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Thread: Spitfire Long Range Flight, Very Long Range

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Spitfire Long Range Flight, Very Long Range

    I can see these Brits sitting around a pub, and being a little bored, talking about what they might do next. Swim the channel, hey its really cold and been done so much, race the classic Isle of Man, hey that's really dangerous, motorcycles and stone walls don't mix well, and there's no money in it. So how about flying a Spitfire around the world? That will catch the imagination of any real Englishman as well as much of the rest of the world and the news sources. Now everyone knows that no matter how well a Spitfire flys and it well deserves its legendary reputation, one limitation is its lack of fuel capacity so limited range. Well, there's more to the story. the first Spits had only 90 gal U S , but later ones had about 160 gal internal with drop tanks also available. The photo recon version used to fly over Berlin and back at 36,000 feet, and post war a civilian P R version flew the Atlantic from the Azores ( or is it Canary?) to South America. Boy , I love Spitfires, but that is a long time to be sitting in that snug seat and looking down at a lot of water!!!!
    They are rebuilding a MK IX, and I assume that with no armament they will have extra wing tanks and maybe the fuselage tank so could easily have 200 gal or so of fuel, without using a drop tank. You can burn about 50 gal per hour U S at economy cruise of about 0 boost and 1800 rpm and expect a cruise speed of perhaps 240 mph depending on altitude, so a no wind range of 900 statue miles is approachable, but that of course means no real reserve and no delays or diversions for weather or other factors. It is likely doable , but what an endeavor.
    I wish them all the luck, don't know any of the folks involved personally, one guy was at Oshkosh and I hoped to meet him , but he kept pretty much to himself and behind the scenes.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 10-19-2018 at 10:19 AM.

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