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Spits with auxiliary fuel tanks?


Ron Bell
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I'm reading Holland's "Sicily '43". In a chapter entitled "Airpower", he tells a story of a pair of Spitfires out of Malta equipped with "auxiliary fuel tanks that could be discarded ..." I'm no aircraft expert, but I don't recall ever hearing mention of Spits being so equipped nor seen a photo of one. Anyone out there have more info on this?

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If you Google “Spitfire drops tanks” a lot of info and photos come up. In particular, Spitfires were equipped with drop tanks for ferrying flights to Malta. Perhaps that is what the author was referring to. 
 

Nick Filippone

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Although you have to consider the age and the lack of sophistication compared to what's put into kits these days; as I recall, the original Monogram 1/48 Spit Mk IX came with a centerline drop tank as an option. I think it was something that it was capable of carrying, but the missions didn't require it very often.

 

Gil :smiley16:

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Boy, Gil, have you got a good memory!  The drop tank on the 1/48 Monogram Spitfire IX never occurred to me until you mentioned it. I also now recall-if memory serves- that that kit had retractable landing gear, as I believe the 109 in that series also had. Still, it seems odd that Monogram chose a Spitfire with a drop tank as it is not a feature often associated with any Spitfire, as Ron has suggested. Perhaps by chance, they were working from a particular photo of a not so usual variant of the IX. My other thought was this: could they have started designing the kit with the idea of an operable “ gimmick” such as the bomb dropping mechanisms in some of the other kits in this series such as the Dauntless and the Helldiver, but than gave up on incorporating it in the final design? Nick

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