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Quickboost Spitfire seat QB32 110. Which Mk??


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#1 mpk

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:51 AM

Hi guys.

 

I found one of these while cleaning up my stash. I do not recall which Mk of Spitfire it fits.

 

Does anyone know?

 

Cheers. Dale

 

01.jpg


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#2 dennismcc

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:50 AM

It looks like a composite seat with back armour and flare rack, and could be found on any Spitfire Mark apart from early Mk.I's, though the flare rack was not always present as most Spitfires had an upward firing flare system.

The plastic seats were introduced from 1940 before which the meat seat was used, though the plastic and metal seats were interchangeable.

Here's some thoughts on the subject from Edgar:

 

Modification 189 was "To introduce plastic seat as alternative design to assist production and provide alternative manufacture," and was requested from the Air Ministry in February, 1940, being cleared for use from 14-5-40. Note the use (twice) of the word "alternative." The plastic seat did not replace the metal seat, so any Spitfire could have had either type, and, even though removing the seat is a swine of a job (especially once armour was added,) a replacement could be of either type. As late as February 1945, mod 1117 was quoting "if pilot's seat is metal or plastic and has a wall thickness of less than .15". " I wouldn't place a bet on it, but I would not be surprised to find, given the dates, and their well-documented problems, that the initial idea was to supply plastic seats to Castle Bromwich, while Eastleigh, being geared up for metalworking, from the start, stayed with the metal seat. Of course, if that was the idea, the bombing of the Eastleigh works would have thrown the whole thing out of the window.
Edgar

 

And on the subject of the flare rack here is an extract from another thread.

 

Edgar, on Feb 19 2012, 12:21 AM, said:

The cartridge racks are an odd item, since they were, largely, set onto Seafire seats, and had a double rack. Post-war the racks went to a single "strip," and, of course, the seat comes from a BBMF airframe. There's also the possibility that, with cameras in the rear, the XIX didn't carry the Plessey upward-firing device, seen on fighter spines, so the pilot needed a separate Very pistol as insurance. Note, too, that, though the seat has the rack, it doesn't carry the Very pistol "holster," by the pilot's right elbow.
Edgar

 

And on the subject of back armour

 

No Spitfire had armour, behind the seat, before June, 1940. Initially, Sholto-Douglas said that, because the Spitfire was the fastest thing in the air, only an unalert pilot would allow anything to get behind him. He, of course, only anticipated fighting against the Me110, and did have the courtesy to change his mind when France fell, and the Me109 became the main protagonist. The armour, on the headrest, began to be fitted in early 1940, and aircraft were converted when time permitted. The first true armour was fitted to the front face of frame 5 (the engine bulkhead,) and this has foxed a lot of people, for years. When the first sets of back armour became available, they were issued in airfield order of priority (Manston first,) not Squadrons, with 11 Group getting first shot, and 12 Group getting what was left.

 

So that leaves a wide range of marks that could have been fitted with your seat, hope this helps

 

Cheers

 

Dennis
 


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#3 mpk

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:58 AM

Hi Dennis.

 

Some Spitfires had plastic seats??? 

 

I did not know that. 

 

Thanks!

 

I have my old Spitfire by Revell. It was the first model I attempted. I could resurrect it with that QB seat, by the sounds of it. If so, that'll save me some cash. 

 

Many thanks mate. That was more than I ever dreamed.

 

Legend!

 

Cheers mate. Dale


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#4 dennismcc

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:28 PM

Hi Dale,

             Here's some more info on the plastic seats from Edgar

 

Posted 05 September 2009 - 11:25 PM

I've found the file, on the seats, in the National Archive, at Kew, and, as I suspected, the plan was for the seats to be used exclusively by Castle Bromwich, but nothing states if that's what actually happened. The idea was first mooted back in 1938, but there was so much trouble with them not standing up to the strain, it was mid-1940 before the plans/method of construction were finally agreed, so I'd say that the date of the mod (14-5-40) must be pretty much spot on.
There's no hint of what the material was, but Tufnol never gets a mention, and Bakelite appears only once, when some old material was tried, about halfway through the war. The manufacturers were Aeroplastics Limited, in Earl Haig Road, Hillington, in Glasgow SW2; can't find them, so if any Glaswegian fancies a walk down Earl Haig Road, I'd love to know. As far as I can tell, Aeroplastics were the company that worked on a plastic Spitfire, but that's in another file, and time ran out. There is a modern Aeroplastics company, but they only started in 1972. Interestingly, because a lot of the trouble was cracking, where bolts went through the plastic, a company in Duxford, Aero Research Ltd., were asked to try using a special glue, which they'd devised, but it didn't work.
There is a photo (date indeterminate) of early Spitfires, with three, apparently plastic, seats ranged in front of one of them; since Aeroplastics seem to have supplied their seats in batches of three, for testing purposes, I'm left wondering if that photo is of one of those batches.
Edgar

 

Cheers

 

Dennis


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#5 fightersweep

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:45 PM

Re: The flare racks. I didn't get around to discussing this with Edgar, but I've never been quite sure about the idea that early Mk 1 Spitfires didn't carry the flare rack. The photo below shows an early Mk I Spitfire cockpit with the early manual retraction handle on the starboard side of the cockpit...and there is a flare rack fitted...

 

press-photo---spitfire-cockpit_14544_mai

 

Of course, this could be a later addition to an early airframe, but an interesting photo none the less.

 

Best regards;
Steve


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#6 dennismcc

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:29 PM

Yes the fitting or not fitting of the flare rack seems to be hit and miss, I have other comments by Edgar on the subject.

 

 

and the flare carrier at the front, was that there from the start? ie present on a mk1 and not a later addition?

 

No, no, and no.

This is the early metal seat; note there's no cut-out in the right side (that came later; I believe to stop any possibility of the Sutton strap fouling the raising/lowering lever.) Not visible from this angle, but the early seat had no cut-out (handhold) in the backrest, either; the first oval cut-out was in the newly-fitted armour plate. The cartridge carrier was meant for the Seafire, but appeared on various Marks, at various times; although removal of the seat is a swine of a job (the carrying framework has to be at the bottom of its travel, or the seat jams against the bulkhead as it's lifted,) either seat could be fitted. A Very pistol was planned-for, from the start, but the stowage was deleted 29-9-37; the Seafire brought it back.
That later plastic seat, of yours, is a late/middle-war variant, since it has the lozenge-shaped indentation for the dinghy's airbottle (most uncomfortable to sit on.) Early pilots just had to make do with a Mae West.
Note that the metal seat (which I photographed only this year) has been modified to take the post-war QS harness; I could go on, ad nauseam, about the mythical "Q" harness, on Spitfires, but this is not the time, or place. Suffice to say, stick with Sutton harnesses, and don't shove the straps through the backrest, unless you're working on a (very) late/late war Mark.
Edgar

 

And

 

 

Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:23 AM

The Verey cartridge rack is more usually associated with Seafires, since Spitfires had their own system (the hole about halfway along the spine.) This was rather like a sixgun body with shotgun-sized cartridges, operated by a pull-handle beside the left side of the seat, so there was no need for a second system. As the seats were completely interchangeable, though, it was entirely possible to "borrow" any seat that happened to be lying around. All this means that you can leave it off (which probably happened in the majority of cases,) or fit it, and nobody can say that you're wrong.

 

And

 

 

The flap position indicator was deleted mid-June 1940, and, since it was common practice to modify master drawings, that probably explains why you're unable to find a drawing showing the dimension (I haven't got one.)
Also, note that the seat with the Very cartridge rack is metal, therefore probably made by Supermarine themselves to a drawing which includes the rack. The plastic seat didn't have the rack as standard, though they did appear, especially on Westland-built airframes, probably designed for the Seafire.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis


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#7 mpk

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:50 PM

Wow.

 

This is what happens at this place. One asks a simple question and gets a fully detailed answer that includes information one never dreamed of learning.

 

Awesome!  :goodjob:

 

Thanks so much, Dennis. :)


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