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I was reading through the official Spit IX pilot notes, 3rd edition from 1946 and was surprised to read this:

 

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'INTRODUCTION

1. (i) The variants of the Spitfire IX, XI and XVI are distinguished by prefix letters denoting the general operating altitude or role and the suffix letter (e) is used where •5-in. guns replace •303-in. guns. The aircraft are all essentially similar, but the following table shows the main features that give the various versions their distinguishing letters:

 

F IXMerlin 61, 63 or 63A; two 20-mm. and four •303-in. guns.

LF IXMerlin  66;   two  20-mm.  and  four   •303-in. guns.

LF IX (e)   Merlin 66; two 20-mm. and two  5-in. guns.

HF IX       Merlin 70; two 20-mm. and four   •303-in. guns.

HF IX (e)  Merlin 70; two 20-mm. and two  5-in. guns.

PR XI        Merlin 61, 63, 63A or 70.

F XVI       Merlin 266; two 20-mm. and two  5-in. guns.

 

(ii) Merlin 61 and 63 engines have S.U.float-type carburettors, but on Merlin 66, 70 and 266 engines these are replaced by Bendix-Stromberg injection carburettors.

 

(iii) All these marks of aircraft are fitted with Rotol 4-bladed hydraulic propellers and on the majority of the aircraft the wing tips are clipped.

 

(iv) Later Mk. IX and XVIs have "rear view" fuselages which incorporate "tear-drop" sliding hoods

 

http://zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Images/spit/SPIT9MANUAL.pdf

 

Is that correct, that most late war Spitfire IXs were the clipped wing versions?

Edited by Sgt_Joch
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 Kinda makes sense. Clipping the wings improved roll rate substantially and didn't have much impact on anything other than high-alt climbing and speed IIRC.

By the end of the war there wasn't nearly as much high-altitude work for spitfires as before, so why not use the clipped wings.

But I haven't seen the production numbers. And considering the wings were swappable, might be hard to nail down.

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That doesn’t seem accurate. If we were taking about the LF.IX specifically I might be able to accept the statement but when considering the variants all listed. No. That wouldn’t be accurate.

 

The F and HF versions in particular would be fitted with normal length wings for better high altitude performance. A few HF IX models may have had the extended length wings as well.

 

As for the LF series ... when looking through photos you do see plenty of clipped wings but also plenty of standard length wings as well. I’ve never seen a breakdown of percentages of each but majority (implying to me above 75%) seems inaccurate.

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this is from WIKI, so it is worth what it is worth...

 

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Many Spitfires had their elliptically "pointed" wingtips replaced by shorter, squared off fairings, this slightly improved maximum speed at low altitude and enhanced the roll rate. While many "LF" Spitfires (e.g. the LF.IX) had the "clipped" wings, a number did not. The true distinguishing feature of "LF" versions was the fitting of low-altitude versions of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.

 

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The cut-down rear fuselage and bubble canopy, trialled on a Spitfire Mk VIII, was incorporated into very late production Mk IXs. With the cut down fuselage the lower forward fuselage tank capacity was increased to 47 gallons, while the rear fuel tanks were decreased to a capacity of 66 gallons.[39] These were the rarest of the Mk IXs and many of them featured the "clipped" wings. The great majority of these saw postwar service with the SAAF, both in South Africa and in deployment in Korea during the 1950s.

 

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

 

Looking through the available production numbers online, I don't see a breakdown by wing types, unless someone takes the time to sift through the serial numbers.

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Most Merlin-60 series Spitfires were clipped because most were LF IXs or XVIs of which nearly all were clipped. 150-grade fuel and increasing boost to +25lbs more than made up for the reduction in climb and turn due to the clipped wings, and nearly all 66/266 Spitfires were delivered after its introduction.

Edited by Talon_
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11 hours ago, Sgt_Joch said:

I was reading through the official Spit IX pilot notes, 3rd edition from 1946 and was surprised to read this:

 

 

http://zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Images/spit/SPIT9MANUAL.pdf

 

Is that correct, that most late war Spitfire IXs were the clipped wing versions?

It depends on how late in the war you consider "late". I'll post a link to a thread I created were you'll see a bunch of photos of IX and XVI aircraft in '44 and '45. I should point out that when I was searching for appropriate photos for the thread I did notice a trend that (when dated) standard wing tips seemed the norm until early '45 when the clipped tips look to be more prevalent. Given that the tips could, and were, be easily swapped at unit level and that tip type would make no change to the aircraft's designation I doubt it'd ever be possible to nail down how many had clipped wings so looking at period photos might be the only bet.

https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/35727-spitfire-ixe-3d-model-details/

As the manual you sited is post war the Merlin powered Spits the RAF still had were very late production types, built at a time when those (2nd TAF) Spits were mainly flying ground attack missions (i.e. carrying bombs) and were produced with rear fuselage tanks*, all of which massively increased the fully loaded weight of the aircraft which in turn made clipped wing tips mandatory.

*as per the manual you linked, the rear tanks were still fitted but rarely used in the post war period.

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Considering that the LF IX and LF IX (e) versions were by far the most widespread, this is probably true. Why, anyway, should they write a cliché in the official official Pilot’s Notes? 

Of course, no one mounted the clipped tips on HF IX or PR XI but they were a minority.

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On 8/6/2018 at 4:48 PM, ShamrockOneFive said:

 

As for the LF series ... when looking through photos you do see plenty of clipped wings but also plenty of standard length wings as well. I’ve never seen a breakdown of percentages of each but majority (implying to me above 75%) seems inaccurate.

Technically majority means anything over 50%

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On 8/6/2018 at 10:24 AM, Talon_ said:

Most Merlin-60 series Spitfires were clipped because most were LF IXs or XVIs of which nearly all were clipped. 150-grade fuel and increasing boost to +25lbs more than made up for the reduction in climb and turn due to the clipped wings, and nearly all 66/266 Spitfires were delivered after its introduction.

 

I'm looking through books of multiple squadrons with Spitfire IX's and I see fewer than half of the photos containing Spitfire LF.IX's with clipped wings. That would not be nearly all clipped in my estimation.

 

Spitfire's with Merlin 66 started to be delivered in 1943 and from what I understand there's some argument on if 150-grade fuel was used even by the end of 1944. Or at least on the continent. Are you talking about ADGB Spitfire's exclusively?

 

11 hours ago, bies said:

Considering that the LF IX and LF IX (e) versions were by far the most widespread, this is probably true. Why, anyway, should they write a cliché in the official official Pilot’s Notes? 

Of course, no one mounted the clipped tips on HF IX or PR XI but they were a minority.

 

A common mistake is thinking that the F, LF, HF designation pertains to wingtips of which I'm not sure if you're saying that or not. LF means that is a Merlin 66 engine fitted but does not denote the wingtips. Again, photographic evidence suggests that there are plenty of Spitfire LF.IX's, particularly those used by RAF's 2nd Tactical Air Force using elliptical wings. Not to say that there aren't clipped wing versions or that they are rare... but I don't see them in every photo or even half.*

 

(*I realize that photos aren't the be-all and end all)

 

10 hours ago, RoflSeal said:

Technically majority means anything over 50%

 

Right you are... But I don't like it :)

 

I could accept half fitted with clipped wings. But then I'd prefer they used the word half :)

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15 minutes ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

I'm looking through books of multiple squadrons with Spitfire IX's and I see fewer than half of the photos containing Spitfire LF.IX's with clipped wings. That would not be nearly all clipped in my estimation.

 

Spitfire's with Merlin 66 started to be delivered in 1943 and from what I understand there's some argument on if 150-grade fuel was used even by the end of 1944. Or at least on the continent. Are you talking about ADGB Spitfire's exclusively?

 

Spitfire LF IX production is overwhelmingly biased towards 1944:

 

Spit_twostagedMerlin_prod42-45.png.7f73074a9fbd4077151cdb452783278d.png

 

150-grade avgas was in use by ADGB Spitfires from March 1944 and by 2TAF from the 2nd week of February 1945.

 

Regarding photos, try to look for the yellow-ringed type C1 upper wing roundel, along with dark or black painted spinners and no Sky band ahead of the tail. That way you know you're looking specifically at 2TAF aircraft on the continent post-January 1945. While lots of Spitfires entered 2TAF with full wingtips, 2TAF definitely didn't feel like they were necessary. Almost any 2TAF Spitfire you can find will have clipped wings. Another thing to mention is that in January 1945 the RAF mandated that all Spitfire 14s should have the wingtips clipped on safety grounds - the reference for this is in a book I don't have, however it seems likely that any Wing operating a mixture of Spitfire 14s and IX/XVIs would likely just refit all of their Spitfires to clipped once the safety of the full-length wing was called into question.

 

2TAF Spitfire image dump below:
 

Spoiler

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

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Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Talon_ said:

 

Spitfire LF IX production is overwhelmingly biased towards 1944:

 

Spit_twostagedMerlin_prod42-45.png.7f73074a9fbd4077151cdb452783278d.png

 

150-grade avgas was in use by ADGB Spitfires from March 1944 and by 2TAF from the 2nd week of February 1945.

 

Regarding photos, try to look for the yellow-ringed type C1 upper wing roundel, along with dark or black painted spinners and no Sky band ahead of the tail. That way you know you're looking specifically at 2TAF aircraft on the continent post-January 1945. While lots of Spitfires entered 2TAF with full wingtips, 2TAF definitely didn't feel like they were necessary. Almost any 2TAF Spitfire you can find will have clipped wings. Another thing to mention is that in January 1945 the RAF mandated that all Spitfire 14s should have the wingtips clipped on safety grounds - the reference for this is in a book I don't have, however it seems likely that any Wing operating a mixture of Spitfire 14s and IX/XVIs would likely just refit all of their Spitfires to clipped once the safety of the full-length wing was called into question.

 

2TAF Spitfire image dump below:
 

  Hide contents

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

Image result for spitfire xvi

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting photos! Thanks for collecting those... I don't think I've seen very many of these before if any I have quite the collection of books pertaining to Spitfires.

 

To the best of my knowledge, yellow ring C1 type roundels would denote March 1943 (late March) and on so these would be right at the end of the war.

 

Also, I've never heard of clipped wings and Spitfire XIV's and safety as a reason for clipping them. That's really new information to me and completely interesting. Do we know what it was about the clipped wings in that regard? Concerns with group looping?

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1 minute ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

 

Interesting photos! Thanks for collecting those... I don't think I've seen very many of these before if any I have quite the collection of books pertaining to Spitfires.

 

To the best of my knowledge, yellow ring C1 type roundels would denote March 1943 (late March) and on so these would be right at the end of the war.

 

Also, I've never heard of clipped wings and Spitfire XIV's and safety as a reason for clipping them. That's really new information to me and completely interesting. Do we know what it was about the clipped wings in that regard? Concerns with group looping?

 

Yellow ring C1 roundels on the upper wing surface was exclusive to 2TAF post Jan 1945 - ADGB had no yellow ring on their C1s. The XIV clipping was due to skin wrinkling on the top of the wing roughly between the top of the oleo strut and the gun bays. RAF Fighter Command decided it was due to excessive G forces with the new powerful Spitfires so ordered a mass clipping. For what it's worth a 150 octane Merlin spitfire is not a whole lot less powerful than a 130 octane Griffon, hence my suspicion that the pilots erred on the side of caution and just clipped everything.

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6 minutes ago, Talon_ said:

 

Yellow ring C1 roundels on the upper wing surface was exclusive to 2TAF post Jan 1945 - ADGB had no yellow ring on their C1s. The XIV clipping was due to skin wrinkling on the top of the wing roughly between the top of the oleo strut and the gun bays. RAF Fighter Command decided it was due to excessive G forces with the new powerful Spitfires so ordered a mass clipping. For what it's worth a 150 octane Merlin spitfire is not a whole lot less powerful than a 130 octane Griffon, hence my suspicion that the pilots erred on the side of caution and just clipped everything.

 

Damn Talon... You're right again. I was convinced March 1945... and I remember that very strongly. Yet, I consult the books and once I see January 1945... yellow rings. Stop being so right :)

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RAF Fighter Command decided it was due to excessive G forces with the new powerful Spitfires so ordered a mass clipping.

 

Based on their intended role? There are certainly pics of full-wing XIVs around and the XVIIIs seem to have the full tips as well - given the tips are inherently interchangeable, was this carried out across the force or only in some units?

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8 hours ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

Also, I've never heard of clipped wings and Spitfire XIV's and safety as a reason for clipping them. That's really new information to me and completely interesting. Do we know what it was about the clipped wings in that regard? Concerns with group looping?

For what it's worth and to add to Talon's answers, the book in question is 'Spitfire: The History' by Morgan and Shacklady, which sometimes gets  referred to as 'the bible'*. The paragraph he's referring to says this:
"The increased loads affected a number of Mk XIVs to the extent of local skin buckling on wings and fuselage at load attachment points, and some pilots were nervously reporting the slightest wrinkle. Supermarine were of the opinion that these skin wrinkles had the advantage of showing that reasonably high loads had been applied and corrective measures could be taken. It did not, said Supermarine, imply that the aircraft was on the point of failure or that it had been seriously weakened. The RAF, however, decided that these possibilites had to be avoided and issued instructions that all Mk XIVs were to be retrospectively fitted with clipped wings."


* For those interested in this book and might like to get it some day, this book is full of info but it has its pitfalls and should be taken with a pinch of salt as it is poorly written and can sometimes be a hindrance rather than a help. For example, the paragraph I quoted above falls between sentences about the weight of several examples of the XIVe by which it gives the impression the order to clip the tips was given sometime between September and October '44 but at no point states when it was given... never mind it makes it sound like the XIVs had their entire wings replaced rather than just changing the tips!
I would only recommend this book to real Spitfire geeks who have read plenty of other literature before hand.

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10 minutes ago, EAF19_Marsh said:

 

Based on their intended role? There are certainly pics of full-wing XIVs around and the XVIIIs seem to have the full tips as well - given the tips are inherently interchangeable, was this carried out across the force or only in some units?

 

The XVIII wing was reinforced internally. In fact, this is the defining feature the separates it from the Mk XIV.

 

Remember lots of XIVs were flying before 2TAF especially in CBI and EDGB service, which is well before the clipped wing was mandated. Again, almost any picture with the yellow-ringed C1 roundels, black nose & no Sky band will have the clipped wing. Also look for pictures of bubble-canopy XIVs as these were mostly supplied to 2TAF.

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well this is turning into a fascinating thread. :good:

 

so, I understand the consensus seems to be that a "typical" setup for a 2nd TAF spitfire LF IX in 1945 would be with clipped wings.

 

what about late 1944? say the june-december or september-december timeframe. I get the impression the answer is not as clear?

Edited by Sgt_Joch
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23 minutes ago, Sgt_Joch said:

well this is turning into a fascinating thread. :good:

 

so, I understand the consensus seems to be that a "typical" setup for a 2nd TAF spitfire LF IX in 1945 would be with clipped wings.

 

what about late 1944? say the june-december or september-december timeframe. I get the impression the answer is not as clear?

 

Generally unclipped through the early part of the year but a major transitional period throughout summer and into autumn as 150-grade fuel proliferated throughout the units.

 

Thankfully we have the Mark VIII as direct comparison. These airframes were serving in the Mediterranean but never had access to 150 grade fuel and so most retained their full wings until retirement despite having the same options as the LF IX. The performance difference with the new fuel was huge - the climbrate increased to over 30m/s with clipped wings, performance the more aerodynamic, full wing Mark VIII was absolutely unable to match.

 

Edit: for 2TAF mostly full length wings in September to December is likely however you'll have to look up squadron codes on a per-photograph basis to see if you're looking at a European based aircraft or not. There were no other identifying markings specific to 2TAF at this point in the war.

Edited by Talon_
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Thanks guys, this is very interesting stuff. Somewhere I have the Price Spitfire book and the 3 volume 2nd TAF series but not to hand.

 

I'll do some searching as suggested and see if I can determine roughly when some units moved across.

 

@Talon, so as a rough time-line you would suggest full wing until around Jan when the higher octane fuel began widespread use in France and the concern about airframe loads started to surface?

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16 minutes ago, EAF19_Marsh said:

the 3 volume 2nd TAF series

 

You have these? Is there any way I could borrow them from you? I'm in the uk. I've been searching desperately for months but they're outside my affordability.

 

Regarding wing type, there's a good chance many were clipped before reverting to 130 grade in Europe which were then not restored due to pilot preference. At the altitudes 2TAF worked at, the longer wing makes such a small difference to climb and turn in exchange for such a large roll penalty that in my opinion many crews would have stuck with the clipped tips even on 18lbs.

 

Without references on a unit level I don't want to claim percentages here or there, but in my head the "general picture" of "2TAF Spitfire" has full length wings until January 1945's roundel repaint and then clipped wings thereafter.

Edited by Talon_
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7 minutes ago, Talon_ said:

 

You have these? Is there any way I could borrow them from you? I'm in the uk. I've been searching desperately for months but they're outside my affordability.

 

Regarding wing type, there's a good chance many were clipped before reverting to 130 grade in Europe which were then not restored due to pilot preference. At the altitudes 2TAF worked at, the longer wing makes such a small difference to climb and turn in exchange for such a large roll penalty that in my opinion many crews would have stuck with the clipped tips even on 18lbs.

 

Without references on a unit level I don't want to claim percentages here or there, but in my head the "general picture" of "2TAF Spitfire" has full length wings until January 1945's roundel repaint and then clipped wings thereafter.

 

They are so expensive these days. I highly highly recommend them if you get a chance to pick them up, however, as its an excellent resource and one of the best sets of books that I've owned.

2 hours ago, HBPencil said:

For what it's worth and to add to Talon's answers, the book in question is 'Spitfire: The History' by Morgan and Shacklady, which sometimes gets  referred to as 'the bible'*. The paragraph he's referring to says this:
"The increased loads affected a number of Mk XIVs to the extent of local skin buckling on wings and fuselage at load attachment points, and some pilots were nervously reporting the slightest wrinkle. Supermarine were of the opinion that these skin wrinkles had the advantage of showing that reasonably high loads had been applied and corrective measures could be taken. It did not, said Supermarine, imply that the aircraft was on the point of failure or that it had been seriously weakened. The RAF, however, decided that these possibilites had to be avoided and issued instructions that all Mk XIVs were to be retrospectively fitted with clipped wings."


* For those interested in this book and might like to get it some day, this book is full of info but it has its pitfalls and should be taken with a pinch of salt as it is poorly written and can sometimes be a hindrance rather than a help. For example, the paragraph I quoted above falls between sentences about the weight of several examples of the XIVe by which it gives the impression the order to clip the tips was given sometime between September and October '44 but at no point states when it was given... never mind it makes it sound like the XIVs had their entire wings replaced rather than just changing the tips!
I would only recommend this book to real Spitfire geeks who have read plenty of other literature before hand.

 

Going to be looking into purchasing that book. I've got a growing collection of Spitfire and RAF related books and if that's considered one of "the" books on the subject... I'm in :)

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5 minutes ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

 

They are so expensive these days. I highly highly recommend them if you get a chance to pick them up, however, as its an excellent resource and one of the best sets of books that I've owned.

 

Yeah I've been searching for months but a full set is £450 so I'm hoping to borrow somebody else's and go on a bit of a scanning spree and digitise them. 😬

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You have these? Is there any way I could borrow them from you? I'm in the uk. I've been searching desperately for months but they're outside my affordability.

 

I would send them straight to you, but it is a little complicated as they are in the loft of my flat in London that is currently rented while I am in Italy....

 

The tenants do not have access to the loft or I would ask them. I may be back in UK end of August, but still not sure yet. Put it this way, if I can think of an efficient way to get my hands on them then I will happily send them to you.

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9 minutes ago, EAF19_Marsh said:

 

I would send them straight to you, but it is a little complicated as they are in the loft of my flat in London that is currently rented while I am in Italy....

 

The tenants do not have access to the loft or I would ask them. I may be back in UK end of August, but still not sure yet. Put it this way, if I can think of an efficient way to get my hands on them then I will happily send them to you.

 

Cheers, that would be fantastic! I can pop up the M3 to London potentially or else happy to pay for a courier if we're able to sort something out!

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“The introduction of the Fw190A found the Spitfire being properly outfought for the first time and while the Mk IX was being hastily lashed together from the Mk VIII (still on the drawing board) and the Mk V (completely outclassed), the RAF came up with the idea of removing the wing tips and replaced them with squared-off wing tip fairings.

main-qimg-f7faae97c1f9901529f1c59a9428373d-c

This removed something in the region of 4 feet from the wingspan of a normal-span Spitfire, improving its roll moment (one area where the Fw190 completely outperformed it) considerably and increasing its speed at low level. Additionally, the implementation of the Merlin 45M with smaller supercharger cropper blades at the impeller yielded 1,585hp @ 2,750ft and +18lbs of boost, increasing initial rate of climb to 4,720ft per minute @ 2,000ft.

In an AFDU trial at RAF Duxford between a clipped-wing Spitfire and a standard Spitfire:

Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford

Clipped-wing (32ft 6ins) Spitfire versus standard wing (36ft 10ins) Spitfire

The following information comes from flight trial held late in 1942.

Method of test

Two Spitfire Mk Vb aircraft were selected with as near-identical performance as could be managed, the loading and equipment carried were standard in each and the propeller, engine and finish of each aircraft were similar.

A test flight was made under maximum cruising conditions and no differences could be determined. The wing tips were then removed from one aircraft and trials were carried out, each trial being performed twice to enable the pilots to be changed. The wing tips were then replaced and removed on the other aircraft and the tests repeated.

Differences in speed were taken as relative increases or decreases owing to possible instrument inaccuracies, and position error differences with and without tips.

Readings for level speeds were taken at 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 and 25,000ft, zoom climbs were made 10,000 - 15,000ft and 20,000 - 25,000ft and dives were made with similar engine settings.

Results of Comparative Tests

Level Speed

  • 10,000ft: In each case the clipped-wing Spitfire proved the faster by a small margin of about 5 mph.
  • 15,000 and 20,000ft: The average results at these two heights showed that the difference in speed is not measurable.
  • 25,000ft: The standard Spitfire is very slightly faster than the clipped-wing Spitfire.

In all level speed runs the clipped-wing Spitfire accelerated faster than the standard Spitfire.

Climb

The average difference in time during zoom climbs from 20,000 to 25,000ft was 15 seconds in favour of the standard Spitfire.

From 10,000ft to 15,000ft no differences were indicated.

Dive

In all diving tests the clipped-wing Spitfire drew away from the standard Spitfire.

Manoeuverability

At all heights to 25,000ft the rate of roll is considerably improved by the removal of the wing tips.

Roll rate for a standard Spitfire was 105 degrees per second at 200mph. This was increased for the clipped-wing version to 175 degrees per second at the same speed. It should be noted that the clipped-wing version suffered the same difficulties in the rolling plane as the standard fighter as the speed of the aircraft increased.

The response to aileron movements is very quick and very crisp. Four dogfights were carried out, starting with the standard Spitfire on the tail of the clipped-wing Spitfire. On two occasions the clipped-wing Spitfire evaded so rapidly in the rolling plane that it was able to lose the standard Spitfire and reverse the positions in about 20 seconds. On the third occasion the clipped-wing Spitfire was also able to lose the standard Spitfire. The fourth occasion was at 25,000ft and the standard Spitfire was able to keep the clipped-wing Spitfire in sight.

The minimum turning circle of the clipped-wing Spitfire at 20,000ft has been increased by 55ft at 1,025ft compared with the Fw190 turning circle of 1,450ft (RAE Farnborough figures). This slight increase does not therefore detract from the fighting qualities of the aeroplane in any way, since the clipped-wing version is unlikely to be in combat with the standard Spitfire.

Take-off

No difference was detected.

Landing

No difference was detected.

General

The view downwards over the reduced wing tips is improved considerably. The strengthening of the wing by removal of the wing tips may permit higher maximum IAS to be used.

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On 8/8/2018 at 2:54 AM, Talon_ said:

Another thing to mention is that in January 1945 the RAF mandated that all Spitfire 14s should have the wingtips clipped on safety grounds - the reference for this is in a book I don't have, however it seems likely that any Wing operating a mixture of Spitfire 14s and IX/XVIs would likely just refit all of their Spitfires to clipped once the safety of the full-length wing was called into question.

 

Are you possibly now in possession of said book?

Sounds very curious.

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Clipped wings on Mk.IXs the following rules apply:

 

1. F.IX or LF.IX makes no odds; this denotes the variant of Merlin fitted and has absolutely no regard to clipped or otherwise state of the wings. Period. End of discussion.

 

2. LF.IXe or LF.XIVe makes no odds;  this denotes the armament fitted and has absolutely no regard to clipped or otherwise state of the wings. Period. End of discussion.

 

3. I have never, ever, ever seen a HISTORICAL picture of any D-Day striped Mk.IX with clipped wings - and I've seen a lot of pictures of invasion striped Spitfires. There were a couple of squadrons with LF.Vc that did but do not confuse the two. Does this mean that no Mk.IXs were clipped in 1944? Of course not but it seems very unlikely there were many given the huge ratio images of full wing Spitfire IXs across a wide variety of squadrons in the period.

 

4. Clipped wings do become de riguer in 1945 with the 2nd TAF Spitfire units, as they start re-equipping on a large scale with the LF.XVIe and there are production line shots of XVIs coming from the factory in clipped condition; however there are also photo's of full wing and clipped wing in service at the same time: 

http://www.spitfiresite.com/photos/historic/uploaded_images/gallery06-769317.jpg

 

Edited by DD_Fenrir
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On 8/8/2018 at 12:22 PM, Talon_ said:

Generally unclipped through the early part of the year but a major transitional period throughout summer and into autumn as 150-grade fuel proliferated throughout the units.

 

Hmm, Very interesting topic.

 

I skimmed through the 2nd TAF part 3 book and what I find obvious is that of those Spitfires shown there between 01/45 and 05/45 only most of the Spitfire XVIs have clipped wings whereas the IXs and XIVs have the round wing. In case of XIVs, the clipped wings seem to appear in parallel with the bubble top in late 04/45 and 05/45. I did not see a single picture showing a Spitfire XIV "Razorback" with clipped wings.

 

Some scans from the book: 

 

 

XVI-1.jpg

XVI-2.jpg

XVI-3.jpg

XVI-4.jpg

XVI-5.jpg

XVI-6.jpg

XVI-7.jpg

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On 11/27/2020 at 4:00 PM, Bremspropeller said:

 

Are you possibly now in possession of said book?

Sounds very curious.

 

Sadly not: image.thumb.png.ea48bd06a94e9bed50a12d2e879baa43.png

I believe NH169 and RM704 are examples of clipped-wing high back XIVs

 

image.thumb.png.3c858c4bf84d86b52bd4616899458bb3.png

 

image.png.9e374f465ba01457cc2468ec1798369d.png

 

High-back F.XIVes were certainly built and delivered in 1945 - this one to Hong Kong. It's very possible that 2TAF refitted elliptical wingtips to their new arrivals at pilot/squadron request as there are many photos of FR.XIVes (built with bubbles and clipped wings) with refitted elliptical wingtips in 2TAF.

image.thumb.png.d850f5d259490ffb30c096230ce7e8f2.png

 

Also of interest, No. 2 Sqn BAF (Belgians) flew at least one shiny silver high-back F.XIVe with clipped wings from Florennes post war.

image.thumb.png.a121095d9a9805d94841b1f4dc6befac.png

 

Overall, it's impossible to say with certainty that the Spitfire XIV definitely did, or definitely did not, fly over Europe with clipped wings and a high back.

We know for certain that it flew over Europe with both wingtips and a low back - so why not give us the option regardless, to adapt our planes to a close analog of modernity in the late war period. I don't see the harm in it, and there's certainly more of a grounding in reality to give the Spit a clipped wing option than there was to provide the K-4 with the DC engine option.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Talon_ said:

so why not give us the option regardless, to adapt our planes to a close analog of modernity in the late war period.

 

Yep, agree on that for the XIVs. They could introduce the same mod option as we already have with the IX(e). Only open question for me still is at which date was it introduced for the XIVs? And 2nd question would be is the clipped wing on the XIVs specific for the E-wing or was it applied also on the 0.303 armed XIVs? Do you have any info on that?

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8 minutes ago, sevenless said:

which date was it introduced for the XIVs?

 

I reckon 3rd Jan 45 is a good guide - that's the date the new paint jobs arrived and 150 grade fuel started being disseminated so it seems logical a few more bits of RAF policy review would float around then too. It also corresponds broadly to the dubiously sourced "mandated" clipped wings due to skin wrinkling.

 

As for the clipped wingtip section itself, it works on any Spitfire wing, C or E armament. Mark XIIs demonstrate a close analogue of a clipped C armament 14.

Edited by Talon_
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2 hours ago, Talon_ said:

 

Sadly not: image.thumb.png.ea48bd06a94e9bed50a12d2e879baa43.png

 

I think you missed it, but the mentioned section in the book is already quoted in this post:

 

 

I have the book and no idea were the "early 45" date came from it's certainly not from the referenced book.

20201130_132147-min.jpg

20201130_132224-min.jpg

Edited by 41Sqn_Skipper
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2 hours ago, sevenless said:

So what is written in said book and reality in the field obviously don´t match:

 

 

Agreed. My impression is that most pictures of war-time Spitfire XIV show clipped wing on "FR" variant and standard wing for "F" variant. 

 

There's a hint that "Modification 1609" for Spitfire XIV introduced the option to have clipped wings, but only after March/June 1945. But well, it's not even a secondary source in my opinion ;)

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234921503-spitfire-frmkxive-wing-tips/&do=findComment&comment=1067448

https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/spitfire-v-me109-i-have-found-these-links-on-the-net.29431/page-23#post-851030

 

To my understanding the Spitfire XIV had the same wing as the Spitfire VIII, which had the possiblity to have clipped and non-clipped wings tips fitted.

Edited by 41Sqn_Skipper
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59 minutes ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

 

But well, it's not even a secondary source in my opinion ;)

 

Agreed.

 

Quote

Modification 1609 "To introduce clipped wingtips on Spitfire XIV" was not introduced until 8th/25th June 1945, and that information comes straight from the Vickers Spitfire Modifications ledger, held in the library of the RAF Museum

 

so without digging through the National Archives or RAF museum for the primary source for Mod 1609 we won´t know for sure.

 

also

 

That Spitfire book doesn´t happen to cite the primary source(s) for the mentioned RAF instruction(s) dating to 10/44, does it?

 

So that leaves us pretty much with dated photographic evidence and guesswork as to the possible "in the field" percentage of that alleged change to clipped wings on Spit XIV bubbletops and fullbacks. Has anyone come across any pre 10/44 Spit XIVs pics of the doodlebug hunting squadrons which sported clipped wings? I know the XIIs had them (91 and 41 Sqn), at least I can´t remember having seen a XII without them except for EN 221 (first production line plane).

 

image.png.9799569488c974c5eef1278abd90c0b1.pngimage.png.2ab8c3dba561c387f7e7421b94889891.png

 

This report ( Spitfire Mk XII Testing (spitfireperformance.com) is from 6th February 1943, carried out with EN 223 DL-B from 91 "Nigeria" Sqn. and already therein absence of wingtips/clipped wings is mentioned:

 

Quote

Checks were made with EN.223 and the speeds were found to be almost identical with those quoted, the absence of wing tips probably making up for the special finish of the prototype.

and

Quote

20........... The aircraft dives well and benefits from having its wing tips clipped.

 

Edited by sevenless
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8 hours ago, 41Sqn_Skipper said:

 

I think you missed it, but the mentioned section in the book is already quoted in this post:

 

 

I have the book and no idea were the "early 45" date came from it's certainly not from the referenced book.

20201130_132147-min.jpg

20201130_132224-min.jpg

 

Thanks! I had somehow missed this. At least it doesn't throw the date out by years!

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