Hobby Master HA8317 1/48 Scale Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk.IXc Diecast Model MJ789, FU-B, Flt Lt Henry Lacy Smith, No. 453 Sqn, RAAF
France, June 1944.
- Wingspan 23.4 cm 9.21 in Approx.
- Length 20.0 cm 7.84 in Approx.
Model features include:
- Constructed with metal and plastic components.
- Canopy displayable open or closed.
- Undercarriage displayable extended or retracted.
- Display stand included.
Hobby Master HA8317 – 1/48 Scale Spitfire Mk.IX Diecast Model.
Hobby Master 1/48 Scale Air Power Series.
Hobby Master HA8317 is a 1/72 scale diecast model of the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IXC. In the colour scheme of MJ789, FU-B, flown by Flt Lt Henry Lacy Smith. Assigned to No. 453 Sqn, RAAF, based in France, June 1944.
The aircraft first went to No. 403 Squadron RCAF on December 20, 1943, before going to No. 453 Squadron RAAF on January 31, 1944.
Henry Lacy Smith.
Flight Lieutenant Henry Lacy Smith (1917-1944) was born in Sydney, NSW, Australia. Following the invasion of France in 1940, Smith enlisted in the army. He transferred to the RAAF in May 1941. Completed initial training in Australia, and in October moved to Canada where he qualified as a pilot. Promoted to sergeant in February 1942 and posted to Britain the following month. Commissioned as a pilot officer, he joined No. 66 Squadron, RAF, in September 1942. Flying Supermarine Spitfires, conducting fighter sweeps over France and daytime escorts of bombers. Smith moved to Gibraltar during February 1943 for a month before returning to Britain. He then joined No. 132 Squadron in April and remained there for eight months. In May 1944 transferred to No. 435 Squadron RAAF, promoted to flight lieutenant and flight leader.
On the evening of June 11, while patrolling over Ouistreham, near Caen, France, Smith’s Spitfire was hit by anti-aircraft fire. His aircraft ame down in a canal, skidding along the water surface and flipping over. With no sign of Smith escaping from the cockpit, there was little hope for Smith’s survival. Posted as “missing”, Smith remained so for 66 years until his Spitfire was discovered in November 2010. Five months later his remains were buried with full military honours in Ranville Cemetery, France. In September 2011 his Spitfire arrived at the RAAF Museum at Point Cook Melbourne, Victoria and is under restoration.
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX.
Introduced in late 1941, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 proved superior to the RAF’s latest Spitfire the Mk Vb. Supermarine came under pressure to supply a new Spitfire to counter the Fw-190. Design had begun on the Mk.VII and VIII which were to use the new two-stage supercharged Merlin 61 engine. But with the start of production still a year away, the Air Ministry looked for a stop-gap measure. They decided to have the Mk.Vc air-frame modified to take the more powerful Merlin 61. Designated Spitfire Mk.IX. the first flight took place in April 1942. Even without the structural and aerodynamic improvements of the Mk VII and VIII, the Mk IX proved equal to the Fw 190. The most numerous variant of the Spitfire, it remained in service with the RAF until the end of WWII.
The Supermarine Spitfire is single seat fighter of all-metal, semi-monocoque construction. The wing and tail-plane are a cantilevered design. Early production used the ‘C’ wing and later the ‘E’ wing. The elevators and rudder are of a metal frame covered in fabric. The landing gear is retractable.
The three main variants were the standard F.IX (Merlin 61), low altitude LF (Merlin 66), high altitude HF (Merlin 70). Production of the Merlin 63 powered F Mk.IX ceased in the second half of 1943. Replaced by the Merlin 66 powered LF Mk.IX. This variant commenced operations in March 1943 and became the most numerous of the Spitfire IX variants. The HF Mk.IX, powered by the high altitude Merlin 70 entered service in the spring of 1944.
Very late production aircraft had the cut-down rear fuselage, bubble canopy and many with clipped wings. The majority of these served postwar with the South African Air Force (SAAF) in South Africa and Korea during the 1950s.
The PR Mk.IX had all armament removed and two vertical cameras installed in the rear fuselage. The longer flights of photo reconnaissance missions required a larger oil tank installed under the nose. The PR variant also used the wrap-around PR type windscreen and blue paint scheme.
The FR Mk.IX an armed Mk IXs with a single, port-facing, oblique camera. Used for low altitude missions in support of army operations. No.16 Squadron, used several FR Mk IXs painted a pale, “Camoutint” Pink. These provided excellent camouflage under cloud cover to photograph the Arnhem area before and during Operation Market Garden.
The Spitfire LF IX had a maximum speed of 650 km/h (404 mph) and a ceiling of 12,954 m (42,500 ft). A combat range of 698 km (434 mi) on internal fuel and ferry range of 1,577 km (980 mi).
The Spitfire Mk.IX armament consisted of two 20 mm Hispano II cannon and two 0.50 in Browning M2 machine guns in the wings. Up to two 110 kg (250 lb) bombs on under-wing racks plus one 230 kg (500 lb) bomb under fuselage center.
Hobby Master HA8317 – 1/48 Scale Supermarine Spitfire LH Mk.IX Diecast Model Aircraft. MJ789, FU-B, Flt Lt Henry Lacy Smith, No. 453 Sqn, RAAF, France, June 1944.