Spitfire Mk.VB

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Kittyhawk

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The Spitfire is the first aeroplane I ever modelled and the one that started off the aircraftery, 80 odd models ago.
Everybody knows the Spitfire of course so there's nothing more to say about it so I'll tell about the crazy recipient instead.
It's for my sister, at 81 a couple of years older than me, and she's been on my case for a long while now, suggesting rather forcefully that I pull my finger out and get on with building her one so this is it, her Christmas present.
But it had to be a Mk.V mind, which is still the classic Battle of Britain shape but with the improved Rotol VP propellor instead of the Mk.11's two stage fixed DH prop and also with the negative G carburettor problems resolved, not that she's fussy of course, just very particular. With her interests, she's not your average woman.
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Ah, Rotol, you've just flipped me back half a century. It's where I spent a lot of my apprenticeship.
Rotol was was a joint venture set up in 1937 by ROlls-royce and BrisTOL Aeroplane Co, to make propellers. By the end of the war they had produced over 100,000 props. They were taken over by Dowty in 1958.
When I got there in 1967 Rotol's main production was undercarriages and I never spent any time in the Prop Shop. By 1992 Dowty had become a sprawling conglomeration ripe for rationalisation which was carried out after acquisition by Tube Investments. Dowty Propellers was sold of to local firm, Smiths Industries which was subsequently taken over by GE Aviation.
Dowty Propellers continues to this day as a world leader in its titular product and use George Dowty's original
Dowty.jpg
logo produced in the 1930's.
Rotol's name has disappeared from the aviation world but its Art Deco factory at Staverton. Gloucester continues to make landing gear within the French Safran group. This ownership comes out of a long association between the British and French companies. I experienced some of this when I worked on the Jaguar programme in the early 70's.
Brian
 
Lovely!

Was the tail wheel not retracting?

How much faster would it have gone if it did!!
 
Outstanding work, from my childhood I still love spitfires and lucky enough to catch one or two flying over our village. You are truly gifted, and your sister is a very lucky woman.
 
Ah, Rotol, you've just flipped me back half a century. It's where I spent a lot of my apprenticeship.
Rotol was was a joint venture set up in 1937 by ROlls-royce and BrisTOL Aeroplane Co, to make propellers. By the end of the war they had produced over 100,000 props. They were taken over by Dowty in 1958.
When I got there in 1967 Rotol's main production was undercarriages and I never spent any time in the Prop Shop. By 1992 Dowty had become a sprawling conglomeration ripe for rationalisation which was carried out after acquisition by Tube Investments. Dowty Propellers was sold of to local firm, Smiths Industries which was subsequently taken over by GE Aviation.
Dowty Propellers continues to this day as a world leader in its titular product and use George Dowty's original View attachment 148521 logo produced in the 1930's.
Rotol's name has disappeared from the aviation world but its Art Deco factory at Staverton. Gloucester continues to make landing gear within the French Safran group. This ownership comes out of a long association between the British and French companies. I experienced some of this when I worked on the Jaguar programme in the early 70's.
Brian
Used to go to Dowty and off shoots Gloucester area, mind always got wrong Shipping address for some reason had to go on info from it's birth certificate that accompanies anything Aircraft as we used to deliver Aircraft grade steel from France,Was for bearings i think there? and Lincoln was crankshafts/Camshafts and other place bearings
 
Ah, Rotol, you've just flipped me back half a century. It's where I spent a lot of my apprenticeship.
Thank you for your post. Its always a pleasure to gain insights and information first hand such as you provided.
Was the tail wheel not retracting?
No, and have often wondered by British and German WW11 aircraft didn't have retractable tail wheels. The Americans did as in the P.51 Mustang. I have seen drawings of the retracting mechanism and it appears very simple. Perhaps someone can explain was this was omitted on British/German aeroplanes.

Do you have photos mid production??

Sorry but no. I could put one or two up on future builds if interested.
You are truly gifted,


Thank you but not so. I just get a lot of pleasure from building them and you only see the end product, not the disasters along the way.
 
Yes, i for one would definitely like to see how they progress.
Yep im sure there are problems along the way, as there are with any project.... but you definitely are a very skilled guy 🙂

As a customer once told me, a person who never makes mistakes has never made anything
 
Thank you for your post. Its always a pleasure to gain insights and information first hand such as you provided.

No, and have often wondered by British and German WW11 aircraft didn't have retractable tail wheels. The Americans did as in the P.51 Mustang. I have seen drawings of the retracting mechanism and it appears very simple. Perhaps someone can explain was this was omitted on British/German aeroplanes.



Sorry but no. I could put one or two up on future builds if interested.



Thank you but not so. I just get a lot of pleasure from building them and you only see the end product, not the disasters along the way.
They did have retractable tail wheels on later MK's
 
@Kittyhawk: You wrote, QUOTE: No, and have often wondered by British and German WW11 aircraft didn't have retractable tail wheels. The Americans did as in the P.51 Mustang. I have seen drawings of the retracting mechanism and it appears very simple. Perhaps someone can explain was this was omitted on British/German aeroplanes. UNQUOTE:

The reason seems to be that at the start of WWII, both German and British aeroplanes were not SO fast (roughly 1,000+ hp power and about 360 knots flat out). And again at that time, most US aircraft were even slower.

But as the war progressed, horsepower increased (2,500 to 3,000+ was possible), and speeds were, let's say, about 400+ knots. At those speeds, aerodynamic "clean-ness" became even more important (every little reduction helped, particularly with something really "slippery" like the Mustang in it's later versions) so retracting tail wheels were usually featured.
 
Yes, i for one would definitely like to see how they progress.
Yep im sure there are problems along the way, as there are with any project.... but you definitely are a very skilled guy 🙂

As a customer once told me, a person who never makes mistakes has never made anything
Was it Einstein who said "failure is success in progress"
 

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