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"Spitfire" #789303 11/06/19 12:31 am
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gavin eisler Offline OP
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Iconic name, BSA capitalised on the famous airplanes success by naming their hot tuned twins after the famous WW2 aircraft

Lightning too.
Seems like copy write lawyers were less aggressive then, or planes got new names more often.

Turns out RR made some of the Merlin engines for the Spits around Glasgow in Scotland, probably what encouraged the Clyde Bank Blitz, Im no a historian , please correct if wrong. If So, the motor that made the plane famous that BSA pinched the name from was made in Scotland, well some at least. .
I always wondered why there were were loads of cheap micrometers in the markets ( Barras ) in Glasgow. Right into the late 80s, I bought a boxed set of Shardlow Mics for a fiver. 1 - 6 inch, about 1/2 useable, damp got the better of the rest.
.



Last edited by gavin eisler; 11/06/19 9:52 am. Reason: changed most to some.

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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789308 11/06/19 1:30 am
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Could not find any data regarding aircraft type matched with production facility.
But here are the overall production figures by location:

Packard - U.S.: 55,523 engines
Derby: 32,377 engines
Manchester: 30,428 engines
Crewe: 26,065 engines
Glasgow: 23,675 engines

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Merlin

My Dad flew bombardier in Lancs.
We got him a ride in the Mynarski Lancaster before he passed.

The sound brings a tear to my eye.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789311 11/06/19 1:44 am
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Gavin, no idea, sorry
But I do have an interesting piece of trivia concerning the BSA Spitfire.
It won the very first motorcycle race at Amaroo Park Raceway which was opened in 1967, Hosting its first motorcycle meeting on 26 February with a 30 lap production race won by Larry Simons on a BSA Spitfire in heavy rain.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789316 11/06/19 4:12 am
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A guy I knew in Tathra, where we used to live, worked in a factory in Sydney building RR Merlins he said they could hear them being tested right across town. Another neighbor, I think was Dutch, he worked on DB engines as forced labour. He told me how they made them blow up, They did a few and got lined up and searched etc but as no one was going to say what they were doing and the techs couldn't work it out so they continued on causing the occasional displeasure even with techs checking all they did.

Australia imported lots of aero engines but also built planes. Like P51s, Boomerangs, trainers, and a thing based, sort of, on a Mustang with Griffon engine it was built and tested, plus twin engine Beaufighters and others, plus later Sabers except with RR jet engines.

I read about a couple of experienced pilots who compared the P51 to an equivalent Spitfire, to see which was the better fighter, at the end of their testing they shared the same opinion; the Spitfire would win every time, provided I guess the pilot knew the P51 was there.


mark
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789320 11/06/19 6:12 am
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The irony is that the BF109 began life using RR engines before Germany could build a suitable engine.
And ended life in Spain using Merlin engines once DB engines were unavailable. It was these Spanish 109s which flew in the film The Battle of Britain.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789321 11/06/19 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
Turns out RR made most of the Merlin engines for the Spits around Glasgow in Scotland, probably what encouraged the Clyde Bank Blitz, Im no a historian , please correct if wrong. If So, the motor that made the plane famous that BSA pinched the name from was made in Scotland, .
Rather coincidentally, there was a show on the TV last night called "Scotland From the Air" which brought up that very point about the Merlin engines.

Lots of interesting stuff on this thread from the other guys as well.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789326 11/06/19 11:57 am
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The real hommage would be to put a merlin engine in to an A65 frame laughing

I always thought the merlins were built in Derby for the spitfires, didn't the US use merlins in the Mosquito?


beerchug
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789330 11/06/19 1:38 pm
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The Merlin engines made in the USA under license by Packard had many differences from the British made engines...Much of it was to simplify production and to suit American engineering practices for mass production by factory workers rather than built by hand in Britian by skilled workers.


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789331 11/06/19 1:58 pm
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Don't forget the "Meteor" engine which was basically a "Merlin" without its supercharger and its direction of rotation reversed, these went into cromwell/challenger/centurion tanks.
Many Meteors were built from crashed merlins and built by both RR and Rover


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: Allan Gill] #789333 11/06/19 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Allan Gill
I always thought the merlins were built in Derby for the spitfires,


Packard Merlins were also fitted to British aircraft. The Spitfire Mk XVI had a Packard Merlin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Spitfire_(late_Merlin-powered_variants)

"The Mk XVI was the same as the Mk IX in nearly all respects except for the engine, a Merlin 266. The Merlin 266 was the Merlin 66 and was built under licence in the USA by the Packard Motor Company. The "2" was added as a prefix in order to avoid confusion with the engines, as they required different tooling."

Packard only got the contract to build Merlins as it was originally offered to Ford but Henry Ford although no longer in charge flatly refused to allow 'his' company to have anything to do with it.


Originally Posted by Allan Gill
didn't the US use merlins in the Mosquito?


Do you mean P51 Mustang? Mosquito did too but that was one of 'ours' (de Havilland).





Last edited by L.A.B.; 11/06/19 5:48 pm.
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: L.A.B.] #789334 11/06/19 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by L.A.B.


Packard only got the contract to build Merlins as it was originally offered to Ford but Henry Ford although no longer in charge flatly refused to allow 'his' company to have anything to do with it.
.






Ford was a pacifist and did not at that time din't want to build the tools of war...A bit later he changed his mind and tried to build his own V12 aircraft engine but the US military wasn't interested. Ford did eventually build many B-24 bombers and Pratt & Whitney engines...The US military in general did not really like liquid cooled engines because they were more subject ot battle damage than air cooled...But the P51 was such a outstanding air frame (built by North Amercian avaition without gov't funding) and had excellent performance with the low altitude Allison engine, it was a natural for high altitude bomber escort with a dual stage supercharged Merlin. The Allison got better fuel milege than the Merlin but they were a small company and lacked the engineering to get non turbocharged high altitude engines into service.The British airframe manufacturers dealt directly with the companies making engines..The Americans always had to deal with interference of unrealistic military demands on new war planes..


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789357 11/06/19 7:55 pm
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I always remember my old man (Australian Army North Africa and New Guinea ) saying that one time he saw a Lancaster bomber limping across the sky on ONE engine......unreal, he never knew if the Heros on board made it to an airfield.

Lest we forget.

Last edited by Ignoramus; 11/06/19 7:58 pm.

"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789381 11/07/19 1:21 am
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I live about 10 minutes from the old Packard plant in Detroit. A sad ending to a historic place. Also Packard supplied engines for the PT boats.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789401 11/07/19 6:38 am
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BrizzoBrit Offline
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Allan:

Not quite a full Merlin engine nor a BSA, but anyway!!

https://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2015/08/19/4296075.htm

smile


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: Hillbilly bike] #789405 11/07/19 8:03 am
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NickL Offline
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
The Merlin engines made in the USA under license by Packard had many differences from the British made engines...Much of it was to simplify production and to suit American engineering practices for mass production by factory workers rather than built by hand in Britian by skilled workers.


They also developed some great modifications such as roller rockers etc. When the US built merlins were fitted with the 'pressure carburetor'
designed by RR and built by Bendix-Stromberg it allowed negative g maneuvers without the engine cutting out or the consequent over richness.
The carb although relatively complicated was very much like single point fuel injection. Consequent fuel efficiency was greater too allowing very
long range. Most radial engines were 'gas-guzzlers' by comparison and needed larger frontal area airframes with a few exceptions such as the
FW190, a splendid aircraft. Radials always sounded like tractors as well, nothing like a lovely v12.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789412 11/07/19 10:35 am
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Well Nick.....while Wright radials tend to sound rough running.....the P&W R2800 makes music that, IMO, will rival the V12 music. Find a YouTube video of a Corsair on a low, fast pass......even better in person...

thumbsup


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: BrizzoBrit] #789415 11/07/19 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by BrizzoBrit
Allan:

Not quite a full Merlin engine nor a BSA, but anyway!!

https://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2015/08/19/4296075.htm

smile


As is oft the case, the ABC producers did not do their homework.
There were at least 3 bikes running around with the arse end of a Merlin shoehorned inot a frame.
AFAIK only Lucky was stupid enough to put a supercharger & nitrous in one.
There was a picture on the wall at Sims of crates containing Merlins stacked 30' tall in the scrap yard and the special jigs & crated made to melt them.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: NickL] #789416 11/07/19 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by NickL
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
The Merlin engines made in the USA under license by Packard had many differences from the British made engines...Much of it was to simplify production and to suit American engineering practices for mass production by factory workers rather than built by hand in Britian by skilled workers.


They also developed some great modifications such as roller rockers etc. When the US built merlins were fitted with the 'pressure carburetor'
designed by RR and built by Bendix-Stromberg it allowed negative g maneuvers without the engine cutting out or the consequent over richness.
The carb although relatively complicated was very much like single point fuel injection. Consequent fuel efficiency was greater too allowing very
long range. Most radial engines were 'gas-guzzlers' by comparison and needed larger frontal area airframes with a few exceptions such as the
FW190, a splendid aircraft. Radials always sounded like tractors as well, nothing like a lovely v12.


From what I have read,the Bendix pressure carb was devloped in the USA in the late 1930's...It was used on all US combat aircraft while early in the war the Merlin still used a float carburetor...There's the story of the Spitfire negative G engine hesitation that was solved by a woman who designed a simple float needle modification..
Many US pilots preferred the huge air cooled radials for ground support because they could take a lot more punishment than the liquid cooled engines..


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: BSA_WM20] #789417 11/07/19 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
Originally Posted by BrizzoBrit
Allan:

Not quite a full Merlin engine nor a BSA, but anyway!!

https://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2015/08/19/4296075.htm

smile


As is oft the case, the ABC producers did not do their homework.
There were at least 3 bikes running around with the arse end of a Merlin shoehorned inot a frame.
AFAIK only Lucky was stupid enough to put a supercharger & nitrous in one.
There was a picture on the wall at Sims of crates containing Merlins stacked 30' tall in the scrap yard and the special jigs & crated made to melt them.


Still very impressive.


beerchug
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: Hillbilly bike] #789458 11/07/19 10:57 pm
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NickL Offline
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by NickL
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
The Merlin engines made in the USA under license by Packard had many differences from the British made engines...Much of it was to simplify production and to suit American engineering practices for mass production by factory workers rather than built by hand in Britian by skilled workers.


They also developed some great modifications such as roller rockers etc. When the US built merlins were fitted with the 'pressure carburetor'
designed by RR and built by Bendix-Stromberg it allowed negative g maneuvers without the engine cutting out or the consequent over richness.
The carb although relatively complicated was very much like single point fuel injection. Consequent fuel efficiency was greater too allowing very
long range. Most radial engines were 'gas-guzzlers' by comparison and needed larger frontal area airframes with a few exceptions such as the
FW190, a splendid aircraft. Radials always sounded like tractors as well, nothing like a lovely v12.


From what I have read,the Bendix pressure carb was devloped in the USA in the late 1930's...It was used on all US combat aircraft while early in the war the Merlin still used a float carburetor...There's the story of the Spitfire negative G engine hesitation that was solved by a woman who designed a simple float needle modification..
Many US pilots preferred the huge air cooled radials for ground support because they could take a lot more punishment than the liquid cooled engines..



The design was handed over as a gift as there was no uk company available to produce the device at the time, all were flat out or bombed out.
The carb had actually existed for a fair while in prototype form, made by SU and RR. As the US did not have any real modern fighters until post '41
they would have had no use for such a carb anyway. Then when they couldn't make any more money out of the war and after being attacked they entered it.
No offence meant, but it's the way myself and many others see it. The P51 fighter was produced to a specification issued by the brits who visited NAm and
requested they build the antiquated crap P40 thing for them, the plane that was slaughtered by the Luftwaffe in France. (The French listed it as a Curtiss type)
NAm informed the commission that they would build a better plane and they did. The early mustangs were unsuited to front line operations but were quickly
developed into the required long range escort fighter, which suited the USAF in europe but didn't do the RAF much good, the later Spits being available and
up to scratch, they used them.
'Miss Shilling's Orifice' is the device which was fitted to the float chamber to prevent the subsequent massive over richness from negative G maneuvers,
it was a stop gap really not a substitute or a cure for the main problem. It did however prevent engines cutting completely.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789549 11/09/19 1:35 am
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Clive Caldwell's antiquated P40 shot down 10 109s over North Africa, flown by some of Germany's top aces. ThHis P40 accounted for 22+ aircraft shot down in that theatre. 5 Ju87s in a matter of minutes on one occasion. I saw a beautiful restored P40 take of from Cairns airport. I heard it before seeing it. We were walking across the Tarmac from our flight, it sounded superb.


mark
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: NickL] #789551 11/09/19 2:42 am
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Originally Posted by NickL


As the US did not have any real modern fighters until post '41
they would have had no use for such a carb anyway. Then when they couldn't make any more money out of the war and after being attacked they entered it.
No offence meant, but it's the way myself and many others see it.


Well of course you do. The USA for 120 years has either been castigated for stomping around the world in their boots getting INTO wars, or castigated for not riding in to save someone's ass from a war (that someone else started) soon enough.

We're used to it. Luckily, we really don't have to give a rat's arse any more.

Be that as it may, it didn't take long for the US to get onto the fighter plane train, and especially to take advantage of British advances like angled carrier flight decks, steam catapults, jet engines, and later, jump jets and decent helicopter design ....

Lannis


I'll believe that it's a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis ...
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789563 11/09/19 5:48 am
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Not giving a rats is my take on it too. I just wanted to point out the invention was not American and that the P51 did not really do anything until 1943.
Look at the Attrition rate suffered by B17's and B24's prior to mid 43. (no long range escort) I realise the massive production facility of the 'states
was great, i'm not knocking that.
http://www.enginehistory.org/Accessories/HxFuelSys/FuelSysHx09.shtml

Mark, the top luftwaffe aces did not go to North Africa, but experienced pilots did. How that bloke managed to do anything with
one of those crates is proof he was a great pilot. Just like Frantisek the top scoring RAF pilot in the battle of Britain flying a Hurricane.
He was a Czech flying with a Polish squadron. Great eye sight and the ability to aim with deflection etc were very important then.
A lot of P40's were fitted with Merlins, it was available as a factory option but any v12 like that sounds lovely anyway.
(The Ju87 Stuka was nicknamed 'Flying coffin' by it's crews.) Dozens were shot down in 1940 whilst attacking radar installations etc.
They were a very effective dive bomber against poorly defended targets, that's about it.

Last edited by NickL; 11/09/19 6:04 am.
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789567 11/09/19 7:47 am
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OK... there a couple things to add here, the USA invented the fuel that gave the Merlin engine the ability to developed the power that it made. and Westinghouse developed the technology and metallurgy to build the superchargers that allowed that power to be maintained at altitude. the first part was a combined effort between our countries, the second was all on Westinghouse's commercial turbine experience. fact. and yea, I know aviation, that has been my career over 40 years

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789569 11/09/19 8:17 am
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I'm not singing any national anthem, i don't disagree with the fact Sun Oil developed the method of adding tetraethyl lead to petrol.
Likewise i'm not having a pop at Westinghouse's metallurgy. I don't suffer with hysterical patriotism, far from it. Congratulations on
your long aviation career. The fact remains that in many aspects of engine and airframe development the Germans and Italians
were very proficient. In fact superior in many aspects. The Japanese too had a very clever approach to fighters, what was the
effective range of a Zero? Lightly built i know but very clever, as an aerobatic plane it was terrific. It took a long while to better in
terms of maneuverability, if it ever was.

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