Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Spitfire

On a warm summer’s day in 1940, Adolf Hitler commanded his air force, the Luftwaffe, to bomb the hell out of England.
The United Kingdom, with its trademark gusto, dispatched the Royal Air Force. The Battle of Britain, the first campaign ever fought entirely by aircraft, was officially underway.
The Luftwaffe had firepower, but the British had heart. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth refused to leave Buckingham Palace, inspiring the nation with their pluck. The Germans seemed indomitable with their Messerschmitt Bf 110s (nicknamed the Zerstorer or ‘Destroyer’), a fast twin-engine, long-range aircraft.
But the RAF had a feisty retort: the Spitfire.
Designed with clean lines for speed and elliptical wings for agility, the single-seater Spitfire immediately began kicking ass. It could accelerate faster than the Zerstorer, bank in tighter arcs, and fire more rounds.
The result: the RAF, powered by vigor and the Spitfire, handed the Nazis their first defeat and turned the war around. Not too shabby.
San Francisco shred enthusiast Giles is lucky enough to have a real-live war hero in his family. His stepfather served in the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Wanna know what he flew?
The Spitfire.
He was 19 years old.
Each of the color marking on a Spitfire conveys meaning--the yellow rail bands and black-and-white stripes communicated their allied association, while the British flag was represented by the red and blue circle (interesting fact: RAF and American fighter planes during WWII ditched the red part of the circle, as they could be mistaken for Japanese aircraft). The pilots put red tape over their guns to keep them from freezing, as seen in the pigment 'patches' in the nose of Giles' board.
Every color on this board is pigmented resin.
A mistress of understatement, when Leslie saw a drawing of the task before her, said only, "I'll need to order more tape."


pranaglider said...

So "I'm gonna need more tape" is the glasser equivalent to "we're gonna need a bigger boat"

HeadHighGlassy said...

Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!

e. said...


Kirk said...

Damn, I'm going to put on my best hat just so I can take it off to you and Leslie- genius. On a side note, have you tried a spitfire fin? Based on the wing shape/foil and really functional as a single.

HeadHighGlassy said...

Hey Kirk, thanks for the props, and yes I had a brief love affair with the Spitfire fin until it was claimed by a reef up north. Rode it in a 6'0 single fin and classic log with the same results: speed. Felt almost drag-free. Think it's time to get on another.

Michael Brashier said...

headhighglassy = best domain name ever.

CP said...

That is some sick resin work! As a native of dear old blighty i salute you! :-)
from the beaches the spitfire protected!