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2 Seat Spitfires. How Many Are There?

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    #21
    I know that this thread is about extant two-seat Spitfires but it stirred a memory of something I had read in the distant past and, at last, I found it.

    It is a 1947 report of a 'field' modification of a 'tropicalised' Spitfire Vc, in 1944 at Catania, Sicily. The pilot carried out liaison work and took his batman with him when performing these duties. A compartment was fitted in front of the regular cockpit and behind the engine. This compartment had a windscreen but no cover. The aircraft in question was ES127 of 261 Squadron (code: KJ-I), described as "almost certainly .... the first two-seat Spitfire".

    The name of the pilot is not given (nor that of the batman, for that matter).

    Comment


      #22
      Too bloody many, the Porsche Panamera of warbirds...
      If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

      Comment


        #23
        Originally posted by Ianwoodward
        The aircraft in question was ES127 of 261 Squadron (code: KJ-I)
        Field report. A great find. The 261 Squadron link is intriguing. KJ-I is the code for 4 Sqn SAAF.

        Mark



        Image:- David Whitworth


        An experiment with RR232. It is tight.
        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

        Comment


          #24
          A missed opportunity? if a mkV was fitted with mk V11 engine bearers and a mkV engine that would allow the fire wall to be extended forward (above the carry through spars) for a set of rudder pedals, also allowing the seating to be lowered.
          Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

          Comment


            #25
            Stuart,

            The diagonal fuselage cross braces between the upper and lower fuel tanks is a major engineering issue.

            Unless you want your knees under your chin a substantial reduction in the lower tank volume is required.

            Mark
            "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

            Comment


              #26
              Originally posted by ZRX61
              Too bloody many, the Porsche Panamera of warbirds...


              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

              Comment


                #27
                I hope I didn't mislead anyone. Post #21 was about a report of a 'field' modification, rather than a 'field report'. It came with the same photograph as in Post #23 but, being on newsprint, in inferior quality. My printer-scanner-copier is in for 'repair' at the moment, so this is a camera shot of said 1947 report:
                Attached Files
                Last edited by ianwoodward9; 16th April 2018, 01:13.

                Comment


                  #28
                  The reporter would seems to have mis-identified the squadron code KJ.

                  4 SAAF Sqn with code KJ were North Africa, Sicily, & Italy based, fitting in with Catania.

                  261 Sqn were India Far -East based with the squadron code FJ on their Thunderbolts.

                  Mark
                  "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                  Comment


                    #29
                    Is it possible that this was a very senior officer whose initials were used rather than the code for 261 Squadron?

                    I have very little knowledge about this subject, so I'm just casting around for an explanation that might fit the statements in that report and be congruent with the evidence in the photograph. The 'pilot' must have been pretty senior to engage in 'liaison' work, pretty senior to have a 'batman' ('bagman' might a better word in this case, but the same would apply) and pretty senior to be able to arrange for such a modification to be undertaken. And I do seem to recall that individual initials were applied to aircraft back then, instead of squadron codes, but I can't remember where I got that notion. Am I totally off-beam here?

                    Comment


                      #30
                      ES127 was a former 4 SAAF Spitfire based in Sicily and Italy from August 1943.

                      KJ was the assigned Squadron code of 4 SAAF and it has been applied in the style and form as all their Spitfire and Kittyhawk aircraft of the period.

                      KJ are not the initials of a high ranking office in this case.

                      As SM520 has South African Air Force history post WWII it was thought appropriate to apply the KJ-I to this two seat conversion.

                      The report is most probably from a 1947 issue of 'The Aeroplane Spotter'...just an enthusiast magazine.

                      Mark

                      Last edited by Mark12; 16th April 2018, 09:16.
                      "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                      Comment


                        #31
                        As I say, I have no specialist knowledge. I just found this on-line, however. Is it the right explanation? Between SAAF service and 261 Squadron service?
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                          #32
                          The same website ( http://www.saairforce.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3306 ) has another photo of it but the same explanation:
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                            #33
                            "Just an enthusiast magazine"?

                            Comment


                              #34
                              "An experiment with RR232. It is tight."
                              Just for fun, I presume? Shame, would be cool to see it fly like that
                              Magister Aviation
                              It's all in my book

                              Comment


                                #35
                                Couldn't a T14 be made?

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  I would be interested to learn why a Maintenance Unit in Sicily is undertaking a two seat Spitfire conversion for 261 Squadron based in India, Ceylon and Burma at this period of WWII flying Hurricanes and latterly Thunderbolts.

                                  A more likely scenario would be the editorial staff at the Aeroplane Spotter or whoever in 1947 did not have the benefit of the Squadron codes information that we now have and got the code wrong.

                                  I would suggest that the conversion was at the behest of the CO of the Maintenance Unit for general communications work in the area, using parts as available. As over 60% of the fuel would have had to be displaced to accommodate the passenger one might imagine the armament was removed to generate space for non standard fuel tanks.

                                  No shortage of surplus Mk V's at 156 MU Blida in Algeria at this time. Probably in excess of 100 fuselages on site.



                                  Mark
                                  "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Where are the keys to my time machine?....
                                    Under my gruff exterior lies an even gruffer interior...

                                    行雲流水

                                    Warbirdskies Blog

                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      In answer to your question, Mark12, I;m afraid I have no idea.

                                      The South African website says that 261 Squadron had a two-seater Spitfire and that ES127 was allocated to that squadron. You may know - are these two statements correct?

                                      The photo shows ES127 as a two-seater, everyone seems to accept that the photo was taken in Scicily and none of the South African personnel there at the time can recall a two-seater Spitfire on their charge. Adding two and two together doesn't always come to four but it's good starting point, surely?

                                      AEROPLANE SPOTTER may not be a definitive source but why would they say "261 Squadron"? There was no need to mention the squadron number at all if they didn't know it.

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        Merlin 70,
                                        Spitfire ML417 was never in Irish Air Corps service, the others listed are correct there were originally six but one MK721 No 160 was destroyed in a crash in 1957.It is all there in Greg Davis' new publication, well woth having.
                                        Tony K

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by IanWoodward
                                          AEROPLANE SPOTTER may not be a definitive source but why would they say "261 Squadron"
                                          Why would a certain UK monthly aviation magazine recently publish a load of inaccurate 'tosh' about the BoB film Buchons?

                                          Why would the Daily Telegraph on the 2nd April this year carry a large colour air to air photograph of a Spitfire on its front page taken by Richard Paver and credit it to another person?

                                          ...just sloppy journalists with neither the time to research nor the inclination to check there facts at prime source.

                                          Mark
                                          "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                                          Comment


                                           

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