The Spitfire throttle quadrants vary depending on the Spitfire Marks. In the Merlin powered Spitfires the quadrant body was basically the same. From Griffon powered Spitfire Mk XIV onwards the quadrant was a new design. Handles and details also varied depending on whether they were equipped with a bomb release button or Gyro Gunsight (GGS) twist grip.
Spitfire Mk I Throttle Quadrant early
Spitfire prototype K5054’s first trials were made in 1936 and in 1938 were the first MK Ia Spitfires in production. The early Spitfire was equipped with a fixed pitch two-bladed propeller, which was later changed to a two-pitch/three bladed unit. In mid-1940 the propeller was converted to constant speed/variable-pitch. The Spitfires which were equipped with two-pitch propellers, the airscrew control lever situated next to the throttle quadrant. When the variable pitch unit was introduced, the airscrew control lever was combined to the quadrant. This early Mk I quadrant is equipped with a mixture lever and booster cut out lever, which were used up to Mk V Spitfires.
Spitfire Mk I – V Throttle Quadrant
This quadrant represents marks from late Mk I to Mk V and is detailed as the original ones. For example there is a gate when pulling the throttle lever to the combat power and a back limiter for the airscrew control lever. The gate is indicated by a label fitted outside the quadrant.
A Mk V with only a throttle lever section. The quadrant plate is made according original Spitfire part.
Spitfire Mk IX and XVI Throttle Quadrant
With the Merlin 66 engine the quadrant was equipped with an Idle Cut-Off or Fuel Cut-Off lever and didn’t have the mixture lever. The version with Merlin 63 engine was without the Idle Cut-Off lever in the quadrant (cut-off valve was fitted below the instrument panel). The quadrant plate also differs from the early ones.
Mk IX GGS Throttle Quadrant
Here we have a repro construction quadrant for late Mk IX and XVI Spitfires equipped with Gyro Gunsight. The lever was cut and the large GGS handle was added. This handle is original and needs some restoration. The connection to the lever is not correct in all details but shows how it was fitted to the quadrant. The handle was connected to the gyrosight with bowden cables and when the pilot twisted the handle he adjusted Span & Range Graticule in the sight. The electric wire comes from the handle button and goes to two terminal blocks: one for the bomb and the other for the camera.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
Mk XIV Throttle Quadrant
The larger quadrant was used in the Griffon powered Spitfires. You can find it nowadays in some restored MK IX or XVI Spitfires also.
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