Your own Spitfire wank

Sorry, I'm coming late to the party, but failing health limits my ability to participate in interesting threads.

My only two points would be, have the British have themselves an "Oh, shit" moment, when the Soviets come crashing into Poland, and realise that come spring, they could potentially see both the Nazi and Soviet armies hitting France, and then end up facing not only the Luftwaffe but the VVS as well.

With that thinking, the British decide in late October, 1939, to make changes to their future aircraft productions, by cutting all 2 and 4 engined aircraft orders by 50% for 1940, 1941, and perhaps even all or part of 1942.

As this is a Spitfire Wank, all the production capacity needed for the engines being built for the bigger aircraft, are instead used to make a 1:1 replacement for increased spitfire production, so for every 100 twin engined bombers/aircraft built historically in 1940, only 50 of such are built here plus 100 extra Spitfires, and for the four engined bombers/aircraft, an extra 200 Spitfires. This allows for many more Spitfires, and I don't have to come up with plans for how and why, just use historical 2 and 4 engined aircraft production and use the above to get a really good guesstimates of just how many more Spitfires we can have.

For improvements, I don't ask for anything ahead of time. Instead, keep every improvements as historical. The improvement I would posit, is simply use the historical production numbers to exist before the improvements take place, rather than dates. Given this simple system, if improvement "X" historically took place with 1,000 Spitfires had been produced, it still enters production at the same point those production numbers are reached here, and because of more Spitfires from late 1939 onwards are going to have, all improvements likewise arrive sooner.

I'm sorry if I cannot commit to doing a lot of research, but a simple replacement plan like this might still produce some interesting responses/discussion.

Some of my own thoughts:
1) With less bombers, the British will not be able to risk them like they did historically. This dictates a more risk adverse strategy, meaning that the bombers that are sent out, are taking losses less sever than historically, and while in the early days of the war, when the UK is still working out how to actually hit the target, they are loosing less people in this time frame.
2) With more fighters, the Germans loose more bombers.
3) With the combined reduced damage from the British bomber offensive (less planes total, and taking less chances early on), and their own need to replace their higher than OTL losses among their bombers, what effect might this have on German aircraft production priorities? Less emphasis on fighters, as the enemy bombers are not a significant threat (or so they believe), and at the same time, more production of bombers means even less fighters, right?

What effect does this have in 1941, when the Luftwaffe is called away for Barbarossa, and the RAF has far more fighters than in needs at home?

Spitfires historically reached the Pacific when? And in what strength?

In this alternate situation, how much sooner and in what kind of greater numbers would they confront the Japanese with in late 1941/1942?
 
Two ways of increasing Spitfire production are to, Get Castle Bromwich spanning out Spitfires by late 1939 as originally planned. This potentially gives you at least 500 extra airframes by the commencement of the BoB. Personally I would like these to be MkIII's from the get go, especially if it is armed with four 13.2mm Browning machine gun firing explosive rounds (FN Hotchkiss cartridge version of the 0.5" Browning Mg).
Secondly do the Supermarine dispersal/'expansion in September 1939 as soon as war is declared.
The only 4 engine bomber you need to cancel is the Supermarine one and that should have been still borne in the first place, keep Supermarine focused on the spitfire and nothing else.
 
Two ways of increasing Spitfire production are to, Get Castle Bromwich spanning out Spitfires by late 1939 as originally planned. This potentially gives you at least 500 extra airframes by the commencement of the BoB. Personally I would like these to be MkIII's from the get go, especially if it is armed with four 13.2mm Browning machine gun firing explosive rounds (FN Hotchkiss cartridge version of the 0.5" Browning Mg).
Secondly do the Supermarine dispersal/'expansion in September 1939 as soon as war is declared.
The only 4 engine bomber you need to cancel is the Supermarine one and that should have been still borne in the first place, keep Supermarine focused on the spitfire and nothing else.
Are you cancelling or delaying the Hurricane II to make room with the Spitfire III or advancing the Merlin by a few months so that there's capacity to do both?
 
One quick wank: the one weak point of the Spitfire all through his career was his outward retracting landing gear. Every one who -like me- ever built a Spitfire plastic model as a kid and tried to stand it up on those two wheels barely an inch apart will agree. So would the poor sods who had to redesign the spitfire into a Seafire for the RN's aircraft carriers.

To be fair, it's famous adversary, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 had the same narrow track problem. So it was probably just a common design choice at the time both aircraft were developed.

The problem: if one of Mitchell's successors would redesign let's say the Spitfire IX or XIV with a new wing that can hold a landing gear inside, would that resulting aircraft still be considered a 'Spitfire'? Or would it get a completely different name for its completely different looks?
 
Last edited:
Ok, and now for something completely different:

I do not have much of an issue with the Spitfire in 1940. (Other than that I wished the pilots who got to fly them in the BoB all had an extra 3 months of training, preferably on something like a British AT-6- expy with flaps and retractable laending gear)

My biggest question is about the later versions of the Spitfire. Yes, there was a Spitfire Mk.XXIV in 1945, but as a fighter aircraft it was already outclassed by the new generation of Hawker Tempest's and Fury's. Not to mention the American P.47 and P.51

The simple reason is that the Spitfire was by design a pure air superiority fighter/dogfighter while the Tempest, P.51 and especially the P.47 were equally good as ground attack planes. The second was that the Spitfire's chief designer Reginald Mitchel died in 1937, barely 42 years old while Hawker's Sydely Camm, aged 46 in 1940 was just entering the top of his career.

So one would wonder how a multi-role Spitfire mark 10+ would do next to a P.51 if it were able to follow through same inter-series upgrades that the P.51 received.

However one would also be left to wonder if all those upgrades would be feasible in a 1936 pure fighter design, how radical the later versions of the Spitfire would look compared to the famous BoB Mark Ib and if in the end just designing a completely new aircraft would make more sense.

Of course, all this is strictly academic because by 1945, both the Fury and the P.51 were already outclassed by the first generation of jet fighters like the Meteor and the Sarbre.
 
My biggest question is about the later versions of the Spitfire. Yes, there was a Spitfire Mk.XXIV in 1945, but as a fighter aircraft it was already outclassed by the new generation of Hawker Tempest's and Fury's. Not to mention the American P.47 and P.51
How do you figure that Spit 24 was outclassed by these fighters?

The simple reason is that the Spitfire was by design a pure air superiority fighter/dogfighter while the Tempest, P.51 and especially the P.47 were equally good as ground attack planes. The second was that the Spitfire's chief designer Reginald Mitchel died in 1937, barely 42 years old while Hawker's Sydely Camm, aged 46 in 1940 was just entering the top of his career.

Neither Tempest, nor P-51 nor P-47 were designed as ground attack planes.
Sydey Camm contributed that Beverly Shenstone went to Spitfire (and made a name for himself with the wing aerodynamics of the Spitfire) instead to get a job at Hawker when he (Shenstone) retruned to the UK, and was also a main figure of why both Hurricane and Typhoon were with thick wings. One might guess that by 1940 he was finally reaching for the top.

Supermarine after Mitchel went really meh, and really bad once jet power was in the play.
 
WI Britain give Poland 500 spitfire?
Maybe not, although I have a suspicion that a small number were sold and the order never delivered, so while 500 looks optimistic, some could be possible and may well give the Luftwaffe a nasty shock if the pilots had time to get used to them. That memory's from about 11 or 12 years back, so I can't recall anything extra.

More interesting for me is to take Naval Aviation Fan's Spitfire spam approach so there's a whole lot more available in June 1940. That should allow fully meeting British home defence needs and allowing reasonable numbers in France. I doubt it would turn the tide, but any delay in overwhelming France more than a day or so has potential to cause increasing problems for Germany in Barbarossa and creates scope for a huge impact the year after. Meanwhile, there's a good chance the same changes will also help Britain avoid the worst of the invasion panic.
Of course the alt-timeline folk will say. ' Spitfire saved us' but not realise how much more awesome they were than in OTL.
 
If you have more Spitfires in 1940 as well as the OTL Hurricanes where will the pilots come from?
Depends on how you get the Spitfires. A lot of proposals see replacements of other production with Spitfires which would probably be at less than a 1:1 ratio.

If you instead fix production in Southampton and Castle Bromwhich you need to conjure up the pilots somehow.

Most probably you see some Gloster Gladiators stood down and replaced by Hurricanes outside of the UK. There was still a couple of Gladiator squadrons operational in the UK during the Battle of Britain even if they were hidden as much possible.

If plane production is going well you react by increasing training as soon as you note a shortage of pilots.

The RAF never had a shortage of pilots per se. They had a shortage of trained fighter pilots but there was around 4,000 pilots without a plane during the Battle of Britain.

The RAF rushed fighter pilot training for experienced pilots to a mere two weeks so I'm sure pilots could be found.

I'd consider adding a number of squadrons to 13 group (North England and Scotland) for newly trained pilots to gain some operational experience in a lower threat environment (dealing mainly with Bf110s and unescorted bombers) while moving some existing squadrons from 13 group south to 10, 11 or 12 group (maybe in a ratio of 2 (or higher) squadrons with mostly newly trained pilots added for every squadron moved south).
 
If you have more Spitfires in 1940 as well as the OTL Hurricanes where will the pilots come from?
In my version of the wank many of the extra Spitfires were exported so some of the pilots will come from the air forces of the countries that they were exported to.
 
This is the uber wank.

Make the OTL Type 224 Spitfire which first flew in February 1934 the TTL Type 300 Spitfire prototype. Except that instead of the Merlin it had a Goshawk like the OTL Type 224 or a Kestrel. If combined with the improvements to the early Merlin engines that have been suggested that's enough time to have all British single-engine fighters delivered from early 1937 built as Spitfires ITTL. E.g. 746 extra aircraft for the RAF and export instead of the 746 Gladiators built 1937-40.
No comments upon the above so far or when I repeated it in Post 98. Is it feasible?

It's 2 years before the first flight of the Type 300 Spitfire prototype, 18 months before the first flight of the Hurricane prototype and a year before the first flight of the Bf109 prototype.
 
Last edited:
Possibly have the Type 224 go back to Supermarine and be used a a test bed, get rid of the Goshawk and put in an in service kestrel engine and work on radiators and drag also fit folding undercarriage get this done by September 1934 and it out performs the Gladiator. Using the lessons learnt in building these not only does Mitchel design the OTL spitfire but Supermarine increase their production facilities to build the pre-Spitfire from 1935. So production of the OTL Spitfire is ramped up sooner.
 
Here's a radical suggestion.

When Vickers buy Supermarine, which I understand was mainly to get Mitchel, they move the entire design team to their main site. This means that rather than have the Vickers staff working on the competing and failed Venom many of them are working with Mitchel on the Spitfire. Being part of a larger firm they would be able to tweak the design to make it easier to produce and have experienced people on hand when Mitchell's health finally fails able to take on further development of the Spitfire as it enters production.
 
Here's a radical suggestion.

When Vickers buy Supermarine, which I understand was mainly to get Mitchel, they move the entire design team to their main site. This means that rather than have the Vickers staff working on the competing and failed Venom many of them are working with Mitchel on the Spitfire. Being part of a larger firm they would be able to tweak the design to make it easier to produce and have experienced people on hand when Mitchell's health finally fails able to take on further development of the Spitfire as it enters production.
So you're effectively saying that the parent company merges V-A Aircraft & Supermarine into a single subsidiary. Fair enough. I'm a Barnettite on this because I think a small number of large firms would have been better than the large number of small firms that existed IOTL.

Having more "men with slide rules and drawing boards" might reduce the time taken to design & build the prototype so it would fly sooner. It doesn't necessarily need the Merlin. (After all it's rival the Bf109V1 flew with Kestrel and the B, C & D models used different engines to the Bf109E.) I've already suggested building two Spitfire & Hurricane prototypes to accelerate the completion of the development flying and for the first prototype of each aircraft to fly with a Kestrel engine so that it flies sooner.

Were there other competing projects IOTL? There was the Vickers Warwick and Supermarine B.12/36 which weren't designed to meet the same specification, but they were under development at the same time. Both companies designed twin-engine fighters IOTL, but not necessarily at the same time.

Who do think would have become the chief designer after Mitchel died? And would he have done a better job than Joe Smith?
 
Last edited:
New timeline idea!
Let me know when if you do this one please.

If you have more Spitfires in 1940 as well as the OTL Hurricanes where will the pilots come from?
This is my thought. While the RAF wasn't short of pilots as such, I wonder how many were actually suited towards being a fighter pilots?
I think the best bet would be to ask for volunteers from Bomber Command and Transport Command for pilots to restrain as fighter pilots, I think you'd probably be able to fill the seats that way I suppose?

As for making it better, the ideas I had, fuel injection, supercharger & cannons from the outset, aren't overly original and have already been suggested.
If we're going uberwank: turbo prop and contra rotation propellers.
No idea how you get that in 1940, but it could be amusing.
 
So you're effectively saying that the parent company merges V-A Aircraft & Supermarine into a single subsidiary. Fair enough. I'm a Barnettite on this because I think a small number of large firms would have been better than the large number of small firms that existed IOTL.

Having more "men with slide rules and drawing boards" might reduce the time taken to design & build the prototype so it would fly sooner. It doesn't necessarily need the Merlin. (After all it's rival the Bf109V1 flew with Kestrel and the B, C & D models used different engines to the Bf109E.) I've already suggested building two Spitfire & Hurricane prototypes do accelerate the completion of the development flying and for the first prototype of each aircraft to fly with a Kestrel engine so that it flies sooner.
I don't know if it's a radical idea, rather than common sense? But possibly just move Mitchell to the Vickers design office (Weybridge?) and leave Supermarine in situ as a separate entity?

And yes, get prototypes in the air as soon as possible, even with lower powered engines.

I'd love to see Spitfires (and particularly Seafires!) built with wide track undercarriage, but don't know enough about the mechanisms involved to comment. Is something like a geared shaft from a central drive mechanism to outboard mounted legs feasible? Or anything else without too much of a weight/space penalty? What was the answer with the Spiteful/Seafang? Were their wings any thicker?
 
Top