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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:05 am 
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A2A Spitfire Crew Chief
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Alan_A wrote:
Back to mods and upgrades, and a general question - do we know how the pilots felt about the move to constant speed and an engine-driven hydraulic pump for the gear? I'm guessing the changes would have been popular given how much else they had to think about. I remember Wellum (on that Spitfire familiarization flight) being puzzled that he had to pump the gear down when his Harvard didn't require that - seemed to think it was a step back. I'm also remembering a reference in Daniel Ford's book about the Flying Tigers about how happy the pilots were with the P-40Es, thought the cockpit arrangements were much better. Was there anyone who preferred the old tech?



Well, I must admit, when I flew different club aircraft of the same type but different years/models, I had my favourites but I wouldn't say that was due to features/lack of. More due to performance or ethereal charm. I can't say I ever noticed the "improvement" of not having to bother with Carb Heat in the R's or differing radio stacks for instance. I tended to just fly whatever I was in, the way it needed to be flown. Having said that, the biggest benefit of the CSU is not having to worry about over rev in combat/aerobatics. Again, I have no preference having done many, many hours of aeros in fixed pitch, CSU is different (and probably easier) but not enough to make ME have a preference.....but then I wasn't looking over my shoulder watching out for my life!

I suspect anything that lightens workload is generally appreciated but most of the early pilots had learned on aircraft a LOT more crude than the early Spitfires. So with the huge benefits of that new toy, I wouldn't have thought that the odd inconvenience or missing feature would have been much of a drama.

Did anyone prefer the old tech? Well, I can think of one example... Galland famously said that a closed in cockpit was not a good thing for a combat pilot and that one should be able to "smell" the enemy.

regards

D

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Killratio wrote:
Did anyone prefer the old tech? Well, I can think of one example... Galland famously said that a closed in cockpit was not a good thing for a combat pilot and that one should be able to "smell" the enemy.


Now that makes all kinds of sense to me. And if FSX/P3D could really capture open-cockpit flying... Hmmm, maybe something for a (far-)future tech AccuFeel...

Makes sense that lower workload would be a priority, and I'm guessing better ergonomics/more sensible cockpit layout would be meaningful, too. One advantage of the Mk II for sim flyers like me that jump around among several aircraft is that the prop control isn't reversed, which makes for fewer type-reversion problems.

On the other hand... I have to admit that some of my most satisfying Spitfire flights have been in the oldest-possible A2A variant, with the fixed-pitch prop (and a 19 Squadron paint, of course). There's something about it that seems perfectly balanced compared to the others. Could be that Mitchell knew what he was doing... 8)

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