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    I use those books! Some of them are extremely good and practical documents, easier to understand and better at conveying information than the Airbus courses I took.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Great video!

    Speaking of the PVC elbow, was that a modern add-on to circulate outside air?
    The best statement I've seen from this latest carnage came from a student who lived through it -

    "My generation will not allow this to continue!"

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Thanks Dave. I have forwarded the link to others who might be interested.....

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Yep. That's my .99 cent Spitfire mod, to direct the vent air towards my chest.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Nothing in aviation is simple. Call it a CVU - Chest Ventilation Unit.
    The best statement I've seen from this latest carnage came from a student who lived through it -

    "My generation will not allow this to continue!"

    Remember voting age is 18. Read it and weep reds.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Things have come a long way since 19 Wing.
    Nosce te ipsum

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    Awesome Dave! Thanks for sharing your amazing videos with a chickenhawk commander.

    And kudo's to the flute on the background tunes!
    God is great, beer is good and people are crazy.

    Billy Currington

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Spitfire Practice flight

    I put that sonnet, High Flight, to music on my aviation album; initially for the funeral of a WWII pilot friend. I've sung it at a few others since then.

    Magee was a high-minded young man.

    http://hadfield.ca/requiem-for-a-pilot-high-flight/

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