Supermarine Spitfire: Drawing Numbering System

Supermarine Spitfire: Drawing Numbering System

I was browsing through some of my earlier projects and whilst only a fraction of the study material has been published here I occasionally come across some documentation I developed and wondered why I didn’t publish it as it may be helpful to others.

This is one of those moments and it is simply a spreadsheet that defines the drawing numbering system adopted by Supermarine for the Spitfire design.

Take for example the following drawing which is the Chassis Operating Lock Control:


The drawing # in this case is: 30050 sh. 79

From the spreadsheet below we have:

  • The prefix 300 = Aircraft Variant
  • The suffix 50 = Assembly reference.
  • And then a sequential sheet #.

2015-07-20_15-33-44Aircraft are extremely complex designs but the designers have managed to develop very simple but effective document numbering systems that are easy to follow and administer.

This is typical of all the manufacturers of this era, most of which will have numbering systems of a similar format.

I do think that a lot of design office managers today could learn something from looking into the past and seeing how things can be done in an efficient manner. For some reason we now tend to adopt very complex numbering systems!


About Hugh

BIM & Cad Manager/Strategist, 3D/4D, multi-discipline cad workflows, integration. Interests include photography and historical aviation.
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