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Thread: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

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    Default Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires


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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Thanks Dave. I really appreciate this.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    A Spit. is one beautiful airplane.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Fantastic. Thanks Dave.
    Stay calm, be brave....wait for the signs. Possibly precariously prevaricating.
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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Excellent! Thanks for posting.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Thanks Dave, this is important.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    I reality Germany had inferior fighters but more of them and the RAF was on its knees by the end of the summer 1940. Hitler's decision to then start heavy bombing industrial and port cities, led to a response by Churchill to retaliate and bomb Berlin. Hitler then had to withdraw many of his fighters to defend Germany and the RAF recovered it's numbers.

    Hitler's Blitzkreig through Europe to ensure he only had a war on one front with the USSR thus stalled, and he had a war on two fronts which he then lost. Those decisions first with regard to Hitler then Churchill, then the actions of those flying heavy bombers into Germany shouldn't be forgotten for the influence they actually had in the 'Battle of Britain'. It's that that swung it.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Do not neglect the Hurricane.
    McKinstry quotes Fighter Command's claim of 2,741 German losses, 55 per cent made by Hurricanes, 42 per cent by Spitfires.
    <snip>
    The celebrated ace "Ginger" Lacey (ah, those nicknames: Boost and Dimsie, Bull, Grubby, Tubby, Sandy, Dizzy and Stapme), saying: "They are shooting me down too often." He said he would rather fly in a Spitfire but fight in a Hurricane on the grounds that the Hurricane "was made of non-essential parts. I had them all shot off at one time or another, and it still flew just as well without them." Stories are legion of pilots landing in Hurricanes with little idea that anything was wrong until they saw the faces of their "erks". Above all, the Hurricane was a better gun-platform. The RAF armourer who said he regarded pilots as really just chauffeurs for his guns got close to the truth. The Spitfire might have been better in the vertical plane – it could outclimb and outrun the Hurricane – but the Hurry was more agile in the horizontal, could, all-importantly, turn tighter than its most significant opponent, the Messerschmitt Me 109, and was more stable once the guns began to fire. It just kept going.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...n-2022105.html
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires


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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Am reading The Splendid And The Vile (about Churchill) in which there is a lot concerning fighter production and operations. I find it a bit hard to grasp that the Hurricane was not completely outclassed by the Spit. Yes, the Hurricanes liked to engage bombers while the Spits took on the Messerschmitts because they had a bit more speed, but a Hurricane pilot wasn't a foregone fatality against a 109.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    I recently visited the small museum at Manston Airfield Kent.
    They have a Hurry and a Spit on display in the same room. It is surprising how compact they both are, the pilots wore them rather than sat in them.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Yes. I end up with a bruise on my upper arm from the door.

    The American fighter cockpits are roomier and better laid out for the pilot.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Yes. I end up with a bruise on my upper arm from the door.

    The American fighter cockpits are roomier and better laid out for the pilot.
    Well American pilots were generally fa . . .bigger than Brits, especially after a year or so of rationing.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    This is actually somewhat true. American cockpit layouts allow for 6’4” corn-fed farm boys, all muscles and shoulders. The Mustang is the only airplane of its day in which I don’t adjust the rudder pedals to max forward for my abnormaly long legs.

    The European design philosophy was for smaller cockpits and pilots. I tried on a 109 once. Tight squeeze.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    I read that British pilots that tried a Messerschmitt found them a tighter squeeze than the Spitfire or Hurricane.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    . Yes, the Hurricanes liked to engage bombers while the Spits took on the Messerschmitts because they had a bit more speed, but a Hurricane pilot wasn't a foregone fatality against a 109.
    The old man flew Hurricanes and when he passed the 5 victories to be come an 'Ace' most of them were 109s. He prefered the stability of the Hurricane as a gunplatform, as above. After the BoB he moved onto Spitfires for cross channel sweeps.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Saw a recent documentary film on the Spitfire. Despite the gag-worthy rhyme on the poster, it was not altogether bad.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Larson's book mentions the "Hurricane's stability" as a gun platform.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew2 View Post
    The old man flew Hurricanes and when he passed the 5 victories to be come an 'Ace' most of them were 109s. He prefered the stability of the Hurricane as a gunplatform, as above. After the BoB he moved onto Spitfires for cross channel sweeps.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    We had a Seattleite who flew in the RAF Eagle Squadron and USAAF. Spitfires and P51. He retired from Boeing and had been researching the pilots he shot down. He managed to collect photographs of 6 of the 9, and even met the son of one, who now lived in Portland. His research took well over 25 years and had a lot of help from people in Germany.
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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    Larson's book mentions the "Hurricane's stability" as a gun platform.
    The armament on the Spit was further out on the wing than those of the Hurry and that caused instability when firing. The Hurry was as steady as a brick with its guns closer to the centre line.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    I disagree with that, based on having flown both. Most of the books you read are authors quoting authors quoting authors.

    The Spitfire is a bit too light, bordering on unstable, in pitch. That’s what they’re talking about. But if you don’t grip the stick with a fist of iron, you can fine-tune it very accurately.

    The Hurricane has a very pronounced yaw-pitch couple, which is disconcerting when you first try to fly the thing in formation and get busy with your feet. It snakes up and down. No one mentions that. And the flaps blank out the elevator if the power is back. You waggle the stick front to back and nothing happens — until you open the throttle and blow some air over the tail.
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 09-22-2020 at 06:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    I disagree with that, based on having flown both. Most of the books you read are authors quoting authors quoting authors.

    The Spitfire is a bit too light, bordering on unstable, in pitch. That’s what they’re talking about. But if you don’t grip the stick with a fist of iron, you can fine-tune it very accurately.

    The Hurricane has a very pronounced yaw-pitch couple, which is disconcerting when you first try to fly the thing in formation and get busy with your feet. It snakes up and down. No one mentions that. And the flaps blank out the elevator if the power is back. You waggle the stick front to back and nothing happens — until you open the throttle and blow some air over the tail.
    Ever fired the cannons and felt the recoil of 30mm rounds? Those were authors quoting authors quoting the WWII pilots.
    You are referring to getting into a firing position, The references talk of the Hurry out turning the Spit, so it was swings and roundabouts, one better in the vertical plane, the other in horizontal. That is not talking about about keeping the target in the crosshairs during the burst of fire.

    Peter Townsend, who flew both Spitfires and Hurricanes, said that Spitfires were ‘faster and more nimble, the Hurricane more maneuverable at its own speed and undoubtedly the better gun platform.’
    https://www.historynet.com/supermari...i-aircraft.htm
    The Spitfire has always been regarded as the more responsive of the two. This did, however, have the disadvantage of being unstable when firing the eight machine guns, resulting in difficulty keeping the fire on target compared with the Hurricane that was more stable under the recoil of the same guns.
    http://www.thehodgkinsons.org.uk/hawker-Vspit.htm
    Although it was not nearly as pretty as the Spitfire, looking rather like a sad Basset Hound, the Hurricane was a more stable gun platform with its thicker wings. They allowed its eight .303 Browning machine guns to be mounted closer together in the wings and closer to the center of the aircraft, producing more accurate fire. Though the Spitfire was armed with the exact same guns, its thinner wings forced them to be mounted further out from the fuselage which caused the plane to become unbalanced when they were fired.
    https://www.wearethemighty.com/histo...tle-of-britain

    You will know that the Hurrys guns were packed into the wing in a block of 4, rather than spread out along the wing. That will make a big difference to the lever arm of the recoil as the guns fire.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Another note: BTW, Eric Larson researches his writing thoroughly. The traditional tube and fabric construction of the Hurricane was more readily repaired after a mission wherein the AC took fire or shrapnel. There were fewer people who knew how to repair the all-metal Spitfire, and they were more labor-intensive in original construction, which accounts for there being fewer Spitfires in service. The Hurricane was not really older than the Spit, just built using older methods. Larson's book has a lot to say about Lord Beaverbrook who was Churchill's executive supervisor for aircraft construction and a very close friend.
    Last edited by Nicholas Scheuer; 09-23-2020 at 01:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    I assume the Eric Larson reference is for “The Splendid And The Vile” which explains a lot about Beaverbrook.

    BTW: the day Dave H posted the OP, my kindle offered me “The Big Show” by Pierre Clostermann. So neat to read the journal of a BoB Spit pilot after watching Dave’s videos.
    Last edited by Jim Bow; 09-23-2020 at 11:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Yes, my first reply mentioned the title.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    I had a charter guest who was a former ME 109 pilot.. He feared the Spitfire the most. He was also a holocaust denier. I got to know him fairly well we corresponded after meeting. I'm sure he knew the holocaust happened, but couldn't bring himself to accept it.

    Thanks Dave for all your posting on here.

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    Default Re: Battle of Britain Anniversary -- on Spitfires

    Yes, Dave I appreciate your work. Really brings history to life.
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