Reconnaissance Spitfires

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Matzos, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Matzos

    Matzos Junior Member

    Sometimes not seen in the same light as the fighter Spits, the recce Spitfires played a very important part in WW2.

    Below a some images of the different marks of recce Spitfires.

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    Mk IA, leaving for the first recce mission of a Spitfire

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    Spitfire Mk.IC, the cameras were in the blister under the starboard wing, the port blister held extra fuel

    [​IMG]
    Spitfire PR.XI the rear camera ports can be send in this great shot.

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    A USAAF PR.XI

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    The PR.XIX, the last type of recce Spitfire

    [​IMG]
    This great shot of one RAF's flying Spitfire PR.XIXs of BBMF
     
  2. ozjohn39

    ozjohn39 Senior Member

    I read somewhere years ago that some of the PR Spitfires got up to 44,000'.

    John.
     
  3. Matzos

    Matzos Junior Member

    I read somewhere years ago that some of the PR Spitfires got up to 44,000'.

    John.

    hi John,

    A freind has sent he a darft of his new book about PS853, which is a Spitfire PR.XIX, and in it, it has a quote from a pilot, Flt Lt Stutchbury, that he took his PR.XIX up to 47,000ft on a flight test.

    There is another example where a Spitfire PR.XIX PS852, flown by Flt Lt Ted Towers, took his aircraft up to 51,500ft and then in a power dive reached mack 0.94, this took place in 1952

    Mick
     
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  4. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Some great images there Mick, thanks for posting.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    ^^^^^ What he said,

    Thanks for sharing a rep duely added ;)

    Cheers Andy
     
  6. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Thank you. Some great pictures.
     
  7. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    May sound a little bit silly: What was the range of a Recce Spit (a version in June 1942 in particular)?
     
  8. adamcotton

    adamcotton Senior Member

    I would view with scepticism some of the claims about a Spitfire XIX getting up to 51,000 feet. At that height, it would be damn near impossible for a four stroke petrol engine to produce combustion owing to the extemely thin air, no matter how powerful or supercharged it was. The weight of air/petrol charge drawn into the cylinders would be minimal, as the density of the surrounding air would be much reduced.

    Also, as for reaching mach .94 (94 per cent of the speed of sound) in a power dive, that too is unlikely. Owing to its beautifully designed wing, the Spitfire did have the highest limiting mach number of any World War Two fighter, but it was still only mach.89. This is because, as with all piston engined fighters of the period, its propeller acted as a huge aerodynamic brake...
     
  9. Andy Fletcher

    Andy Fletcher Junior Member

    Hi Kuno,

    A Spitfire PR.IV (the current model as of Jun42) operating from Benson could reach to the southern tip of Corsica and back in the south. When flying due east it could reach as far as Danzig and Gydnia. PR.IVs operating from Wick, Scotland, could reach as far as the southern tip of the Lofoten Islands off Norway.

    Best Regards
     
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Just another recognition feature is the deeper chin, signifying extra oil cooling capacity.

    A site all about PR Spitfires.
    Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires

    Regards
    Tom
     
  11. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    Nice site....
     
  12. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    I would view with scepticism some of the claims about a Spitfire XIX getting up to 51,000 feet. At that height, it would be damn near impossible for a four stroke petrol engine to produce combustion owing to the extemely thin air, no matter how powerful or supercharged it was. The weight of air/petrol charge drawn into the cylinders would be minimal, as the density of the surrounding air would be much reduced.

    Also, as for reaching mach .94 (94 per cent of the speed of sound) in a power dive, that too is unlikely. Owing to its beautifully designed wing, the Spitfire did have the highest limiting mach number of any World War Two fighter, but it was still only mach.89. This is because, as with all piston engined fighters of the period, its propeller acted as a huge aerodynamic brake...

    The SPit that did this MAch test was specially made, it had a feathering prop, specially designed for high mach numbers.

    As discussed on another thead, i cant quite place its well documented in Jeffery Quills book 'Spitfire' and in many other. I think I put up some mach charts from Boots, Spitfire to Eurofighter, which showed compative performance.

    Kev

    Kev
     
  13. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Re Range.

    Quill mentions the changes that where made to the wings. The spitfire had a problem with longitudinal stabiliy to do the centre of gravity being to rearward, which limited its ability for fuel tanks rear of the fueslage (a Common problem I understand with also the P51 and others) but without guns the full leading eadge space (between the eadge the torsion box spar) became a fuel tank and being well forwardo fthe COG there was no problem. Resulted in a 90% or something increase in fuel capacity.

    Kev
     
  14. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Kev,
    I cannot find my source at the moment, but I am sure that I read the long range Spitfire was nicknamed the 'Bowser' due to the amount of fuel it took on board, resulting in 2000 mile range.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  15. Andy Fletcher

    Andy Fletcher Junior Member

    The Spitfire PR Type D and the later production PR.IV could carry an additional 145 gallons internally compared to the fighter equivalent.
     
  16. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    In Eric "Winkle" Brown's book, he tells of a PR.XI stripped of all it's operational equipment and tested from 40,000 feet with recording equipment on board and achieving mach .86. His flight commander, Tony Martindale then achieved mach.92.
     
  17. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    In Eric "Winkle" Brown's book, he tells of a PR.XI stripped of all it's operational equipment and tested from 40,000 feet with recording equipment on board and achieving mach .86. His flight commander, Tony Martindale then achieved mach.92.


    You got to be carfull with the adhoc claims of speed, as discussed on the other thread the standard instruments fitted are not accurate enough due to compressability effects giving false pressures and therefore incorrect indications.

    The incident mentioned in Quills 'Spitifre' was an official war department and supermarine attempt and as said the aircraft was not standard. I dont know the details of the how the airspeed was measured but the standard airspeed indicator was not sufficent.

    Kev
     
  18. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Item on Antiques Roadshow
    First Photo Recon Spitfire to be shot down

    N3069 Spitfire Mk.Ia (c/no.358). First Flown 10-10-39. Delivered to the RAF at 6 MU 12-10-39. Issued to the PDU at Heston Aircraft Ltd and Converted to Spitfire PR. Mk.IA. To RAE Farnborough 20-10-39 for handling trials. Returned to PDU Heston 18-1-40 after upgrades and modifications to Spitfire PR.Mk.1B specification

    Intercepted and shot down crashed near the small village of Herwen some 25 km east of Arnhem, near the German border. Pilot - Flying Officer (39147) Claude M. WHEATLEY, RAF - bailed out, but was killed when his parachute failed to open

    Flying Officer (Pilot) WHEATLEY, CLAUDE MERVYN
    Service Number 39147

    Died 22/03/1940

    Aged 26

    Royal Air Force

    Son of Ernest and Marion Wheatley; husband of Joan Wheatley, of Worthing, Sussex.
    INSCRIPTION
    HE, AS HE FLEW, PASSED DEATH UPON THE WING, THEN, DEATHLESS, ROSE TO IMMORTALITY"
    Buried at REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY

    Location: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
    Number of casualties: 7500

    Cemetery/memorial reference: 3. F. 14.


    Accident Supermarine Spitfire PR Mk IB N3069, 22 Mar 1940
     
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  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    Good excuse to repost this clip.

    The stuff at the 11:00 minute mark is really great.

     
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  20. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    Yes, Spitfire 944 is a very nice document film.
     

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