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Thread: Arkangelsk Spitfire Recovery?

  1. #1
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    Arkangelsk Spitfire Recovery?

    We have just received a Merlin 66 engine for rebuild, Serial 187399.
    It was recovered from Arkangelsk in Russia at some point in the past, and I wondered whether it was attached to a Spitfire at the time, and if so, what happened to it?
    Alternatively, does anybody know the ID of the aircraft it came from even if it does not survive?
    The photo I have attached is one I took about 10 years ago when it was still assembled and owned by Denis Kay.

    Many Thanks

    Pete
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  2. #2
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    I remember an interview in a Norwegian magazine some years back with an adventurer, self made millionaire. He spoke about deals that went sweet, and those which went south. One such story was about a dozen Spitfires supposed to be available in Russia (possibly close to the Norwegian border) that someone wanted to sell. He started enquiring but nothing eventually came out of it. If this was a scheme by criminals in Russia wouldn't surprise me. He was however not offered the elusive Stirling...

    T J
    "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!!!"

    Jules Winnfield 1994

  3. #3
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    For Operation Paravane in September 1944 10 617 Sqdn Lancaster III with Merlin engines built under licence by the Packard Motor Company in Detroit flew to Russia (the others were Lancaster I and I’m not sure what type of engine they had). In addition, there were a couple of Liberators from 511 Sqdn which carried spares for the Lancs, including a Merlin engine in each. 9 Squadron were also in Russia with Lancasters at that time but I don’t know what type.

    Also, I know that there were some PRU Spitfires delivered to Russia at some point.

    Sorry not to have an exact answer for you but maybe the above will help someone narrow things down or eliminate some of the above.

    Regards
    Linzee

  4. #4
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    A Spitfire was recovered from Russia some years ago I believe. As I recall it was on the Isle of Wight and seem to recollect photos of the wreckage laid out as a "Spitfire" but not sure if it included engine. Mark12 will surely know what I am talking about!
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    Trouble is, when the fat lady sings, it might signal a Da Capo moment...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
    A Spitfire was recovered from Russia some years ago I believe. As I recall it was on the Isle of Wight and seem to recollect photos of the wreckage laid out as a "Spitfire" but not sure if it included engine. Mark12 will surely know what I am talking about!
    Hi tangmere 1940, i think that was the ex Angie Soper MKIX that Peter Tiechman has now layed out on racking at hanger 11. Not sure whether the engine was there though !!

    Steve
    Last edited by mackerel; 7th February 2009 at 16:43. Reason: Add text

  6. #6
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    Possibbily not the Peter Tiechman MkIX PT879, this did have a Merlin 66 with it, though a different number to that being rebuilt by Merlin Pete. Photos taken in March 1998 at Airframe Ass.

    Chumpy.
    Last edited by chumpy; 28th March 2010 at 08:35.
    pb::

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. I have a feeling it could well be one of those aircraft, and I will make some further enquiries.
    Although it is not the engine shown in Chumpys post, we do have a set of damaged mild steel stubs which look just like those in the pic, and could be the same ones because the engine we have here has very little damage.
    There was another Russian Spitfire IX, RK858, but I know who has that engine, and that is also in pretty complete condition, so if the engine shown above is another Russian one, that makes 3.

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumpy View Post
    Photos taken in March 1998 at Airframe Ass.
    What's with the wing? The wingskins seem to be draped over the spar like cloth
    Magister Aviation
    www.fougamagister.be

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fouga23 View Post
    What's with the wing? The wingskins seem to be draped over the spar like cloth
    Hi Fouga they look like that because plane hit the ground at quite some speed !!!

    Steve

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fouga23 View Post
    What's with the wing? The wingskins seem to be draped over the spar like cloth
    Caused by high energy impact with the ground - aircraft inverted at the time. As an aside, both the pilot of PT879 and that of the sister Spitfire with which it collided both bailed out at 1,500m and survived the incident.
    www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

  11. #11
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    Well that rules out both RK858 and PT879 then!
    This engine wasn`t from a high-speed crash.
    Back to square one!

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark V View Post
    Caused by high energy impact with the ground - aircraft inverted at the time. As an aside, both the pilot of PT879 and that of the sister Spitfire with which it collided both bailed out at 1,500m and survived the incident.

    I wondered how the wing L/E ended up like that, looked like it had been 'gently' run-over by a tank!

    Those hefty 14 swg skins and nose ribs squashed flat, whilst the actual main spar was still pretty much intact. I presume it went into soft-ish ground / snow perhaps?

    Chumpy.
    pb::

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chumpy View Post
    Those hefty 14 swg skins and nose ribs squashed flat, whilst the actual main spar was still pretty much intact. I presume it went into soft-ish ground / snow perhaps?

    Chumpy.
    The collision was in late May 1945 so I guess the ground had thawed on the Kola Peninsula by then. I think it came down inverted, slightly nose down but the airframe remained substantially above the surface.
    www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

  14. #14
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    Here are a couple of photos of the finished engine in case anyone`s interested.
    I still cannot find the ID of the aircraft, which is a bit strange as Spitfires are so well documented. I need to do some more research.
    For the sharp-eyed amongst you, yes, we have fitted a later-pattern intercooler!

    Pete
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    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  15. #15
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    Does it run?
    Magister Aviation
    www.fougamagister.be

  16. #16
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    Lovely Pete - can I have one please?

    Makes my classic cars 1275 cc A series engine look a little underpowered.
    Kind Regards,

    Brian

  17. #17
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    Back in the mid 90s I was offered a trip in a Kamov Ka-32 over the Kola peninsula with a German bloke looking for wrecks from the Great Patriotic War.

    Sadly the whole thing was cancelled when an earlier trip failed to produce anything of interest despite involving a local who had 'detailed knowledge of where the wrecks were'.
    I don't want to die, because I don't want to end up like Anita Dobson - Frank Sidebottom, actually.
    Thank you

  18. #18
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    Yes, she does run.
    I have had it fired up breifly in the workshop, but it will have to be tested properly before it goes on display in the customers business premises.
    There is still one ignition harness to manufacture or rebuild yet.

    We did build a running Merlin XX for the same customer last year, and this is fitted on a road-going test bed.

    Zoot, I will update anything I find out on this post, I cannot believe it will be that hard to find out the origins of it, after all, it was recovered and brought back to the UK, probably with the remains of the airframe.

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  19. #19
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    This engine is from Mk IX Spitfire SM639, recovered from Russia circa 1995

    'Thin but robust' provenance.

    It is in private ownership in the UK and will I am sure eventually fly.

    Mark

    Last edited by Mark12; 22nd May 2009 at 06:51.

  20. #20
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    Thanks very much Mark.
    That makes a lot more sense.
    I haven`t seen the wreckage of that aircraft, but I would imagine some of it to be in reasonable condition. Although this engine appeared to be from a surface recovery, the inlet manifolds were full of dried peat, so I assume it had laid inverted at some stage, partially covered.

    Pete
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

  21. #21
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    Just spotted the update - Pete, the engine looks fantastic - a credit to you!
    www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

  22. #22
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    So that makes three Spitfires Mk IX from Russia then. I believe that a Mk V tailsection was also retrieved from Russia and used by the Subrizky family in a restoration. As a lot of Spits have been exported east, are there more that came "back"?

    Russia must still be a source for raw material.

    Cheers

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cees Broere View Post
    So that makes three Spitfires Mk IX from Russia then. I believe that a Mk V tailsection was also retrieved from Russia and used by the Subrizky family in a restoration. As a lot of Spits have been exported east, are there more that came "back"?

    Russia must still be a source for raw material.

    Cheers

    Cees
    It was still unattached when I saw it last year.

    It is actually from a PR IV. I have a provisional ID, thin but not robust enough to launch, as evidence is circumstantial.

    Don't forget also the Norwegian/Swedish PR IV - BP923, the serial now 100% confirmed from Russian source.

    Mark

  24. #24
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    Thanks Peter,

    Do they have something to attach it to then? TE330 is sold isn't it?

    Cees
    Ultravox at Lokeren 08.08.09, I was there!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerlinPete View Post
    Here are a couple of photos of the finished engine in case anyone`s interested.
    I still cannot find the ID of the aircraft, which is a bit strange as Spitfires are so well documented. I need to do some more research.
    For the sharp-eyed amongst you, yes, we have fitted a later-pattern intercooler!

    Pete
    Crackin work Pete!!

  26. #26
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    July 2009:
    You park these engines up for a few weeks and they start breeding!

    I wish . . . .

    Pete
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned "buried crated Merlins", I could buy one!

    www.flightengineering.co.uk

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