Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 12, 2018 14:31:27 GMT 12
This comes from the collection of photos in the Nelson Provincial Museum, and they credit it to the Ellis Dudgeon Collection. It appears to be a Hurricane of No. 151 Squadron RAF who flew as night fighters I believe,and you'll note the silver fern and NZ on the cowl.
Post by phasselgren on Aug 13, 2018 4:04:21 GMT 12
I recognised the fern leaf from colour plate of Hurricane Mark l V6931/DZ-D in Hurricane Aces 1941-45 by Andrew Thomas. It has the mark of Irving Stanley 'Black' Smith a New Zealand Ace in the RAF. There is also a photo in the book. Both colour plate and photo are from other side of the aircraft but it only has 3 three exhaust stubs on this photo. He claimed one He 111 probably destroyed flying V6931.
Post by phasselgren on Aug 13, 2018 4:51:55 GMT 12
Besides Hurricanes 151 Squadron also flew Boulton Paul Defiant Mk l during this period. Both aircraft having the Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Looking in the Turret Fighters by Alec Brew I see that the Defiant Mk l usually had 3 exhaust stubs but some had 6.
The Mk III and Mk X (Canadian) had a Packard Merlin could that be why the 6 stubs?
Hurricane I DZ-D flown by New Zealander Flt Lt 'Blackie' Smith at Wittering 10 May 1941
'All-black Hurricane I V6931 / DZ-D of No 151 Sqn wears the New Zealand fern leaf decoration chosen by its regular pilot, Kiwi Flt Lt I.S. 'Blackie' Smith. The ace made his first night claim - and his last flying the Hurricane - in this aircraft during the Blitz on 10/11 May 1941, when he was credited with an He 111, probably destroyed.' ... ...'Blackie' Smith was a flight commander with No 151 Sqn when it switched to nightfighting. He flew this aircraft for the first half of 1941, and probably used it to destroy an He 111 over London on the night of 10/11 May 1941. A Kiwi, Smith decorated the nose of the fighter with a New Zealand fern leaf. This aircraft was also flown by several of the squadron's other notable pilots, including Sgt Alan Wagner.'
From: Osprey, Aircraft of the Aces 57 - Hurricane Aces 1941-45
An interesting shot, thanks for sharing it Dave. So far as I could find out online, the serial number is for batch of MkIs produced by Gloster however there is a note that says: "Third production batch of 1,700 aircraft built by Gloster Aircraft Co, to contract 85730/40/23a. Powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin III or Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engines, driving Rotol or De-Havilland three blade variable pitch propellers. Aircraft delivered between July 1940 and August 1941, average rate of production 4-5 aircraft per day."
I believe that Hurri has a Merlin XX (I don't think the Merlin III could fit that particular type of Rotol prop? Don't quote me on that) which would make it a MkII. As for the exhausts, I'm not a Hurri expert but with the Spifire the old triple fish-tail type could, and were, be replaced like on Mackie's Spitfire Vc if I recall correctly so I imagine that has happened with V6931.
I know the 3 outlet exhausts were replaced on early Mark Spitfires later in the war. From memory the 3 outlet type were crack prone but the other reason is with the individual exhausts available it was properly easier to replace the old style rather than repair it. It's hard to tell in the photo but the Hurricanes Night Fighters had a thin plate attached between the exhausts and the cockpit blocking the glare from destroying the pilot's night vision. I would have thought there would be more glare with 6 outlets than three.
The Auster should be recognised for what it is: a gentleman's aerial touring carriage and a nice aeroplane.
Does not appear to have any flame shroud from what I can see and that would have been a huge disadvantage. If you've never seen a Merlin at full song at night the amount of flame is incredible. The 'shroud' could simply consist of a plate of metal over the top of the exhausts extending beyond the rear of the last stack unit.
I don't know what difference is between the two types of exhaust stacks in regards to the amount of glare during night flying but the individual type seen here were definitely less draggy, worth a few more mph to the top speed. Mustang51, I think baz62 isn't referring to that type of shroud but rather the (blinkers?) type situated between the cockpit and the exhausts like this one: