Friday, November 11, 2011

Spitfire

The last few weeks I have been reading about the history of the Spitfire. It was a rocky road to produce the legendary fighter and at times caused great difficulties. One thing I did not realise was that when Chamberlain negotiated with Hitler the stereotype view that I heard from school primarily and other areas was that this was a cowardly act and an act of disgrace. Whilst the book goes into great detail about the production difficulties of aircraft compared to Germany and how many viewed Chamberlain as achieving a master-stroke of diplomacy by giving us more time to get prepared before the war started.

There is an interesting episode in the Supermarine factory when they are trying to produce the first Spitfires there were incredible delays that nobody could understand. At one point there was 78 fuselages and only 3 wings. There were problems in that the fuselage that was produced at a different site did not match to the wings that were produced at Woolston. It was discovered as follows:

"It was traced to the state of the tide when the riveting and bolting up of the structure took place. The wing jigs had been erected on reclaimed ground on the side of the river and, in spite of the workshop having been built on massive piles, nevertheless there was minute movement of the floor between high and low tide."

Moon stops play!

See the following link for more information on spitfire's and follow the links on the page to the BBC history site for video's on Spitfires.

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