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Thread: Spitfire identification n2

  1. #1
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    Spitfire identification n2

    Four more Spitfire to identify. Thanks for your help and answers!!

    At first, two pictures are taken in France in 1968 during the movie "the Battle of Britain":





    Below, 'EN-398' seems to be a wrong serial. Any idea of the right one and civil reg? Picture made in November 1985.


    Below, his military serial is unknow. Civil reg: N188... Picture made at Harlingen in April 1969.


    Thanks to all!!!

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    I believe the only two seaters used on the Battle of Britain film were G-AVAV and G-AWGB. I think G-AVAV suffered an in flight fire whilst being flown by Connie Edwards before the move to France to finish filming so it looks like G-AWGB is the most likely candidate.

    EN398 is actually MA793 which was/is owned by David Price. US registrations are NX930LB previously N930LB previously in South Africa as PT672 ex SAAF 5601 and prior to that it had originally been delivered to 6MU on 21-7-43 and then passed to the USAAF in Casablanca.

    MK297 was damaged by fire in the fire at CWH in 1993. It was previously with the Confederate Air Force from 1986 as N9BL previously N9BL and N1882*. Prior to that it was our old friend from the flight magazine ad in another posting G-ASSD which was ex OO-ARD, Belgian AF SM43, Netherlands AF H-55 and H-116.

    * I am a bit suspicious of the US registration N1882. I believe that all the Spitfires used in the Battle of Britain film were given fictitious N serials so I think it likely this is the serial number carried for the film although it is possible that this was subsequently used as its US civil identity.

    The info for MK297 and EN398 came from http://www.supermarine-spitfire.co.uk.
    The other bits are from memory.
    I think it will prove difficult to identify the other B of B film Spitfire unless someone reads this who worked on the film and has a very good memory.

  3. #3
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    Image 1 - MH434

    Image 2 - TE308 (P7350 to rear)

    Image 3 - GRP replica

    Image 4 - MK297

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark12; 24th November 2007 at 22:37.

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    Mark12 I am not a Spitfire expert but are you sure it is MH434. I always understood that the same codes were often carried by different aircraft at different times during filming and some carried different codes on each side.
    I found the following on a previous thread on this forum which gives an idea of how difficult it is to identify the 12 flyers used in the film from photos although obviously there are some distinct differences between marks which help narrow them down.

    Also what makes you say that image 3 is a GRP replica? Please don't think I am saying you are wrong it is just that I thought you may have some information that I don't know and it is always nice to learn.



    SPITFIRES

    Identity Codes Serials

    AR213 AI-B, AI-C, AI-G, AI-N N3311, N3312, N3314,
    CD-B, CD-C, EI-E N3316, N3322


    P7350 AI-A, AI-E, BO-H, CD-C N3310, N3312, N3316,
    CD-G, CD-H, CD-M, DO-M N3317, N3312
    EI-C


    AB910 AI-C, AI-D, AI-F, AI-J, AI-H, N3312, N3313, N3315,
    AI-M, AI-N, CD-D, CD-F, N3318, N3319, N3321,
    CD-K, DO-M, N3322


    BL641 AI.B AI-D, AI-O, CD-Q, N3313, N3315, N3318,
    DO-M, EQ-D N3323, N3327


    BM597 NIL (Replica mould master) Nil

    EP120 AI-B, AI-N N3312


    AR501 AI-B, AI-C, AI-E, AI-G, AI-J, N3311, N3312, N3314,
    CD-J, CD-K, DO-A, DO-G, N3316, N3317, N3318, DO-H, EI-Q N3319, N3320, N3324,

    MH415 AI-A, AI-C, AI-D, AI-E, AI-H, N2210, N3310, N3311,
    AI-M, AI-N, AI-S, CD-A, CD-B, N3312, N3314, N3315,
    CD-F, CD-H, DO-H, DO-K, N3317, N3319, N3320,
    DO-M, EI-G N3321, N3322, N3328


    MH434 AI-A, AI-D, AI-E, AI-G, AI-H, N3310, N3312, N3313
    AI-K, BO-G, CD-F, CD-H,CD-M, N3314, N3315, N3316,
    DO-N, EI-H N3317, N3319, N3321


    MK297 AI-A, AI-B, AI-H, CD-A, CD-B, N3310, N3311, N3314,
    CD-E, DO-A, DO-B, DO-H, DO-N N3317
    EI-A


    MK356 AI-R N3328

    MJ772 AI-D, CD-H, CD-N, DO-H Nil


    TE308 AI-E, CD-A, CD-D, CD-F, CD-J Nil
    CD-K, CD-O, DO-H, DO-K, DO-L
    DO-S, EI-A, EI-J Nil


    RM689 AI-A, AI-J, AI-M, AI-N, BO-B, CD-C, N3310, N3311, N3313,
    CD-J, DO-B, DO-D N3318, N3321

    RW382 AI-G AI-H, DO-L, DO-M, EI-G, EQ-G N3314, N3316, N3317,
    N3320


    SL574 AI-A, AI-E, EI-A N3310


    SM411 AI-A, AI-B, AI-S, DO-R, EI-M, LC-M N3310, N3311, N3323,
    N3329


    TB382 AI-A, AI-C, AI-H, AI-P, BO-H, CD-A, N3310, N3316, N3317,
    DO-A, DO-L, DO-M, EI-A, LC-A N3320, N3321, N3323,
    N3324, N3370


    TE311 AI-C, AI-M, DO-H N3321, N3324


    TE356 AI-C, AI-P, DO-M, EI-C, LC-C N3312, N3324


    TE384 AI-E, AI-H, AI-L, AI-P, AI-Q, DO-L, N3314, N3315, N3316,
    LC-F N3320, N3323, N3324


    TE476 AI-B, AI-F N3311, N3320


    PM631 AI-E, AI-H, AI-L, CD-F, CD-K, DO-G N3314, N3315, N3316,
    DO-N N3317, N3319, N3320


    PM651 AI-S, BO-S, DO-N N3317, N3320, N3329


    PS853 AI-E, AI-G, AI-M, CD-C, EI-K N3314, N3316, N3319,
    N3321
    PS915 AI-R N3328


    LA198 AI-G, DO-C N3316, N3317




    HURRICANES


    P2617 MI-C, MI-S H3426, H3427


    Z7015 F, L, MI-A, MI-D H3418


    LF363 F, MI-A, MI-D, MI-H, KV-C H3420, H3421, H3422


    LF715 Nil (Replica mould master) Nil


    PZ865 H, MI-CMI-D, MI-G, KV-A, KV-M, H3421, H3423, H3424
    OK-I


    RCAF 5377/G- D, F, MI-A, MI-D, MI-F, KV-B H3418, H3421, H3423

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WJ244 View Post
    Mark12 I am not a Spitfire expert but are you sure it is MH434. I always understood that the same codes were often carried by different aircraft at different times during filming and some carried different codes on each side.
    I found the following on a previous thread on this forum which gives an idea of how difficult it is to identify the 12 flyers used in the film from photos although obviously there are some distinct differences between marks which help narrow them down.

    Also what makes you say that image 3 is a GRP replica? Please don't think I am saying you are wrong it is just that I thought you may have some information that I don't know and it is always nice to learn.
    WJ244,

    I recognise all of these as old friends.

    I do not use codes to identify BoB film aircraft.

    MH434 has the distinctive short aerial stub on the underbelly skin ahead of the tail wheel, clearly visible in this shot.

    TE308 is the Tr IX that went to France and all the distressed paint on the fillets matches with period photos.

    I was instrumental in the livery of the Specialised Mouldings Ltd replica seen here at Duxford.

    MK297/N1882 is the Confederate Mk IX and the US Registration is correct.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark12; 25th November 2007 at 12:28.

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    MH434 can be identified by the 4-blade prop (naturally), 6 tubular exhaust stubs, four aperture wheels and small dipole aerial under the rear fuselage.

    MH415, however, could also fit this description (save for the dipole aerial). I can't make it out on the photograph, though.

    Always nice to see something new turn up from the production!
    There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders. F**k spiders.

    Daren Cogdon

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    Quote Originally Posted by WJ244 View Post
    Also what makes you say that image 3 is a GRP replica? Please don't think I am saying you are wrong it is just that I thought you may have some information that I don't know and it is always nice to learn.
    The easy way of spotting a replica is usually because the elevators are exactly in line with the tailplane,in a real spit the elevators are usually 'drooped' in the fully down position.The stick could also be tied 'back' with lap straps so that the elevs would be up.
    I have not seen a photo of a spit with an external elevator lock fitted(theres a challenge ) so dont know whether it
    would lock the surface at neutral or other angle.

    cheers baz

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    A humble man!!!

    I am not a Spitfire expert
    Thats not how I remember you Mark12.. For someone who has devoted as much time to these lovely ladies,if I ever have a portion of your knowledge I would consider myself a lucky man...Still awe inspiring the younger generation...Great pics thanks..
    "If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
    http://spitfirea58-27.blogspot.com.au/

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    OK somebody has to ask
    What is the identity of the pilot doing his 'walk round' on the 2 seater in photo No 2.

    cheers baz

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    Thanks guys for all your answers

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    Quote Originally Posted by WJ244 View Post
    I think it will prove difficult to identify the other B of B film Spitfire unless someone reads this who worked on the film and has a very good memory.
    The two books on the film by the late Robert Rudhall should not be missed, if the film's aircraft are of interest. Much work by many people, some of whom I am lucky enough to call friends (and some who post here) have resulted in a very comprehensive guide to the differences and identifying the aircraft.

    A brief search on this forum under the film will gorge anyone's desire, I suspect.

    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sear...attle&x=29&y=7

    http://www.victorybooks.co.uk/author.htm

    QldSpitty, that was a quote. As (almost) is: "He's not an expert, he's a very naughty boy."

    Regards.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

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    Mark12 You obviously know your Spitfires. I notice someone else suggested you were educating the youngsters. As today is my 52nd bithday I don't think I quite fall into that category. One of my biggest regrets is that we didn't have such an active vintage aviation industry when I left school as we do now. As a school leaver I was told my only chance of an aviation career was to join Hawker Siddeley at Hatfield and nailing Tridents together didn't really appeal. I was and still am more of a wood and canvas aviation nut. I think it had something to do with being able to understand the structure having built (and crashed) a good few Keil Kraft kits in my youth.

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    Anyone notice the Buchon prop fitted to TE308?
    Only real fighters have a Spadegrip

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    Buchon prop fitted on TE308

    Quote Originally Posted by spade grip View Post
    Anyone notice the Buchon prop fitted to TE308?
    Hi Spade grip how do you know thats a buchon prop? Is it because the tips have flat ends?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mackerel View Post
    Hi Spade grip how do you know thats a buchon prop? Is it because the tips have flat ends?
    Thats a well known fact, I believe there is a picture in one of Robert Rudhall's books that shows the unpainted Buchon prop on TE308 (in fact I sent a copy of the book to the current owner of TE308 as I thought he would find that picture amusing).
    www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

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    Not only the Buchon propeller but also the Buchon BoB film spinner.

    The propeller developed by Dowty-Rotol for the post WWII Buchon utilised many, if not most, of its components from the Mk IX Spitfire parts bin. The dedicated blades on the Buchon were aluminium alloy rather than the resin impregnated wood of the Spitfire IX.

    The spinner on the Buchon was Spitfire Mk IX but these were modified at the start of filming to incorporate a dimpled cap to simulate the Me109 armament aperture.

    Note the smoke generator adjacent to the first exhaust port

    Mark

    Image: Peter Sargent

    ps. Daz note the small aerial on the underbelly of the adjacent MH434
    Last edited by Mark12; 26th November 2007 at 10:38.

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    Since we are on the subject of the Battle of Britain Film. I pestered the life out of my dad until he finally agreed to take me to RAF Debden display in 1968 which included a mock dogfight between some of the film aircraft. There was also a 2 seat spitfire in the hangar (presumerably G-AWGB / TE308).
    Can anyone help with a confirmed ID for the two seater and possibly ID's for the display aircraft (which I assume operated out of Duxford) as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WJ244 View Post
    Since we are on the subject of the Battle of Britain Film. I pestered the life out of my dad until he finally agreed to take me to RAF Debden display in 1968 which included a mock dogfight between some of the film aircraft. There was also a 2 seat spitfire in the hangar (presumeably G-AWGB / TE308).
    Can anyone help with a confirmed ID for the two seater and possibly ID's for the display aircraft (which I assume operated out of Duxford) as well.
    WJ244,

    Both of the two seat Spitfires operated out of Debden during the early part of the filming. I have a shot of MJ772 coded AI-D and a shot of TE308 coded CD-J in the hangar at Debden, however at the time of the public display, which I did attend, this shot of TE308 coded DO-L I am sure is the one you are after. Although not roped off there are enough people and young forms in the background to suggest this was the public display.

    My own shots on that day did not turn out too well, as I recall, as I had a 'light bar' shutter problem and in consequence these shots are not in my main files. I have them tucked away somewhere and will endeavour to locate them for further conformation.

    I am pretty sure the Spitfires and the Buchons flew in for the display but did not land. It was a brave man at that time who could speak with confidence as to the identities of these aircraft from ground observation. I was not one of them.

    Some parties went in to print at the time with errors and these lists have been regurgitated in subsequent writings - 'list of list' researchers.

    I personally only quote identities and codes from a rock solid photographic data base. Even to this day I usually add two or three more Codes each year to the Spitfire list as yet further new shots turn up. At the time there was not the realisation that these unit codes were changing some times on a daily basis.

    Mark

    Image credit: With apologies to an unknown photographer

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    Peter - can you see from your original print/slide what the chalked writing is on the fuselage below the 'tunnel' between the cockpits? (and look, someone has left the ground starter socket door open, not good!)
    www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

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    WJ244,

    I found the film/negatives and not a 'light bar' but an overlapping frame with the Shuttleworth PR XI.

    Colour film at that, a rare treat in those austere days of Harold Wilson's government.

    So TE308/G-AWGB as DO-L. I suspect that the aircraft may have been unserviceable and awaiting rectification before returning to Duxford. Note the chalk script on the side of the fuselage, usually an indicator that something needed fixing.



    I have six other frames on a 50mm lens showing the the two formations, four Spitfires in one and two Buchons plus a Spitfire in other.

    With today's knowledge I can make a passing judgement on the ID of the Spitfires, if this is of interest.

    Again I think there was just the one Spitfire on the deck.

    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12 View Post
    ps. Daz note the small aerial on the underbelly of the adjacent MH434
    I found it on closer inspection of the first pic - not easy, though!
    There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders. F**k spiders.

    Daren Cogdon

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    The two seater is exactly as I remember it and I always believed it was TE308/ G-AWGB but it is nice to be sure.
    As a very enthusiastic 12 year old I was very disappointed to find that the two seater was the only film aircraft on the ground. The others flew in to display and departed again without landing (presumerably to Duxford). I have probably got lists of the codes somewhere which would help a bit with ID's but was just curious to know exactly which aircraft I actually saw.
    I was also lucky enough to see Heinkel 6J+PR (G-AWHB) with Spitfire G-AVDJ and the Psychedelic Monster when they flew over our rugby field during a refuelling visit to Southend. As home and school were less than a mile from the runway and right under approach the view was great.
    Also saw the mass formation on the way to film in France - a truly unforgetable sight even though they were fairly high over Southend.

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    I always wonder if the Lancaster sound track made it into the BoB film.

    During the scene in "Belgium", with aircraft trying to scramble but being bombed and blowing up as they taxied, we were orbiting in the Duxford overhead at about 1500 feet waiting IIRC the RAF Spit and Hurri to join with us for a display.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WJ244 View Post
    The two seater is exactly as I remember it and I always believed it was TE308/ G-AWGB but it is nice to be sure.
    As a very enthusiastic 12 year old I was very disappointed to find that the two seater was the only film aircraft on the ground. The others flew in to display and departed again without landing (presumeably to Duxford). I have probably got lists of the codes somewhere which would help a bit with ID's but was just curious to know exactly which aircraft I actually saw.
    .
    WJ244,

    Looking a bit more deeply in to the Debden public display I have been unable to ascertain the actual date of the show, but my guess is about July 1968. I met Neville Franklin there for the first time and I would be sure he would have written something in his journal, 'Control Column', at the time. I don't have them all for that period and Vol 2 Number 4 is the issue that holds the key.

    Analyzing the the scant images I took at the event, I make the following observations with the benefit of 40 years of database.



    The Spitfire leading this trio is a single seat Mk IX one of three flying examples used in the film. Just visible, at high res, are the white dots on the leading edge of the strobe machine guns. Only MH415/G-AVDJ had these fitted. The aircraft is coded DO-M, only MH415/G-AVDJ of the three Mk IX's used this code.

    Further conformation that it is MH415 is the same aircraft making singleton passes trailing smoke. MH415 had the smoke generation kit fitted.



    Next we have the formation of four Spitfires.



    Two short and two long Merlin machines. Reading left to right, aircraft 3 & 4 are Mk IX's. These two machines must be MH434/G-ASJV and MK297/G-ASSD. The reason being that all the other alternatives can reasonably be accounted for. MH415 is the singleton smoker and the Buchon formation machine, TE308 is u/s in the Debden hangar. MJ772 the other two seater was 'bellied in' early July and was not fitted with a radio mast, visible in the image.

    Now consider aircraft 1 on the left hand side. A three blade propeller so can only be P7350 or AR501. P7 had the broad root Dowty Rotol, whilst AR501 had the slim root DeHavilland prop. The image favours the slim root prop, by study of other airborne shots of P7. The artificial distressing applied by the film company had its variations. Consider the black trail on the underside of the port wing of the two side by side centre machine guns. Even at this distance it can be seen that 'gun two' has longer trail than 'gun three' outboard. On P7 they were the same length. On AR501 they are as this image.

    Now for aircraft 2 the tricky one. Four blade propeller but asymmetric radiators, so AB910 of the BBMF or AR213/G-AIST. Under surface distressing by comparison favours AR213 but it is marginal at this resolution. A mid summer weekend and the commitment of the BBMF to display with AB910 also favours AR213.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark12; 27th November 2007 at 16:58.

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    Mark 12 The pictures are great and thanks very much for rekindling a very old memory.
    I can probably give you an exact date for the display but it means a trip into the loft to find my old spotters logs but when i am up there next I will try to dig them out.
    I don't think any of the participating aircraft landed partly because they ran a motorcycle sprint and I think kart races on the runway for most of the day.
    I have got the programme for the sprint somewhere and last time I looked at it i was surprised to find some famous names from the sprint world including Alf Hagon and the works lambretta record breaker Marlene Parker amongst the entry so it must have been a fairly high profilre sprint meeting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazv View Post
    OK somebody has to ask
    What is the identity of the pilot doing his 'walk round' on the 2 seater in photo No 2.

    cheers baz
    Baz,

    Tim Mills, one of six or so serving RAF CFI's seconded to the film in 1968, advises today:-

    I am just about certain that the picture is of John Preece (Flt Lt) who was with us for most of the time but had to leave early on posting. I was not lucky enough to visit the south of France by Spitfire, had to stay at Duxford because they wanted to do Hurricane scenes, ended up by doing a lot of taxiing through bomb blasts in non airworthy Spits for the attack on the airfield scene; not quite the same!

    Mark


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    My 8 year old is getting hooked on this...

    Like all boys, he has a short attention span at the moment, we lurch from dinosaurs, to Dr Who, with a brief flirtation with Power Rangers. But he has taken my BoB DVD with him on a few trips to stay with grandad and when we watch TV, its often a movie of choice. My work here is done I think, and when we were at the Legends show in July, after watching one of the Spits land, he looked at me and said "You can teach, Monkies to fly better than that" - a bit harsh on the display pilot but I was chuffed!
    You can teach monkies to fly better than that....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Hayden View Post
    My work here is done I think, and when we were at the Legends show in July, after watching one of the Spits land, he looked at me and said "You can teach, Monkies to fly better than that" - a bit harsh on the display pilot but I was chuffed!
    Ha! Brilliant!
    There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders. F**k spiders.

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