The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire came in many versions, with the prototype flying in 1936, and the last flight in RAF service in the mid 1950's. Over the course of it's development it underwent some significant changes, most notably with its power plant, which resulted in the airframe changing, but always recognisable as a Spitfire!
The instrument panels underwent changes in line with the engine upgrades too, but also because some things simply weren't needed, like the large round Flap gauge, an unnecessary instrument when a pilot could look out at the wing and get the same information.
This is the second in our line of stunning and extremely accurate Mk1 Spitfire panels. This one is appropriate for a 1940 Mk1 Spitfire fitted with a Rolls Royce Merlin III engine. A good example of this type of panel can be seen in the lovely restoration of P9374. Like all of our work, we pride ourselves on accuracy, and this has taken many hours of research to get right. It is suitable for a Battle of Britain aircraft, although during that battle (arguably the first real test of the aircraft in combat), the Spitfire was developing significantly. The annotated panel is fully engraved and infilled, and all the holes that should be, are accurately countersunk to the correct depth as called for on the blueprints. Likewise the two fuel gauge buttons are counterbored correctly. Notice in the photographs also that the Flap Control gauge hole has been correctly fitted with riveted anchor nuts.
The panel has been finished, using a number of different original sections of Mk1 panel to determine as close a paint match as possible. Originally anodised black, that chemical process does not create a jet black colour, and it deteriorates over time which results in a dark, but not black, colour.
The photographs also show the panel together with one of our own BFP (Blind Flying Panels), which are available separately, and also give you an idea of the subtle difference in the two colours. (The BFP being correctly finished in a flat black).
Spitfire Instrument Panel Mk1a 1940 for Merlin III