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First B17 sent to Britain

leaselend b17 flying fortress follett bradley

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#11 ChrisMcD

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 11:33 AM

The plane is almost certainly a Spitfire PR I. It is definitely a Spitfire. If it has guns, as indicated by the gunsight, it's probably a PR IG, otherwise known as PR Mk VII. It could be on a test flight, either from Supermarine or the Photographic Development Unit.

I think you are right.  I was assuming that the PR Spitfires did not carry guns or armoured glass windscreens.



#12 curmudgeon

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 07:39 AM

I think you are right.  I was assuming that the PR Spitfires did not carry guns or armoured glass windscreens.

OK, but it looks early (pilot pose, rivetting of blister) ... what was the state of the Spitfires Cotton scrounged and modded? There is a sighting mark on the blister implying an oblique camera ...



#13 ChrisMcD

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 01:14 PM

Looks like it was a  PR Mk1G, there is a better illustration on the second site, which also lists the big canopy bubble and the guns

 

But the first site implies Cotton was out by the start of the war

 

http://www.airrecce....e_ac/RAFAR.html

 

http://www.ipmsstock...r_spitfires.htm

 

Interesting, I had always thought that the defining point of a PR Spit was the huge leading edge tanks in the wings - and thus no guns.



#14 curmudgeon

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 09:26 PM

Looks like it was a  PR Mk1G, there is a better illustration on the second site, which also lists the big canopy bubble and the guns

 

But the first site implies Cotton was out by the start of the war

 

http://www.airrecce....e_ac/RAFAR.html

 

http://www.ipmsstock...r_spitfires.htm

 

Interesting, I had always thought that the defining point of a PR Spit was the huge leading edge tanks in the wings - and thus no guns.

The first site has pretty garbled English ... but the dates are right. Cotton was dumped in mid June 1940, after France but before the BoB developed. Cotton was a pirate ... but he was also responsible for setting up aerial reconnaisance and developing many of the 'modern' methods. It was probably time for him to go, but his regular RAF replacement, Tuttle, held him in very high regard. Cotton essentially broke through, under, over, regular channels and proper procedure and establishing what PR could do. Without Cotton it is unlikely that RAF (= Allied) PR would have developed before late in the war (Cotton built a better mousetrap and customers started queueing, and the RAF had to deliver). But yes, he was a pirate.

The leading edge tanks were for long range variants. The first PR Spits were modified fighters ... with two cameras (Cotton put lead in the tail to simulate a second camera and exposed his deceit after Farnborough were happy with the performance with the one camera they had authorised ... said he was a pirate). Also Cotton introduced stereo analysis using a private contractor he knew (the Luftwaffe never used stereo, just great big beautiful plates). Being Cotton, and getting things done (there was, I believe, a war on), the finances were 'irregular', and the Air Marshalls were sticklers for 'by the book' and financial probity ...



#15 penzancealan

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 10:31 AM

Hi

 

Many thanks for the posts.

 

As regards the Flying Fortress pic, I agree that it was one of the promotional series. Why the photographer should mention the Urals, who knows?

 

As to the other of a pilot, this I am sure in an early Spit reconnaissance model. What I would like to do is identify the pilot!

 

In passing I also have a glass negative taken from the rear of a Blenheim showing an attack on ground troops.

 

Again Thanks

 

Alan 






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