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

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  •  Spitfires are beautiful in sight and sound! (4+ / 0-)

    I've never had the pleasure of seeing a Spitfire in flight, only in museums.  Plenty of experience listening to Rolls Merlins and/or Griffins in Unlimited Hydroplanes.  For me, unlimited hydros lost a lot of their appeal when they went to turbine engines.

    "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." David Korten, When Corporations Rule the World

    by Delta Overdue on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:45:23 AM PST

    •  They sound almost exactly the same as (4+ / 0-)

      P-51s do, but the experience is more powerful because the Spitfire is so much more graceful you don't quite expect it to be so emphatic.

      I like being able at last to hear Diamler-Benz V-12s in flight also. They were always described as being a lot deeper sounding than the Merlin, and that's correct. Much larger displacement for the same power is what causes that, I think. Plus you seem to hear a lot more gear or blower noise, whichever it is.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:43:45 AM PST

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    •  I remember seeing an unlimited hydro on a trailer (3+ / 0-)

      once in 1969 in Bakersfield, CA. It was parked at restaurant across from the gas station I worked at during summer break from college. It had to be tilted at about a 45 degree angle to stay within the lane width of the hiway, so I got a great view of the engine. I particularly remember the engine mounts. They were made of 1 inch thick steel plate, and were chromed along with everything else in sight. I don't remember if the engine was an Allison or a Merlin now. But I do remember it was huge.

      Oh, and that reminds me. Somewhere on my route to the gas station each morning I would pass by a house that had an unlimited dragster parked beside it. It was powered by an Allison V-12. It was kind of rusty and dusty, I don't think people were running those kind of experiments by then, having instead to content themselves with blown V-8s and frequent blower explosions. That was before containment blankets, too. They sometimes ended up with blower parts 50 feet in the air, lol.

      Which is probably a lot lower than the altitudes achieved by unlimited hydroplane turbine disk parts back in the early days when they would blow those suckers up occasionally....

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 12:04:00 PM PST

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    •  I have been EXTREMELY fortunate in my aviation... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe

      ...life. I have studied, sat in, commented on (at airshows), photographed, and flown in formation (two Spits) with the aircraft.

      If you have the 1st Edition of the seminal work on the aircraft - 'Spitfire', Key Publishing - you will see a shot of the then-Rolls-Royce Mk XIV and a PR.XI, stepped up in echelon port.

      They are at about 5,000ft over Derby, and are just recovering to EGNX, East Midlands international.

      How do I know this? I was in the co-pilot's seat fo the chase plane (a Piper Aztec with the door removed). My sole role during the sortie was to make sure the throttle group was pushed THROUGH the instrument panel! smile

      As I said, that was my biggest thrill - except fifth-seating G-BOAF to Mach 2.02 and FL650! (More on Concorde, later)

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:42:10 PM PST

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