Guided Tour of the Spitfire PR Mk XIX – The Lobelle Canopy

Spitfire Site

This article is a part of the emerging series of illustrated articles which present construction details of the various marks of the Spitfire. The subject ...

This article is a part of the emerging series of illustrated articles which present construction details of the various marks of the Spitfire. The subject of this review is Spitfire PR Mk. XIX PM627 and its pressurised Lobelle-type canopy.

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By Graham Lewis  |  2016-03-05 at 10:23  |  permalink

May be of interest to some. My late father was an ATA pilot and flew many different types and marks of WWII aircraft. He did tell me about one day having to fly a new mark of spitfire he had never come across before. The information ATA pilots were given was minimal at the best of times. Just enough to deliver it from A to B. This particular one was unusual in that the cockpit canopy did not slide over the pilot but was placed over the pilot and screwed down from the outside by a couple of groundcrew. There was no way a pilot could bail out as he was “screwed-in”. In fact, when he arrived at his destination, he had to gesticulate to the receiving groundcrew that he could not slide back the canopy and hop out and that they had to find a screwdriver to to take off the canopy to release him. Some of these new aircraft straight from the factory did not always fly as they should, so the option to bail-out was essential. But not in this one. He didn’t see the like of it again.

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