XIX or 22 ?

Polémic for a SPITFIRE

Français  -  English

Since April the 30th, 2005, Christophe Jacquard, a well known French warbids collector from Dijon gives thrills to all the aircrafts lovers with his                                            Spitfire XIX s/n PS890 as for instance in Lyon - Bron  in June 2006. But that'where some of those lovers                                     scratch their head.

"What's that twin counterrotating propeller, and those balloons above the exhaust manifolds ?"

They remember the Mk XIX equipped with a 5 blade propeller, but that one, NEVER !

 Back home, they search websites and find the french Wikipedia which shows that 278 units of the Spit 22 were built using Griffon 85 engine and the 6 blades c/rotating propeller. Strangely enough,  the english Wikipedia does not give as much information and just shows a picture of Jacquard's machine as a Mk XIX.

An extensive check is required and suddenly a new document appears :  http://www.supermarine-spitfire.co.uk/spitfire_variants.html

No more doubt, the Mk XIX was never equipped with that powerplant; then what ? Is that plane a Mk 22 ?

A new search brings us to a page with the tree of all the Spit variants, including the serial numbers. It is not really easy to find one's way through it but it's worth it : the PS890 airframe got out of the assembly line as a Mk XIX. Where is the mistake ?

Back on the search engine again using the frame number associated to the owner's name (PS890 jacquard) and we find a topic that explains the problem : when she was restored, after a long life in SE Asia, the Mk XIX airframe was equipped with a powerplant cannibalized from an Avro Shackleton bomber. It would then be a Griffon 57 rated at 1960 Hp and not the Griffon 83 (2340 Hp) which was later used for the Mk 22 powerplant (see the Pegase forum to read the story of the PS890 and the Schackleton picture below). Finally, I still don't know wether I must say it's Mk XIX or 22.

Avro Schakleton

The Spitfire XIX  PS890 Cur. Vitae

(from GP90, member of the Pégase forum)

Built in  1945
Stored in ?
1951 : Sqn 51, RAF Singapour
...
Ex Thaîlande
1962 : Purchased by Ed Maloney
1968 : rebuilt for static exhibit
...
1989 : Sold to Steve Hinton
Rebuilt to flight conditions using an Avro Shackleton engine in order to beat the piston engine powered aicraft climb speed world record
...
 

 

Like many others, I dream of feeling the 20

00 Hp of that Griffon pushing my bachbone against he backrest of the seat, to loose my sight during one of those ressources  or tight turns, or to learn again how to put the final  touch to a roll, a loop or why not, an Immelman. With such a power, it must be a dream.

Thank you mister Jacquard !

Photos of the PS890 being reassembled in Dijon Darois (France)

May 2009

No more polemics : The Spitfire XIX PS890 is back to her original look

See more pictures on that forum

PS890 performance at the Coburg Air Show 2009 by rainer Fritsch

Find the currently flying Spit's here

More about the Spit's during WWII

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