SpanSet Restrain the Mighty Spitfire

SpanSet Inter AG

Spanset Inter design and manufacture effective aircraft and vehicle restraint systems for the military.

The reliability of the systems has lead them to be used by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) where the equipment will be supplied for the aircraft tie-down of all BBMF Spitfires.

The BBMF currently operate five Spitfire variants. the Mk 2, 5, 9, 16 and 19.

BBMF SpitfireAircraft Tie-Down

Spitfire Aircraft Tie-Down

Due to the amount of lift generated over the tail plane when the engine is run at any RPM setting above 1500RPM, they are required to restrain the rear of the aircraft and incorporate larger chocks as the brakes are not adequate to hold the aircraft on full power.

This task is currently facilitated by the use of a standard 5 tonne aircraft tie-down strop and rope to a set of one piece wooden chocks.

Spitfire Restraint SystemRear Aircraft Restraint

Once the aircraft is restrained an aircraft ground run is carried out, this test will operate the engine at settings far above those required during the normal flight envelope.

Ground test settings

  • Max. RPM 2750
  • Max. Boost + 12

Flight settings

  • Max. RPM 2400
  • Max. Boost + 6

The BBMF have to carry out full engine tie down ground runs after any major component change, this includes any propeller component and during pre and post winter servicing periods. This task is carried out at least once a week during the flying season.
The previous systems used was outdated and did not fully meet the original drawing specification.

Quicker and Safer Aircraft Tie-DownBBMF Spitfire Restraint

SpanSet Limited were instrumental in designing a new aircraft tie-down system that meets all the requirements of the original drawing specification utilising new equipment that will ensure a quicker safer way to tie down all BBMF Spitfires during aircraft ground runs.

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