Wartime and peacetime two different animals there I am afraid. Check with Temora Aviation Museum..... www.aviationmuseum.com.au refer it to Peter Harper for him to pass on to Andy Bishop (Chief Engineer).
As most Spitfires were built before the concept of "quick change engines", it is probably comparable with changing a car engine, with most time taken up with attaching and adjusting all the dozens of pipes, electrical cables, fuel system, and fancy mechanical controls such as throttle, etc. Practice in Merlin engine changes (or any other type of engine for that matter) would probably lower the time required considerably, and also reduce chances of damaging something. My ten cents worth. David D
as an adjunct to the engine change, carrying out engine overhauls on RR built merlins was a nightmare for the engineers in the field as they were all "individually" built and not massed produced as were the US built merlins. Consequently it was often found that parts were not completely interchangeable between engines even from the same manufacturing batch
The British had a penchant for this 'artisanal' approach it seems. I remember Noel Kruse in one of Dave's terrific podcasts describing the interaction between RAAF pilots flying the F-86 Sabre and RAF pilots flying the Hunter, at that time the RAF's front line air defence fighter. The 2 groups found themselves together at Changi I believe. Noel said the RAF pilots were astonished to find all the Sabre cockpit layouts were identical and hence any pilot could more or less fly any plane. The Hunters on the other had sported a plethora of layouts - for no good reason it seems, with the consequence a Hunter pilot switching to another plane had to absorb any cockpit differences before taking to the air. I wonder if this says anything about cultural differences, or was it all just down to circumstances?