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Thread: The Seafire

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    The Seafire

    "While Sarah Hill and I were taping the first Central Missouri Honor Flight special in the Ozark Hangar at Columbia Regional Airport in January 2009, I noticed Jim Cooper working on a plane in the corner of the hangar. I love airplanes and this sight piqued my interest.

    The corner was enclosed by plastic from floor to ceiling and inside sat a plane, wings folded toward the ceiling and a paint job that left more to be desired. It was the Seafire XV - one of only a handful still in existence. As soon as I saw the plane and learned a few facts about it, I knew I wanted to do a story on it and follow Cooper through the rest of the restoration process.

    Cooper had already been working on the Seafire for nearly a year and half by the time we met, but there was still plenty of work that had to be done. I started shooting that night and throughout the next year and half, whenever Cooper would move to a different stage in the restoration, he'd call and I would head to the hangar to shoot video. I didn't shoot every part of the process, but tried to capture the big ones ?cleaning the plane, painting, revealing the paint job, testing the landing gear, testing the engine and of course the first flight.

    After 10 trips to the airport, 130 miles and nearly 6 hours of video, it was time to start the editing process. Once all the video was in the system, I spent 14 hours typing the details from of every sound and interview captured in the video. That log was essential in writing the story. I needed to know exactly what was said in order to organize everything into a story that would hopefully hold people's interest. After I had a rough script written, I began to edit the video. After about 15 hours in the edit bay tweaking every little audio and video cut?then re-tweaking them?I was finally finished. Nineteen months later. It was a tough job picking the best four minutes from six hours of video, but in the end, I think I accomplished what I set out to do."

    This airplane is one of only four known Seafire Mk. XVs to exist in the world and it may be the only flying Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV in the world. Dr. Wes Strickler's immaculate Supermarine Seafire Mk. XV (also known as the "hooked Spitfire") is based in Columbia, MO, was restored by Jim Cooper, and made its first post-restoration flight in 2010. The Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire specially adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. The Seafire's mission was primarily as a short range interceptor. The name Seafire was derived by abbreviating the longer name "Sea Spitfire".

    The Mk XV variant of the Seafire was powered by a Griffon VI (single-stage supercharger, rated at 1,850 hp driving a 10 ft 5 in Rotol propeller. It appeared to be a naval Spitfire F Mk XII but was an amalgamation of a strengthened Seafire III airframe and wings with the wing fuel tanks, retractable tailwheel, larger elevators and broad-chord "pointed" rudder of the Spitfire VIII. The engine cowling was from the Spitfire XII series, being secured with a larger number of fasteners and lacking the acorn shaped blister behind the spinner. A vee-shaped guard forward of the tailwheel prevented arrestor wires getting tangled up with the tailwheel.

    One problem which immediately surfaced was the poor deck behavior of this mark, especially on take-off. At full power the slipstream of the propeller, which swung to the left (as opposed to the Merlin, which swung to the right), often forced the Seafire to swing to starboard, even with the rudder hard over on opposite lock. This sometimes led to a collision with the carrier's island. The undercarriage oleo legs were still the same as the much lighter Merlin engined Spitfires, meaning that the swing was often accompanied by a series of hops. This undercarriage also gave it a propensity of the propeller tips "pecking" the deck during an arrested landing and occasionally bouncing over the arrestor wires and into the crash barrier.

    Wing span: 36ft 10in. Max takeoff weight: 7,640 lb. Max speed: 359 mph. Power: 1,850 hp.




    Alastair

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    Re: The Seafire

    Hi Alastair, is the 'I' in the story your good self ?

    If yes, I had no idea of your detailed interest in this subject - just like me and my son.

    We go to air shows whenever we can, last year we were down at Prestwick.

    Thanks for the information.

    Ranald

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    Re: The Seafire

    No its not Ranald. I have a contact that sends me in the odd email when he comes across something that he thinks will interest me. As we have an Armed Forces forum here I thought it would be of interest to readers here and thus the post.

    Alastair

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    Re: The Seafire

    Must be the updated version of the famous Spitfire, the wings etc. are the same.

    Cheers,

    Hugh

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    Re: The Seafire

    Hugh, although the following link gives some idea about the Spitfire - Seafire connection, it is not technical detailed.

    http://freespace.virgin.net/john.dell/seafire.htm

    Ranald

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    Re: The Seafire

    Ranald,

    I will put up one or two [maybe more] of some machines to whet your appetite


    Gordon.


    Hawker Sea Fury incredible display Hahnweide 2013 .


    Quote : Beautiful display of the Hawker Sea Fury Sea on Saturday at Hahnweide 2013. The smoke generators on the wingtips make nice pictures in the sky, even if it is not visible in the video. I prefer to concentrate at filming the plane, which can be difficult enough. The Hawker Sea Fury is one of the fastest propeller fighters, equipped with a Wright R-3350 engine with 2.480PS. The output has been increased in this modified racing aircraft to 2900PS. Just sit back and enjoy!





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    Re: The Seafire

    Warbird Engine Starts Props & Radials .


    We have the sound, all we require now is the smell..............better than any French perfume



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    Re: The Seafire

    Supermarine Seafire Mk.XVII .


    The Supermarine Seafire Mk.XVII SX336 was built by Westland Aircraft Ltd. at Yeovil and handed over to the FAA on May 3, 1946. It was withdrawn from operational use in 1954 and sold as scrap. In 1973 the fuselage was recovered from the Joseph Brierley & Son scrap yard in Warrington, Lancashire, together with parts of SX300. Rebuilt to airworthiness the aircraft was registered as G-BRMG to Peter J. Wood of Twyford on September 19, 1989 where she remained until 2001.





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    Re: The Seafire

    These posts have put me in mind of air displays I have attended here at what is called "Warbirds over Wanaka" - a biennial held here on Easter Weekend. I have found this footage of the 2012 event.



    (That landing of the Yak at 3:30 looked a bit dodgy to me!)

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    Re: The Seafire

    The Hawker Seafire was perhaps the fastest piston engine aircraft ever built; too late for the second world war but used by the royal navy after the RAF cancelled their order at the start of the jet age. I understand that it saw some action early in the Korean war and acquitted itself against newer aircraft.

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