Nicely done, that merlin sounded mighty happy to be running again! This Spitfire MK XVI rolled out of the hangar for its first engine run in 17 years! It happened on 16 January 2015. They had been flying it after they opened Fantasy of Flight (the world’s largest private collection of vintage aircraft), but there was like an AD on the landing gear bolts and we grounded it. It took several years to get the proper bolts but by then They'd moved on to other things and it just sat.

Well they finally got back on it, and here's the first engine run they did on her in 17 years. At first it didn't want to start. The mixture control was not marked on the throttle quadrant and I may have flooded it . . . so they came back later for another try, and they got it running. Here's the clip.

They still had a bit of work to finish painting the newly covered tail feathers and hooking them all up. Also, Andy was dealing with some leaky undercarriage legs and it saw they had a leak in the air system as the brake pressure didn't come up as fast as it should.

About Spitfire MK XVI 

The Supermarine Spitfire was a British single-engine, all-metal, low-wing monoplane fighter. Various modifications served as fighters, interceptors, high-altitude fighters, fighter-bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. One of this variants was the Spitfire MK XVI.  

The Mk XVI variant was very similar to the Mk IX; however, it was powered by a US-manufactured Packard Merlin 266 engine. A total of 1,054 Spitfires of this variant were produced by Castle Bromwich. All production variants had the distinguishing feature of low-altitude clipped wings and a cut down rear fuselage and bubble canopy for increased visibility. The clipped wings increased the roll rate and top speed due to a reduction in drag, but sacrificed some of the fighter’s rate of climb. This, coupled with an engine optimised for efficiency in denser air made the Mk XVI ideally suited to combat at lower altitudes. 

Armament for most Mk XVIs consisted of 2 × 20 mm Hispano II cannon - each with 120 rpg - and 2 × .50 calibre Browning machine guns - each with 250 rpg. 1 × 500 lb (227 kg) bomb could be carried underneath the centre rack, and 1 × 250 lb (114 kg) bomb could be slung under each wing. Some production aircraft had rear fuselage fuel tanks in addition to the main tank which allowed it to fly approximately as far as the Spitfire Mk VIII. Problems with the licence-built engines limited introduction to front-line squadrons for several months.


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