Models: Spitfire Mk Vb Trop

(Hasegawa 1/48th JT6: Spitfire Mk Vb 'I.R. Gleed')

Spit Mk Vb (33 kb)
The plane modelled: Spitfire Mk Vb with Aboukir air filter and clipped wings

Spit Mk Vb Trop Model (36 kb)
Spitfire Mk Vb of 244th Wing Commander Ian R. "Widge" Gleed, Tunisia, 1943

Using their initials as aircraft markings was a common practice amongst Wing Commanders in the RAF.

The clipped wings were a way to optimize the plane performance (especially roll rate) for low-altitude fighting; these Spitfires were known as "LF" Spitfires.

Spitfires that were programmed for deployment to the Mediterranean and North African theaters of operation, had modifications made to the aircraft's induction system, because of the harsh desert climates, sand, and other environmental problems. Two different air filter systems were used on these planes which altered their previously streamlined looks. The Aboukir Tropical Filter system, as seen on Ian R. Gleed's plane, had a shorter intake scoop, while the Vokes system, used for filtering out the fine desert sand, had a longer intake outline. Both the tropical and desert Spitfires were also used in Mid East and Far East operations.

Standard Mk V air intake Aboukir tropical filter Vokes desert filter
Standard Mk V air intake Aboukir tropical filter Vokes desert filter

For more info on the Spitfire family, you can have a look a my Spitfire page.


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Copyright ©: Christophe "stof" Arribat -
B&W pictures from Squadron/Signal "Supermarine Spitfire in action"
Color picture from MiniDocavia n°11, "Les chasseurs Britanniques 1933-1999", Editions Larivière