Spitfire MkLFV - AE-A (EP120) Sqn Leader Northcott, 1943
by Pablo Calcaterra © 2003 Modeler Site
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EP120 is the serial number of the plane of Canadian Northcott. Several things make this plane an interesting one to build:
It can now be seen flying in the English skys once more during several air shows…as I did at RIAT 2000 at Cottesmore! The only modification it has now is that it does not have clipped wings but elipctic ones, to improve handling at low altitudes during the air shows.
A History of the Clipped wings Spitfires
The clipped wing Spit MkV was developed as an interim answer to the superiority and performance at low level of the FW190A. Basically, the Spitfire LF V was different to the standard fighter in the following items:
1. Clipped wings: to get more speed and better acceleration, some inches of the extremes of the wings were cut, thus loosing the beautiful elliptic shape of the Spitfire. The momentum caused by the wing was reduced, and these Spitfires, regretfully, had their turning radio increased.
2. Merlin 45, 50 or 55 M engine: modified to have more power at low altitudes. The carburetor was modified (hence the M), and the diameter was reduced to 9 inches. This gave the engine +18 lb at 6000 ft.
Most of the clipped wing Spits were b models (or even Mk1) that had already seen combat in other squadrons in 1940/41, and therefore, were quite "tired".
As a consequence, pilots called this model the "Clipped, cropped, clapped Spity"
Clipped: because of the wings
All these modifications gave the plane an increase in speed of 5 miles per hour below 9000 ft, the plane could dive faster and also had a better acceleration and rolled better. Maximum speed of the clipped Spit with the Merlin M was 339 miles below 3000 ft and 356 miles/hr below 6000 ft.
Though the pilots that flew her were not very happy with the performance (mainly because of the age of the planes and the stress provoked to the engine by the modifications of the carburetor), it cannot be denied that the plane was more able to fight against the FW190A at low altitudes, and even in June 1944 eleven RAF Squadrons used the Clipped Spit over the beachhead in Normandy.
Some aces that flew the LF VBs were
North American David Fairbanks, 501 Sqn RAF, 1944. He later was one of the greatest Tempest aces of the war.
I choose Northcott's plane, as Stephen Fochuk from Canada sent me the decals for free, along with the instructions.
As I said before, it's Hase's JT5. It originally has decals to build a tropical Spit, a Turkish one or another one with tropical filter but European scheme. Luckily, parts to build a LF are also included and so I sent the elliptical tips to the spares box along with the tropical air intake. The only other modification I did to the kit was the inclusion of the Airwaves seatbelts.
The worst area to work on was the union of fuselage to the upper half of the wings. Not to spoil it with putty, I used liquid corrector for typewriters, but it took several evenings to get it right.
Green 30 and
Using a set solution, there was almost no silvering. Roundels and stencils are from Hasegawa, and the letters, serial number, kill marks and "City of Winnipeg" came from the sheet passed by Stephen (thanks!)
To Stephen Fochuk, who sent me the xeroxed info and the decals for free from Canada, thus proving that we are all members of a true international model community!
Spitfire Mark V aces, Dr. Alfred Price, Osprey