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Spitfire Site

The canopy rails on pressurised Spitfires were of entirely different construction than that on a standard fighter. Developing an air-tight cockpit hood posessed some ...

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The canopy rails on pressurised Spitfires were of entirely different construction than that on a standard fighter. Developing an air-tight cockpit hood posessed some serious engineering problems, and all early high-altitude fighters displayed various problems in this area, which were usually “solved” at the expense of pilot’s comfort and safety. One notable example of this was the unsuccessful first pressurised Spitfire version, the Mk. VI.

The problem found its final solution through an ingenious design by Mr. Lobelle of Fairey Aviation. Lobelle came up with the innovative canopy rails with an integrated locking system that “clamped” down the hood when closed.

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