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Evolution of the Spitfire: Supermarine Type 224 to 300

overscan (PaulMM)

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Found these. Couldn't find a suitable topic so far :)

Source: P J R Moyes, Profile Publications 41 - Supermarine Spitfire I & II
 

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Schneiderman

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Both designs were drawn-up under Type 300; the first as a development of the Type 224, the second as a step on the path towards the Spitfire. They are extrapolations from the F.7/30 requirements and not actually projects aimed at meeting it.

All covered in Beyond the Spitfire, to be published on 2nd May http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,26604.0.html ;)
 

robunos

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I've seen the second drawing several times before, but not the first one.
I was thinking, if the first fuselage design had been used as the basis for the development of the Spitfire, would we have seen a bubble canopy equipped Spitfire sooner? And what effect would that have had...?

cheers,
Robin.
 

Schneiderman

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The first drawing has been in circulation for a long time, I think it first appeared in a book named Spitfire by Taylor and Allward in 1946.
The Type 224 fuselage, which was retained for this early Type 300 project was basically of square section from the firewall bulkhead rearwards and not ideal for a high-speed interceptor, later iterations were a big improvement. As for the bubble canopy, when did technology reach the point when it was possible to blow large, optically distortion-free plexiglass items? Not in 1936 for sure, but it is an interesting thought.
 

Schneiderman

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Supermarine were aware that the Type 224 was flawed even before it first flew and had initiated studies on ways in which it could be improved. The easy option was to modify the prototype as quickly and cheaply as possible by using as many of the existing components as possible. One of the 1/16 scale wind-tunnel models was revised with a new deepened front fuselage and wing centre section with RAF 34 section and 4 deg dihedral, matching the outer wing panels. This replaced the symmetrical section NACA 0018 anhedral original inner wing. Whether these modifications were amongst the suggestions offered to the Air Ministry in early 1934 I do not know but no further work was carried out on the idea.
 

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airman

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On page 10 of British Secrets Projects report that Supermarine Type 300 was projected to be powered with Goshawk engine : the same of Supermarine Type 224 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Type_224 ) .
 

Schneiderman

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airman said:
On page 10 of British Secrets Projects report that Supermarine Type 300 was projected to be powered with Goshawk engine : the same of Supermarine Type 224 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Type_224 ) .
Correct, both of the project drawings posted by PaulMM were powered by the Goshawk. The change to PV-12 (Merlin) occurred right at the end on 1934 in a version of the Type 300 project design that does not appear to have been survived. This is the project that was approved by the Air Min and served as the true basis for the Spitfire.
 

robunos

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Schneiderman said:
The first drawing has been in circulation for a long time, I think it first appeared in a book named Spitfire by Taylor and Allward in 1946.
The Type 224 fuselage, which was retained for this early Type 300 project was basically of square section from the firewall bulkhead rearwards and not ideal for a high-speed interceptor, later iterations were a big improvement. As for the bubble canopy, when did technology reach the point when it was possible to blow large, optically distortion-free plexiglass items? Not in 1936 for sure, but it is an interesting thought.
I was unaware that this early version of the type 300 used the type 224 fuselage, as you say, not ideal.
Regarding an early 'bubble-top' Spitfire, my reasoning was that starting with a cut down rear fuselage with separate fairing, would lead to an all-round view canopy sooner than actually happened. Of course in the mid-to late 30's, blown canopies were beyond the state of the art, but a multi-part canopy, as used in the Bell 'Cobras', Japanese Zero fighter, or Heinkel He112, was achievable...

cheers,
Robin.
 

Schneiderman

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Very true, restricted visibility was, perhaps, the greatest concern regarding the final Spitfire design. The adoption of the Malcom hood and various styles of rear-view mirror partially addressed this in the early years. Supermarine produced some rough sketches of a revised design that raised the cockpit by around 6" but these were not pursued.
Gloster's contemporaneous submission to spec. F.5/34 had a canopy which provided all-round visibility and this received high praise from the test pilots.
 

hesham

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From Aeroplane Monthly 2008/7,

here is early concept drawings to Spitfire ?.
 

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Grey Havoc

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More like a newer (1940) rival design, especially as with regards to the Photo-Reconnaissance role.
 

Schneiderman

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From Aeroplane Monthly 2008/7,
here is early concept drawings to Spitfire ?.
Always worth reading the text that accompanies the images.
1 and 3 have nothing to do with Spitfire development, they are conceptual ideas by Alfred Faddy for a PR aircraft in 1940.
The lefthand drawing in 2 comes from Morgan and Shacklady's Spitfire book. It is not an actual Supermarine drawing and not drawn by Faddy. It is basically a guess what the initial elliptical wing version of the Type 300 may have looked like. Personally I doubt that it ever looked like that.
 

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