View Full Version : Guy Martin's Spitfire

12th Oct 2014, 08:18
What looks to be a good documentary on Channel 4 tonight at 7.30. No doubt it will appear on youtube in due course for those out of the UK.


14th Oct 2014, 15:31
F/LT. John Anderson (93) & SGT. Ray Johnson (94) both served with 152(Hyderabad) Squadron.http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w516/um152sqn/Website%20bits/websitecopy2_zps9bb6a6c6.jpg (http://s1079.photobucket.com/user/um152sqn/media/Website%20bits/websitecopy2_zps9bb6a6c6.jpg.html)

14th Oct 2014, 17:15
I thought it was a very enjoyable programme, although I wouldn't have called the aircraft a re-build, rather more a replica made to original drawings. Fantastic final result, though, and a fine example of British craftsmanship.

joy ride
14th Oct 2014, 17:33
Some mildly irritating TVLand frothiness, of course, but great to see the craftspeople working on the project and get an idea of how they were made. Great to see his daughters, so clearly moved at seeing the Spit looking so magnificent again.

14th Oct 2014, 17:46
I agree that it was a very interesting programme. Just a pity about the long-haired bloke who kept leaping around.

14th Oct 2014, 18:24
My thoughts were really it would/could have been a far better programme if the makers had just concentrated on the absolute brilliant skill of the engineers making and putting together the aircraft in question, the addition of some inane comments and totally gormless looks and smiles at the camera from the obvious new "Luvvie" really didn't add anything at all .

I feel Fred Dibnah would have made a far better explanation of how the Spitfire was put together, so that people like the commentator could have sat at home and watched , Fred,....sadly he now is steaming round some where in the clouds.

Peter R-B

14th Oct 2014, 19:11
IMHO...the best ever Spitfire prog I have seen on TV,

Yes Guy Martin has an unusual style but that's the way he is...I enjoy it.....in the real world he is a skilled mechanic.

joy ride
14th Oct 2014, 19:34
I wish that programmes like this would go deeper into the engineering and mechanics, but realise this would not interest a huge chunk of the potential audience. Guy is very skilled, motivated, enthusiastic and yes, mildly irritating at times, but if he is the type presenter which a programme like this needs to get the backing to make it, then that's a price I accept!

Dibnah was superb, fantastic draftsman, illustrator and calligraphist too.

Steve Williams (The Fast Show) did a great job of presenting "Off The Rails" and "Industrial Revelations", as did Chris Barrie (Red Dwarf) on Massive Machines, adding a bit of humour but without belittling the subject matter.

15th Oct 2014, 07:30
Interesting to see engine mounting bolts going in from below with the nut on top. Split pinned nuts have been known to come loose, regardless.

joy ride
15th Oct 2014, 07:52
I always like the feeling of security by having the nut at the bottom....if it falls off you still have the bolt! I have not heard of pinned nuts working loose myself, but anything that can happen will, and anything that can't happen might!

15th Oct 2014, 13:13
Interesting to see engine mounting bolts going in from below with the nut on top
That's what I thought when I saw it, even mentioned it to Mrs. C. But if you watch carefully, it's not a bolt, but a pin threaded both ends, with recessed nuts.

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures (http://s81.photobucket.com/user/teeo1/library/Spitfire?sort=3&page=1), TVs don't photograph well.

Just noticed that the fasteners that attach the rod end to the mount tube have the nuts on top!

15th Oct 2014, 18:31
As much as I do share the initial disdain of 'upside down' bolts, this does seem to be a rather unnecessary concern when contemplated with consideration to the stresses, strains and potential catastrophe should anyone of a myriad internal threaded components let go while spinning round at amazin' speed within a Merlin at flat chat or thereabouts.

And what pray tell has been done to the ends of the threaded components of the mounting flange in the first of those pictures? That bit of butchery surely can't be a finished securing technique!!!


15th Oct 2014, 20:18
It's called peening and was one acceptable method of stopping a screw backing out of a nut in those days. Another that I noted somewhere in the programme was the use of several equally spaced centre-punch 'pops' at the emergence of the threads of the bolt from the nut. The 'pops' distorted the thread of the bolt and the surface of the nut, blending one into the other and preventing rotation.

I've had a quick web look but can't find a reference for these two methods.

joy ride
15th Oct 2014, 21:09
Peening or Peining I believe, often done with the ball end of a ball pein / ball peen hammer. Not quite sure of why the different spellings, perhaps US/UK.

I once saw a photo of a Napier aero engine (Air and Space Smithsonian I think) and the close-up showed every bolt beautifully hammered into an almost perfect dome over the end of the nut. From my experience it is great for keeping a nut on, but but not so fun if/when you need to get the nut off in a hurry

15th Oct 2014, 21:58
unfortunately the vibration present in those engines required those sorts of retention ! likewise bolts in the nose area of hunters due to vibration from gunfiring !

18th Oct 2014, 03:07
I fail to see what an interesting documentary like that needs such an irritating talking-head for. Better just to have followed the real engineers involved. :hmm:

18th Oct 2014, 08:02
It prob would not have made TV if that was the case,

Wouldn't do if we were all alike you know.....

18th Oct 2014, 12:53
. I fail to see what an interesting documentary like that needs such an irritating talking-head for. Better just to have followed the real engineers involved.

The programme needed a commentator, Guy Martin did a fair job. "The real engineers" also spoke...........


18th Oct 2014, 18:56
Loved the programme and the enthusiasm of Guy..... maybe we have been ex-pat for too long but both Mrs Smiffy and myself were, at times, completely flummoxed when trying to make out what the feller actually said at times!! Anybody else suffer the same?

21st Oct 2014, 01:33
....I think there is a subtitles facility on iPlayer....:p

21st Oct 2014, 11:39
Cant......or shouldnt....use iplayer outside of blighty!! Didnt see it via that, but for heavens sake, this is one Brit listening to another!! Surely I should be able to understand the man?!! Great programme but quite unable to understand the chap at times.

21st Oct 2014, 16:23
I enjoyed the program but I couldn't stand Guy Martin. He's as irritating as Claudia Winkleman. He wouldn't shut up with that awful accent.

I would have liked to see much more of the engineering, one minute it was in pieces, the next it was flying!

Mr Oleo Strut
21st Oct 2014, 20:45
...was an acceptable way of securing nuts when I was a Handley Page apprentice back in the sixties, but I remember that Nyloc self-securing nuts were just coming in.

cockney steve
22nd Oct 2014, 09:26
Backinthe day,it was peening, centre-popping, castellated nut and split-pin or wire,or a half-nut (locknut)....the Aerotight? self-locking nut, withthe slots onthe top-face, tri-lobalnuts, Nylocknuts, are all relatively new inventions.
Peeningaltersthe srructureof the metalat a crystalline level....wether this was advantageous, I know not. In the early 60's I builtaluminium yacht-spars. Where a through-bolt was required,a stainless stud was used, components assembled to each side, half-nuts to secure,cut off surplus and then peen over. Effectively, you had both a nut AND a rivet-head securing the fittings.....they could be free to swivel but not loosen and there were no sharpprotrusions to catch hands,ropes or sails.

Dismantling invariably meant a hacksaw , file or grinder and a new stud/nuts. never heard of a failure.

22nd Oct 2014, 13:42
A great programme with a passionate presenter who captured the precision aspects of restoring this classic Spitfire Mk.1 aircraft.
I'm sure we will be seeing a lot more of Guy and his lovely accent in the future.

I also have a sneaky feeling the ladies like Guy too.

22nd Oct 2014, 17:07
You can see him on Sunday night....his new series Speed With Guy Martin Chan 4 8pm,

He was on Radio 4 this morning.

25th Oct 2014, 08:10
Went to Duxford on Wednesday for a flight on the Rapide. Naturally looked around the GM Spit, strange there is no reference to it being the one in the TV programme. Missed opportunity ?

I was disappointed overall, last visit 10 years ago and very little has happened. The airliner group have made progress with the static airliners but I was underwhelmed. Chatting to a very nice volunteer, he remarked that IWM would love to be rid of the airliners and seemingly are more interested in corporate events than getting on with restoring a/c.

Cosford next !

25th Oct 2014, 15:51
Chatting to a very nice volunteer, he remarked that IWM would love to be rid of the airliners and seemingly are more interested in corporate events than getting on with restoring a/c.

If what is said is true, then it is a very sad inditement of the IWM. Would be very interesting to hear the IWM's comments.


25th Oct 2014, 17:13
Such a shame that Cosford chopped up there 707 and VC-10.

Mr Oleo Strut
25th Oct 2014, 23:36
Sad comment about IWM and civil airliners. So much of the UKs great aviation heritage had ended up in the national dustbin that it would not surprise me to see those old airliners go the same way. After all they've only got to leave them outside for long enough and the weather and health and safety will do the job for them. Best go and see them while we can, I think, before they end up on the scrapheap or in the USA.

Mr Oleo Strut
26th Oct 2014, 00:39
Just to say that we went to the Remembrance Day service at Duxford a couple of years ago and found it was particularly nicely presented and very touching. Sadly the weather was dreadful and it wasn't particularly busy, but I remember remarking on the stark contrast between the conditions in the newer exhibition halls and the older buildings and outside exhibits. Its certainly a pity they can't get more of the big civil stuff under cover. By chance last year we called in at Cosford on the way through to Shrewsbury and I was surprised to find it still free except for the car park charge. Didn't have time for a full visit but the big shop and outside exhibits, including a C130 Hercules and RAF Trsnsport Command Britannia were very accessible. I also enjoyed a good day with the grandchildren down at the RAF museum at Hendon fairly recently. Lots of interesting hands-on stuff for the kids, old and young, and also still free. Good luck with your visits!

27th Oct 2014, 13:29
I think the problem is that the letters stand for Imperial War Museum.

They do have civil aircraft in the exhibition hall, but it seems only those that have air force credentials.

Leaving aircraft outside does them no good at all. Down at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum those aircraft that are kept indoors remain presentable as exhibits, those left outside because there isn't enough room indoors suffer from rain, snow and ultra-violet radiation. Unless the hangar appeal drums up enough cash they will eventually end up as piles of aluminum oxide.

27th Oct 2014, 14:42
Its interesting to note that the said 'RAF Brit', unlike an actual RAF Brit has a full size main deck cargo door so its actually a civilian Brit painted in RAF colours

Actually, its a 312F, G-AOVF ex BOAC and a lot of other smaller airlines. I know that to be true as I signed the C of C for its last flight into Cosford. I honestly believed that it didn't want to go as it kept throwing up difficult electrical problems that delayed its delivery, e.g. no reverse on the props. Something the captain, John Ginns, insisted on having due to the short length of the runway. Quite right too!.

27th Oct 2014, 18:16
G-AOVF....I bet that was one that British Eagle converted in Liverpool/Speke when I was a kid...prob around 1968.


2nd Nov 2014, 08:17
Stop moaning about Guy Martin as many of these shows that are of of great interest to many people, not just those in the business, as without the likes of him we would not have such shows.

4th Nov 2014, 07:37
I loved the programme; although could have done with some sub-titles as I found Guy Martin very difficult to understand at times.

4th Nov 2014, 08:59
I watched the programme and found Guy Martin incredibly irritating.

Then I found out he was a super bike champion and strapped himself to one of those beasts and hurtled around the Isle of Man etc.

He went right up in my estimation even with the sideburns and over the top accent:ok:

4th Nov 2014, 09:45
Guy Martin was irritating and his pieces to camera were either unintelligible or just plain crass. I guess that's the price for pandering to a dumbed-down audience.

It's a shame Raymond Baxter is not still with us.

4th Nov 2014, 11:44
It's 'horses for courses'. Frankly, I'd never even heard of Guy Martin before, and it certainly wan't 'his' Spit'. There are plenty of people in aviation who'd have been vastly more knowledgable, able and effective, rather than a complete oddball and outsider - and don't tell me that 'added' to the program, it did not.
The program was OK for a bit of ear-floss, but if they'd have focussed more on the engineering challenges - instead of some oddball most of us have never even heard of, the program would have been vastly better. (So he rides bikes....and the relevance is..?). Sure he was enthusiastic, but that was not in itself germane to the subject matter. None of this was Guy Martins fault of course.
It was a great idea for a program - an interesting subject marred by some media 'expert' wanting to try and give the subject a spin that it simply didn't need. The appetite for 'Spitfire' themed subjects is, we may be certain, virtually limitless..... Just ask the magazine publishers...! :)

5th Nov 2014, 10:21
Sometimes you have to wonder about the BBC - on "The People Remember" this morning, when talking about the lumberjills of WW2 the presenter Ellie Harrison said: " Home grown timber was needed to make everything from Spitfire wings to rifle butts and pit props." Spitfire wings from wood......!!

5th Nov 2014, 12:26
I think she meant to say Mosquito wings...........

5th Nov 2014, 14:18
Ellie Harrison could tell me black was white and I would believe her.................

5th Nov 2014, 22:59
Guy Martin was irritating and his pieces to camera were either unintelligible or just plain crass. I guess that's the price for pandering to a dumbed-down audience.

It's a shame Raymond Baxter is not still with us.

I felt Guy Martin did a good job as presenter, came over as enthusiastic. Had no difficulty understanding him.

Enjoyed RB too. If he were still with us he would be 92 so would probably be happy to make way for someone younger.....


24th Jan 2015, 23:56
Just been repeated tonight and I managed to watch it this time,
and just read through the posts here. I know of Guy from following bike racing and have watched his TV programmes, which I think have been interesting. He is a genuine engineer who works on comercial vehicle engines as his prime ocupation, and does his own mechanicing on his race bikes. I think Fred Dibnah would have got on great with him, they both share the same idea about British industrial engineering heritage, and didn't speak the Queens english either! I don't think Raymond Baxter would be the man to present this programme nowadays, however much I greatly respected him
Throwing a spanner in, did they use auto wire locking pliers in 1940 or do it by hand as I was taught in 1968, if not they were'nt being true to the plot!

Great programme, and good to see Geoffrey Wellum after reading his excellent book.

25th Jan 2015, 01:18
Lock wire pliers were certainly in use in the late 50s. They were known as "Ladies aids".

After an excellent landing etc...

25th Jan 2015, 12:15
I noticed its was on TV again last night....I was tempted but I still have it recorded from the first time.

Going to put it on DVD when I get a chance...wish there was more TV like this prog.

Guy is such an enthusiastic guy...even owns his very own RR Merlin fixed to a 4 wheel road trailer to run it on...it is on youtube I think....he did have a little accident with it...but its back running again now.


25th Jan 2015, 20:20
The TV stations are steadily in need of new faces and the new ones picked have had some positive display in some way. Deep and exact knowledge from engineers and professors aren't neccesarely the best presenting towards the livingrooms across the nation, however it's practical to have such co-hosts.
Guy Martin certainly has his followers due to his status as motorbikechamp and IoM racer. As a motorbike entusiast I loved to see the IoM documentary about Guy Martin: Closer to the Edge and without having seen it I've noticed another TV-seria with Guy Martin and a houseboat.
Such programmes is made for the average TV spectator and is doomed to be neglected by people with deeper knowledge - Just like the movie Red Tails, based on the Tusgee airmen story: Good entertainment, but not for flybuff's.
Try seeing the programme with the houseboat and re-judge the appearence of Guy Martin out of that!

25th Jan 2015, 22:00
auto wire locking pliers

What!!!! :confused:

You mean after 30 years on job I could have got it done automatically? :mad:

25th Jan 2015, 22:29
You mean after 30 years on job I could have got it done automatically?Most of the AMEs I've ever worked with could wirelock as quickly and as neatly the old-fashioned way.

Krystal n chips
26th Jan 2015, 05:35
Most of the AMEs I've ever worked with could wirelock as quickly and as neatly the old-fashioned way

Yep !......wire locking tools do have a use....if you are doing long easily accessible sections...otherwise, the best place for the contraptions is the bottom of the Manchester Ship Canal.....

To be honest, when I first watched his programmes I thought he was trying to be a copycat Fred...I got that one wrong. It soon became evident that he's genuine and just being himself. He's always interested in whatever he's doing, never tries to be the "star" with the people he's working with and, unlike just about every other presenter....pasty chops on " Countryfile" springs readily to mind here, always gives credit to those whose full time occupations he's involved with.

Well worth watching therefore and hopefully on our screens for a long time to come.

26th Jan 2015, 07:59
I never got to see it as Martins inaudible drivel made me turn off pretty sharpish

26th Jan 2015, 20:59
I saw the programme for the first time last night and was reasonably impressed. I think I blinked and missed something, though: why was so much time devoted to demonstrating what sort of mess a 50 cal Browning could make of a German car?

Windy Militant
1st Feb 2015, 12:40
Apparently Mr Martin was named after Guy Gibson and can be a bit incoherent when he gets excited, but he is definitely passionate about the things he does and has a great respect for those who he describes as having proper jobs and doing real work see his series "How Britain worked".

As said there are better factual programmes on Discovery and other specialist channels but they would not get aired on prime time TV as they would not attract enough audience figures.
As for shooting up the BMW you can blame that on the Top Gear factor. The producers are trying to cover all the demographics, the nerdy types will watch for the rivet counting, then there's the nostalgia factor which will bring in the oldies, the ladies will watch because Guy's on it, so how do we get the lads to watch it, hmm I know we'll shoot something to bits that'll do it.
If it gets people interested then maybe, just maybe they'll watch more worthy programmes in future, but don't hold your breath.

As for the IWM going all corporate. I'm afraid that that's the way that they run all these places nowadays. The greater proportion of people at the top end are not restorers or curators but people who are skilled at climbing the greasy pole. That type doesn't give a fig about what the company does as long as they can tick the boxes on their CV's and get the maximum personal advancement. The Science Museums treatment of Wroughton is a classic case of this.

1st Feb 2015, 20:46
Windy Militant, that looks about right regarding the 50 Cal demonstration. What bothered me, though, was that average Joe and Josephine Public probably now think that such weight of effect was available to the lads in the BoB. To me, that demeans what they actually achieved with their .303 peashooters.

Just a thought, for what it's worth.

2nd Feb 2015, 05:06
Hey R20,

Would it have suited you better if he had been from the East-End, and a true Cockney Sparra..;)

2nd Feb 2015, 09:01
One would have course preferred to have proper pronunciation a la BBC 1950's and he should have been suitably attired in evening dress.
Alternatively, Brian Sewell should have been procured for the narration.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
2nd Feb 2015, 09:37
I have not heard of pinned nuts working loose myself, but anything that can happen will

It did! 'Tangmere', Battle of Britain class steam loco, connecting rod lost its cotter pin and almost caused a major disaster. Luckily the small end landed on the 3rd rail (conductor rail for electric trains) so didn't 'dig into the ground' which would have overturned the loco.


India Four Two
2nd Feb 2015, 17:40

Thanks for posting the Winchfield accident report. I hadn't heard of it before.

Who would have thought that a castellated nut and split pin was less safe than a plain nut and split pin! They were VERY lucky that the third rail was on that side of the loco. "Tangmere" doing a pole-vault on the connecting rod doesn't bear thinking about.

I'm reminded of the proverb about kingdoms and horse-shoe nails.

2nd Feb 2015, 18:33
Who would have thought that a castellated nut and split pin was less safe than a plain nut and split pin!From reading the report, it appears that it wasn't a conventional loop head split pin, but a dodgy home-brewed substitute made by sawing a cut in a piece of mild steel.

I'd trust my life (I probably have) to a properly installed split-pin/castle nut combination, regardless of the orientation of the bolt, although I vaguely recall from 40-odd years ago that CAIPs might have had something to say about the latter*.

Edit: *I've checked, and no they didn't

2nd Feb 2015, 21:13
I never got to see it as Martins inaudible drivel made me turn off pretty sharpish

Ah but one person's inaudible drivel is another person's clarity. My then 16 year old sister came to stay with us for a week when we lived in Wimbledon. She had hardly left Worksop and the surrounding area for a very long time. Getting in after the first day in the environs the following remark was made. "Dun't thee all tork funney down 'ere".
I had to point out that she was the one talking funny.

2nd Feb 2015, 23:24
The under-up mounted bolt is shown as a tapered one, thus the direction isn't a coincidense. The direction being planned to be under-up might lay in the accessibility of drilling the pinhole :-/