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The-Pizza-Man
07-15-2006, 07:17 AM
A few questions on the rear fuselage tanks fitted on spits, particularly the ones on Mk IXs and XVIs.

1. Were they self sealing?
2. How much if at all were they utilised for combat missions?

Kurfurst__
07-15-2006, 07:40 AM
Re 2, The spitfire manuals note a sort of special clearance from commander needed to them to be used (filled up tanks were effecting CoG badly).

Because of their limitations, I belive they were useful for ferry missions - think Malta - only.

luftluuver
07-15-2006, 08:22 AM
Spitfire IX/XVI manual

http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Spitfire9_Manual.html

Pleae note that the manual is dated <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">Sept 1946</span>. This peace time and restrictions would not apply during the war.

Also note the Merlin 66, 70 and 266 had injector carbs not float type as on the Merlin 61 and 63.

ImpStarDuece
07-15-2006, 08:43 AM
Price and Wilson both say that the tanks began to be fitted during the middle of 1944.

As for the 'operational restrictions' with fuselage tanks, read the Mustang III manual and you find something very similar.

The actual restrictions are:

"41 (b) When the rear fuselage tanks are full there is a very marked reduction in longitudinal stability, the aircraft tightens in turns at all altitudes and, in this condition, is restricted to straight flying, and only gentle manouvers; accurate trimming is not possible and instrument flying should be avoided where possible.

45
(i) Acrobatics and combat manouvers are not permitted when carrying any type of external stores (except the 30-gallon 'blister' type drop tanks) nor when the rear fuselage tanks contain more than 30 gallons of fuel, and are not recommended when the rear fuselage tanks contain any fuel.

54 III Flying Restrictions
(a) Rear fuselage tanks may be used only with special permission and never on aircraft with "rear view" fuselages
(b) Acrobatics and combat manouvers are not permitted when carrying any type of external stores (except the 30-gallon 'blister' type drop tanks) nor when the rear fuselage tanks contain more than 30 gallons of fuel"


Standard practice for Mk IXs or more commonly Mk XVIs with rear fuselage tanks seems to have been to use up the rear fuselage tank first, then the drop tank, then the foward tanks.

Kurfurst__
07-15-2006, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
As for the 'operational restrictions' with fuselage tanks, read the Mustang III manual and you find something very similar.
...
Standard practice for Mk IXs or more commonly Mk XVIs with rear fuselage tanks seems to have been to use up the rear fuselage tank first, then the drop tank, then the foward tanks.


... and the 'only' difference comparared to the Mustang, that after using up the rear tank, and the drop tank, it did not have enough fuel to return on 85 gallons in forward internal tanks.

luftluuver
07-15-2006, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
As for the 'operational restrictions' with fuselage tanks, read the Mustang III manual and you find something very similar.
...
Standard practice for Mk IXs or more commonly Mk XVIs with rear fuselage tanks seems to have been to use up the rear fuselage tank first, then the drop tank, then the foward tanks.


... and the 'only' difference comparared to the Mustang, that after using up the rear tank, and the drop tank, it did not have enough fuel to return on 85 gallons in forward internal tanks. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

P-51

wing tanks > 184 gal

fuselage tank > 85 gal
drop tanks > 2x75 gal
for 235 gal

Seems the P-51 should have the same problem Kurfurst. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Did it?

Have to admire this undieing love you have for the British and especially for the Spitfire. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

The-Pizza-Man
07-15-2006, 06:03 PM
I have the 46 pilots notes myself, they are part the reason for my interest in the rear tanks. It doesn't make much sense that they would fit tanks to the bubbletop spits only to ban the use of them in any circumstances.

Any details on the tanks themselves, self sealing? Pressurised?

Does anyone know of examples of them being used on combat operations?

hop2002
07-15-2006, 06:41 PM
It doesn't make much sense that they would fit tanks to the bubbletop spits only to ban the use of them in any circumstances.

I think that's just down to post war safety standards. I believe the RAF went so far as to remove the rear tanks from their Mustangs after the war, and the restrictions they put on them during the war were, if anything, tighter than those on the Spitfire.

Ratsack
07-15-2006, 11:12 PM
It wasn't just bubble tops, either. I've seen photos of a couple of full-fuselage Mk XVIs with the fill point for the rear tank in the small, rear tranparancy.

The rear tank has nothing to do with the Malta ferry operations, which were a couple of years before the fuselage tank was introduced. Red herring.

I wonder if they ever fitted the rear fuselage tank to a MkVIII?

cheers,
Ratsack

Kurfurst__
07-16-2006, 03:18 AM
Originally posted by Ratsack:

The rear tank has nothing to do with the Malta ferry operations, which were a couple of years before the fuselage tank was introduced. Red herring.

Wrong.

Aaron_GT
07-16-2006, 03:26 AM
The Malta ferry flights involved Spitfire Vs. The tanks weren't introduced until the Spitfire IX and XVI.

Kurfurst__
07-16-2006, 04:47 AM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
The Malta ferry flights involved Spitfire Vs. The tanks weren't introduced until the Spitfire IX and XVI.

Nope, the Malta Spit Vs had a large slipper tank and rear fuselage tank - 29 gallons iirc plus a 170 gallon slipper tank.

See Alfred Price, Spitfire Story, page 136.

As a matter of fact the rear tank was introduced explicitely for ferry purposes from the start to enable Spits reaching Malta. Spit V manual also notes rear ferry tank and limitations when present.

That some would like to make a 'super long range escort fighter' out of it does not change the fact.

And, to answer the original question no1, they were not self sealing, just like the upper forward tank on the Spit (the latter was, however, had some marginal protection with dural plate)

Aaron_GT
07-16-2006, 04:54 AM
.

luftluuver
07-16-2006, 05:08 AM
The ferry tanks were just that, ferry use only. They were removed once the a/c went operational. THEY WERE NOT A STANDARD FITMENT while in the IX/XVI they were.

Kurfust is just playing one of his games Aaron.

Still waiting from you Kurfurst on why the P-51 could return to base and the Spitfire could not.

The-Pizza-Man
07-16-2006, 05:30 AM
I'm interested in the Mk IX and XVI rear tanks in particular, not the Mk V's. Have you got any detailed information on the construction of the tanks Kurfurst? I haven't read anything about them being self sealing but I can't rule it out either because I don't know the details.

The rear tank in the late Seafires were self sealing and able to be used in combat. It was only 30 gal though.

ImpStarDuece
07-16-2006, 05:42 AM
Rear fuselage tanks were adopted as standard in the post-war Griffon powered marks and the some of the war time Fighter/Recon marks as well.

The FR Mk XIV had a 31 gal rear fuselage tank.

The Mk XVIII had a 55 gallon rear fuselage tank.

The Mk 22 and 24 both had 66 gallon rear fuselage tanks.

The Seafire XVII and 46/47 all had 33 gal rear fuselage tanks.

Kurfurst__
07-16-2006, 05:43 AM
I've got some reports on those tanks, I will look it up for you.

leitmotiv
07-16-2006, 07:10 PM
There is an interesting story about the Spitfire in, I believe, Terrain's THE RIGHT OF THE LINE (his history of the RAF in WWII). Before the Mustang was given the Merlin and extra tanks, somebody in the RAF proposed turning the Spitfire into a long-range escort fighter with tanks stuck into every available space, and the use of drop tanks to complete the job. Tests were run on a Spitfire and it was clear the solution to escorting bombers deep into Germany had been found. Portal, the military head of the RAF vetoed the plan---much to the consternation of all concerned. Later, in France '44, this lack of range limited the use of the Spitfire to tactical missions while the gleeful Yanks were ranging far and wide across Germany annihilating the German aircraft on their airfields.

Ratsack
07-16-2006, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

The rear tank has nothing to do with the Malta ferry operations, which were a couple of years before the fuselage tank was introduced. Red herring.

Wrong. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gee, mature, well-developed answer, Kurfy.

Question: were the rear tanks in the Spit Vs involved in the Malta ops a standard fit?
Answer: no.

Question: were the rear tanks in the Spit IX / XVI a production standard fit when they were introduced?
Answer: yes.

Question: is there any useful connection between a discussion of the Malta-modded Mk Vs in 1942 and the standard Mk IX/XVIs of 1944?
Answer: no.

Question: is Kurfy introducing a red herring?
Answer: yes.

Question: does the title of this thread contain the word 'Spitfire', or some variation thereof?
Answer: yes.

Question: in light of the answer to the last question, is it likely that we will find Kurfy in here, poking the possum? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif
Answer: yes.

It's good to see that people are soooo predictable. Restores my faith in something or other. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
07-16-2006, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
There is an interesting story about the Spitfire in, I believe, Terrain's THE RIGHT OF THE LINE (his history of the RAF in WWII). Before the Mustang was given the Merlin and extra tanks, somebody in the RAF proposed turning the Spitfire into a long-range escort fighter with tanks stuck into every available space, and the use of drop tanks to complete the job. Tests were run on a Spitfire and it was clear the solution to escorting bombers deep into Germany had been found. Portal, the military head of the RAF vetoed the plan---much to the consternation of all concerned. Later, in France '44, this lack of range limited the use of the Spitfire to tactical missions while the gleeful Yanks were ranging far and wide across Germany annihilating the German aircraft on their airfields.

Terrific book that. I don't remember the matter you describe, but I have read elsewhere about Portal's assurances to Churchill that a long-range escort was out of the question.

Still an excellent book, in my view. Puts a lot of people in the place they should've been from the beginning... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif


cheers,
Ratsack

Kurfurst__
07-17-2006, 01:50 AM
I'm concerned for your mental stability dear Ratsack, seeing these latest complications with you talking to yourself, occasionally crying out loud :
'Heureka, I've convinced myself, me convinced by me, HAHAHAHA, me was wrong but me was right'!

At least let the mature ones discuss if you are so utterly incabable of that. This thread may turn up a lot of good info, not just your immature innuendo.

Ratsack
07-17-2006, 03:07 AM
Oh Kurfy, you infant.

Ratsack

luftluuver
07-17-2006, 03:10 AM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
I'm concerned for your mental stability dear Ratsack, seeing these latest complications with you talking to yourself, occasionally crying out loud :
'Heureka, I've convinced myself, me convinced by me, HAHAHAHA, me was wrong but me was right'!

At least let the mature ones discuss if you are so utterly incabable of that. This thread may turn up a lot of good info, not just your immature innuendo.
If it is only the mature ones that should be discussing, then why are you posting Kurfurst? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif


Still waiting to know why the P-51 could make it back to base and the Spitfire couldn't. Or is this an ignore since you got pwnd, AGAIN?

Xiolablu3
07-17-2006, 06:46 AM
Its amazing that when a simple question gets a asked about the Spit, you get Spit haters having a heart attack over a few miles of range http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

hunhunter-texas
07-17-2006, 07:32 AM
This answer your questions?? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y159/Simpaint/spit06.jpg

One of the Spitfire IX's I used to maintain had a single rear fuel tank for transit use only. Several of the pilots I knew would insist it was empty before flying the plane as they said it made the aircraft very unstable. The entry in the pilots notes would seem to back that up.

Ratsack
07-17-2006, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Its amazing that when a simple question gets a asked about the Spit, you get Spit haters having a heart attack over a few miles of range http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A more cynical soul than I might suggest that you are sinking the slipper. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I wouldn't, though. No. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

cheers,
Ratsack