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View Diary: The one, the only....Supermarine Spitfire (111 comments)

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  •  Strangely enough, I actually prefer the... (8+ / 0-)

    looks of the Hawker Tempest. Seven tons of letal beauty!
    The Spit had a certain air of fragility about her - yes, I've sat in a couple, and flown in formation with two of them (a Mk XIV and a PR.XI). The undercarriage jusr wasn't really right, and when she went to sea - as the Seafire - that showed up immediately!

    'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

    by shortfinals on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:06:08 PM PST

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    •  You say Hawker Tempest, (9+ / 0-)

      I Say Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

      Those aircraft really Defined "Tactical Air Support".

      A Rough Job for those Pilots.  They sometimes got knocked
      down when exploding targets threw Shrapnel back at them.

      Your Chute wasn't much good if you got into Trouble that
      close to the Deck.

      On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

      by Brian76239 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:26:26 PM PST

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      •  Ahhhh...'you say to-ma-to I say to-mah-to...' (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wheever, Simplify, Otteray Scribe

        Here we will diverge slightly....I prefer the Tempest in that it was that 1/2 generation newer, more sophisticated aerodynamically, and according to various reports (including some Luftwaffe Me262 pilots) feared for its raw speed and dofighting qualities at low level....

        'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

        by shortfinals on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:23:25 AM PST

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        •  Air-cooled Radial vs Water-cooled V (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shortfinals

          In many respects, it all depends on whether one believes that an air-cooled radial engine makes a better power plant for an aircraft which is going to be flying down in the mud and having projectiles of all sorts being thrown at it than a water-cooled engine.  The Tempest was certainly an impressive ground attack aircraft, especially when it was armed with the 5-inch ground attack rockets which could open up the panzers like a can-opener.  The P-47's big radial made it just a little more robust and its capabilities at medium and high altitudes likely made it a slightly more balanced fighter than the Tempest.  Of course, the Tempest did mount those four 20mm cannon compared to the P-47's eight 0.50 cal machine guns, which gave it an inherent advantage in ground attack.

          "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

          by PrahaPartizan on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:06:03 PM PST

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          •  Rocket projectiles (0+ / 0-)

            Actually, the Tempest (and all RAF aircraft) carried 3" R.Ps not the more capable 5" (as used by P-47, P-38). We found that the 60lb high explosive head was less capable than the 25lb armour-piercing head when attacking armour, although the 60lb was much more common.

            'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

            by shortfinals on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:43:15 AM PST

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    •  Here, have a taste of the sound of 24 cylinders (5+ / 0-)

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:47:55 PM PST

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    •  The Tempest and Typhoon series are wicked looking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wheever, Simplify, Otteray Scribe

      ....but entirely utilitarian like the FW-190 or P47.  Kind of like the difference between the early B-17's (almost art deco) and the B-24's (ugly/deadly/depressing.....but way impressive)

      You are absolutely correct about the navalized Spits......bad handling and hard to land on the CV decks.  Plus, the relatively short range of the Spitfire really wasn't geared towards naval aviation.   The RN got a load of F4F's and F6F's from Grumman via lend lease and put them to good work (i'm sure you know this)

      This space for rent -- Cheap!

      by jds1978 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:30:07 AM PST

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      •  I wonder whether it's because of wing twist (4+ / 0-)

        The lowest-drag lift force profile of a wing, taken from root to tip, is an ellipse. This is why the Spitfire's wing is elliptical. Rectangular wings can achieve this profile, though, with a slight twist downward of the leading edge as you go toward the wingtip. (Elliptical wings, with their compound curves, are also more expensive to build.)

        That downward twist, called "washout," has the added benefit of lowering the angle of attack of the wingtips relative to the rest of the wing, so that if the wing starts to stall, it stalls at the root first. This is better for handling because if one wing stalls before the other, the plane will roll toward the side that stalls first, and if the wingtip were to stall, the rolling torque would be strong. Also, the ailerons are out there close to the wingtips, and you don't want the control surfaces to be on the part of the wing that stalls first.

        Stuff you might already know, but putting it out there...

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:29:29 AM PST

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        •  The aerodynamics of an eliptical wing make for ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simplify, jds1978

          ..excellent handling. On the Spitfire, this allowed the power to grow by around 100% and the top speed by around 30%. A PR.XI was put into a terminal velocity dive over Farnborough, and it is thought that it reached around Mach .92 (admittedly, it was, basically, scrap afterwards)!

          'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

          by shortfinals on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:10:55 AM PST

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        •  Strangely enough, WW2... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simplify

          ... saw the first successful application of 'spoilers' as the primary means of control in the rolling axis. The P-61 Black Widow had fighter-like handling characteristics, due to 'spoilerons' which stretched almost 1/4 of the span on the upper surfaces of the wing.

          The mighty 'Buff', of course, has no ailerons, either, using mid-wing spoilers to achieve the same effect!

          'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

          by shortfinals on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:11:54 PM PST

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          •  On a wing as flexy as the B-52's, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shortfinals

            ailerons could turn into trim tabs in twist, leading to control reversal. Although spoilers did not serve it so well in one particularly infamous crash...

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:42:23 PM PST

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