Superior US fuel helped UK win Battle of Britain, says researcher

May 13th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 13 (ANI): The United States helped Spitfire and Hurricane pilots win the Battle of Britain with super-fuel which made them fly faster, the Americans have claimed.

A US science writer has now claimed that Britain’s two most famous aircraft were not as significant in defeating the Luftwaffe as we might like to believe.

The Telegraph quotes Tim Palucka as asserting that the British fighters were able to outmanoeuvre their German opponents because they were running on a special high-octane fuel created in the US.

He claims that the 100-octane fuel increased the Spitfire’s speed by 25 mph at sea level and by 34 mph at 10,000 feet.

This proved vital during dogfights over the Channel and the skies above England in 1940, Palucka writes in the journal Invention And Technology.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is inviting experts to challenge the claims.

RSC spokesman Brian Emsley said: “If it’s refutable we want it to be refuted. All we’ve got to go on is the one report. The Spitfire is a wonderful bit of British design, it’s an icon, so we approach this with trepidation, but the possibility should be aired. It could mean that science and chemistry played its part.”

Palucka claims that the fuel was made using a process invented by a Frenchman and supplied to the RAF by the US.

He said that it helped the aeroplanes gain superior altitude, manoeuvrability and rate of climb. The fuel replaced the 87-octane gasoline, which was previously used in the planes.

The RSC said it was the first time it had heard the claim. If it remains intact the society will send the report to aviation and military historians to mark the newly-discovered contribution of chemists to victory. (ANI)

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