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Replica Spitfire MK IX
 
   


5 / 8 size

The Aircraft: In 1981, flight mechanic Henrik Bjørnaa decided to build a 5:8 scale replica of a Spitfire Mk IXe. The construction kit was supplied by Thunder Wings in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was based on fibre glass reinforced plastic strengthened with carbon fibre. The engine was a 350 hp V-12 E-type Jaguar, modified for use with an aircraft. A four-blade propeller was bought from Germany. The landing gear can be retracted into the wings and is based on the Varga Kachina Main Gear Leg. It has a single shock absorber based on a spring and oil instead of gas and hydraulics. The system requires very little maintenance owing to its simplicity. The instruments and cockpit were made as true to the original as possible.

The Aircraft's Fate: In 1993, the aircraft was transported from Lena to Gardermoen. It had been cast in one piece and the wings could not be dismantled, so transportation was a complicated affair. Equipment fitting, painting and testing were all carried out at Gardermoen.

The plane was marked AH-V, the same as the museum's own Supermarine Spitfire had been marked on May 10, 1945.

Once all inspection and approval papers were in order, the plane was tested on the ground. On August 2, 1995, Bjørnaa was due to carry out a high speed test at the airport. This involves accelerating to such a high speed that the tail wheel leaves the ground, and the aircraft is thus running beyond stall speed. When the tests had been completed and the plane still maintained a speed of 85 knots, the throttle was pulled back, perhaps a little too quickly, and the tail quickly lost its lift, the wing's angle of attack increased and the plane took off. Without engine power, the plane stalled, the right wing dropped abruptly and the plane fell down on to its right wheel with such force that the landing gear collapsed, the right wing hit the ground and the propeller was splintered.

After the crash, the civil aviation authority demanded such extensive control of the plane, that Bjørnaa decided it was not worth it. Therefore, the plane was given to the Aviation Museum in Bodø, where it is shown as example of experimental aircraft built by amateurs in a garage.


TEKNISKE DATA
LENGDE: 6,5 m
VINGESPENN: 8,0 m
HØYDE: 1,8 m
MAKS. VEKT: 1300 kg
MAKS. HASTIGHET: 450 km/t
MAKS. HØYDE: m
REKKEVIDDE: 1950 km
MOTOR: Jaguar car engine V12 350 Hp
ANDRE OPPLYSNINGER:
 

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