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Another puzzle photo

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  • Carpetbagger
    I was only asking....
    • Mar 2006
    • 431

    Another puzzle photo

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit for your attention the attached photo, purportedly of a Mk1 Spitfire, which it clearly is not.
    The owners relative is the man in the trilby hat, Mr. Ted Henry. A Woolston Supermarine works supervisor at the time.
    His son would like to know:-
    The aircraft type?
    Names and roles of the other gentlemen in the photo (Is that Mutt Summers in the middle?)?
    Date of the photograph?

    This may be a tall order but I thought if anyone can help it would be the members of this forum.
    Apologies for quality of the pic, best I have at present.

    It's over to you, thanks.
  • bazv
    olde rigger
    • Feb 2005
    • 5875

    Supermarine Spiteful/Seafang


    • adrian_gray
      Which idiot let HIM in?
      • Jan 2000
      • 2983

      Agreed - if that whacking great hole in the fuselage is a camera port that might pinpoint the version better (says the non-expert)?

      Who and whenever, they look bloody cold - especially the chap on the right!

      Last edited by adrian_gray; 2nd March 2019, 08:36.
      "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.


      • Spiteful
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Sep 2005
        • 215

        Looks like a Seafang 32. Looking at the undercarriage door, it looks like part of a 3, so most likely VG483 I would guess.
        Last edited by Spiteful; 2nd March 2019, 11:26.


        • Sopwith
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Mar 2009
          • 1515

          Agreed on Seafang 32 too. Sorry can't help with anything more.


          • Robert Whitton
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2005
            • 1340

            I think there were only 2 Seafang 32's built (with contra rotating propellors) VB895 and VB893. I have only seen photos of VB895.
            Robert Whitton,
            Edinburgh, Scotland


            • viscount
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Mar 2011
              • 392

              Not being too familiar with the Seafang 32, had a look at the Wikipedia entry, the 'time-frame' for the photo would appear to be 1946-1947. From the details in the Wikipedia entry, would speculate that a 'group photo' of staff would most likely around the time of the June 1946 first flight - although the clothing worn would suggest a rather cool day!


              • R6915
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2013
                • 148

                I have asked a friend who was working at High Post and then Chilbolton for Supermarine's 1946 onwards if has any recollections and he's looking at the photo submitted but no answers yet aside from a verbal comment best not printed!

                Morgan & Shacklady are not very helpful either, I also checked the Les Colquhoun bio. Fly High Fly Low. Very little there on pages 116 and 118 except that he did fly VB 895 from High Post to Chilbolton on May 25th 1947 and a number of other occasions.

                Looking at the frozen staff gathering in front of the aircraft well, history tells us that winter 1947 was bitter and awful and lengthy. So, was the photo possibly taken at High Post in winter 1947? I do not believe that central figure is Mutt Summers, the roster of test pilots at High Post around that time, Colqhoun tells us that the Supermarine Experimental Flight included , Quill, Lithgow, Guy Morgan, Derry, Dave Morgan, Robarts, Chunky Horne, Pee Wee Judge and himself. There's also mention that High Post airfield was usefully located by road not too far from Hursley Park. That being the large estate and country house where Supermarines moved to when bombed out of Woolston in 1940. Hursley Park also had a hangar where some airframe prototype asembly took place. Were the Seafang 32 protpyes assembled there?

                There's a website that possibly helps a little

                Finding a clear port side view of a Seafang 32 seems, so far, impossible to find. But there a few Seafire FR 47 on some websites. They appear to show a camera port a little further towards the rear of the fuselage. I think that's another question for a Seafang 32 expert to enlighten us.


                • Spiteful
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Sep 2005
                  • 215

                  In this picture you can see through the camera port throught to the other side.


                  • Spiteful
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Sep 2005
                    • 215

                    Here is a clear picture


                    • Flat 12x2
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Sep 2003
                      • 508


                      It can't be Hursley Park or High Post as there is a WW1 type hanger behind, same as these in the pic below
                      So it's taken at an old airfield/aircraft factory somewhere....

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Wide open & turning left


                      • skyskooter
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Oct 2012
                        • 409

                        The guy in the trilby hat third from right appears to be holding a fag. So close to an aircraft that is more than naughty.


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