The Spitfire’s electrical power was supplied by a 750 W engine driven generator mounted on the port side of its 12 cylinder Merlin Engine,
During flight, the generator charged the aircraft's 12v 40 AH accumulator battery, mounted behind the pilot's seat.
The power line was equipped with a suppressor to reduce any interference with the Spitfire's VHF radio equipment.
A regulator, mounted behind the pilot's headrest ensured that there was a consistent, non-fluctuating voltage supply to the electrical system no matter what the engine speed. This was connected to a Volt Meter mounted high on the right hand side of the instrument panel. Separate fuses were wired inline for each of the Spitfires electrically operated equipment.
Even though the Spitfire was fitted with an electrical starter, its onboard accumulator (battery) was too small to supply the electrical load to start the Merlin engine.
Initial ‘start-up’ power was supplied by a portable battery trolley connected to a plug at the bottom of the fuselage by the ground crew.
Before starting the engine, the pilot turned on the Generator switch at the top right of the instrument panel, which opened the aircraft's electrical circuits and enabled the volt meter adjacent to it to indicate the current charge.
After turning on the twin magneto switches and priming the engine via the manual fuel pump, the pilot would depress both the Boost and Ignition Starter Switches as the engine turned over. Once freely running, the ground crew unplugged the battery trolly and the aircraft was ready to taxi.
This Supermarine Spitfire Instrument comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
* Note that this Spitfire Instrument is pictured with a 1/48 scale model rather than the standard detailed, but smaller 1/72 scale. Click on the 'Model Upgrade' option at the top of this page for the larger 1/48 scale or the Super Detailed 1/32 scale Spitfire!
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