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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 18th August 2017, 05:28
Broncazonk Broncazonk is offline
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Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

What caused this prop-strike and nose-over?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Geb8GXtqIMw

Different angle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnVAPfCgjxI

Were the late Mk Griffon-powered Spitfires THAT hard to handle on take-off?

1) The pilot was neutral on the elevator, but the speed was fairly low, so...

2) Was this caused by a soft runway?

3) Or were the brakes dragging? (Parking brake didn't fully release?)

Bronc
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Old 18th August 2017, 12:25
dp_burke dp_burke is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

I am sure the French authorities will carry out a full investigation and that will be available on their website in due course.
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Old 18th August 2017, 13:06
Larry Larry is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

I'm appalled at the lack of motorised crash rescue and late arrival of the fire engine!

Those who ran from the crowd on to the runway were quite brave considering what might have happened if the fuel had exploded.
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Old 18th August 2017, 15:23
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

Spits were know for prop strikes on take off (very little clearance).

An old Spit pilot was telling 'stories' at a local air show and one of these was of delivering Spits to Egypt. A Polish WC took off and couldn't understand why the engine was running rough. Thought about landing but kept going. Turned out he had ground 3" or so off the end of the prop blades from a ground strike while taking off.
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Old 18th August 2017, 16:21
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

Which is why these valuable and rare a/c should not be flown.
It is obvious that the pilot raised the tail too quickly (above horizontal) and the result was inevitable.
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Old 19th August 2017, 00:30
Revi16 Revi16 is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry View Post
I'm appalled at the lack of motorised crash rescue and late arrival of the fire engine!

Those who ran from the crowd on to the runway were quite brave considering what might have happened if the fuel had exploded.
This wasn't an airshow, it was a simple fly-in at a small local airport that the Spitfire just happened to attend. That is why there wasn't any emergency equipment on the airfield.
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Old 19th August 2017, 01:01
Revi16 Revi16 is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Beaman View Post
Which is why these valuable and rare a/c should not be flown.
It is obvious that the pilot raised the tail too quickly (above horizontal) and the result was inevitable.
Thankfully you are not in charge. The aircraft can be rebuilt.

The majority of Spitfires flying are "new" build to begin with. If there weren't flyers, there wouldn't be a demand to build them.

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Old 19th August 2017, 01:05
Broncazonk Broncazonk is offline
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Re: Late Mk Griffon Spitfire Nose-over on Take-off

From, Handling Qualities of WW2 Fighters, given in March 2004, by Dave Southwood to the Flight Test Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society:

"The engine torque and propeller slipstream produce considerable effects and tailwheel aircraft are inherently unstable on the ground. Probably the greatest vice of the Spitfire is that it is very 'tail light' due to a short longitudinal moment arm of the CG from the mainwheels …. sharp brake inputs or large power increases without full aft stick inevitably cause the tail to leave the ground …

A particular problem can occur during engine checks at high power. The thrust line is above the mainwheels and produces a powerful nose down pitching moment that is opposed by the moment of the CG about the mainwheels and the aerodynamic down force on the tailplane and elevator due to propwash and any headwind component. If the tail should rise, closing the throttle will reduce the problematic nose down moment due to the thrust. However, it will also reduce the propwash over the tailplane and elevators, thus reducing the aerodynamic tail down moment and often making the tail rise even further.

Unfortunately, once the tail has started to rise in this situation there is often no recovery."


The pilot at the controls was Cédric Ruet, and rumor is, this was his very first "flight" in that aircraft.

Bronc
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