|Fate||merged and name dropped|
|Founded||1913 (as Pemberton-Billing)|
|Defunct||1960 (incorporation into BAC)|
|Key people||Noel Pemberton-Billing, R. J. Mitchell, Joe Smith|
|Parent||Vickers-Armstrongs (1928 onwards)|
Supermarine was a British aircraft manufacturer that became famous for producing a range of sea planes and the Supermarine Spitfire fighter.
History[edit | edit source]
Noel Pemberton Billing set up a company, Pemberton-Billing Ltd, in 1913 to produce seagoing aircraft. Its telegraphic address, used for sending telegrams and cables to the company, was; Supermarine, Southampton. It produced a couple of prototypes using quadruplane designs to shoot down zeppelins; the Supermarine P.B.29 and the Supermarine Nighthawk. The aircraft were fitted with the recoilless Davis gun and the Nighthawk had a separate powerplant to power a searchlight. Upon election as an MP in 1916 Pemberton-Billing sold the company to his factory manager and longtime associate Hubert Scott-Paine who renamed the company Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd. The company became famous for its successes in the Schneider Trophy for seaplanes, especially the three wins in a row of 1927, 1929 and 1931.
In 1928 Vickers-Armstrongs took over Supermarine as Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers) Ltd and in 1938 all Vickers-Armstrongs aviation interests were reorganised to become Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd, although Supermarine continued to design, build and trade under its own name. The phrase Vickers Supermarine was applied to the aircraft.
The first Supermarine landplane design to go into production was the famous and successful Spitfire. The earlier Hawker Hurricane and the Spitfire were the mainstay of RAF Fighter Command fighter aircraft which fought off the Luftwaffe bombing raids with fighter escorts during the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940. While the Hurricane was available in larger numbers and consequently played a larger role, the new Spitfire caught the popular imagination and became the aircraft associated with the battle. It went on to play a major part in the remainder of the war, in a number of variants and marks, and it was the only allied fighter aircraft to be in production through the entirety of World War Two.
Other well-known planes from World War II were the Seafire (a naval version of the Spitfire). Supermarine also developed the Spiteful and Seafang, the successors of the Spitfire and Seafire, resp., and the Walrus flying boat.
The Supermarine main works was in Woolston, Southampton which led to the city being heavily bombed in 1940. This curtailed work on their first heavy bomber design, the Supermarine B.12/36 which was replaced by the Short Stirling.
After the end of World War Two, the Supermarine division built the Royal Navy's first jet fighter, the Attacker, which served front line squadrons aboard aircraft carriers and RNVR squadrons at shore bases. The Attacker was followed by the more advanced Swift which served in the fighter and photo-reconnaissance roles. The last of the Supermarine aircraft was the Scimitar. After that, in the shakeup of British aircraft manufacturing, Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) became a part of the British Aircraft Corporation and the individual manufacturing heritage names were lost. Northshore Marine Motor Yachts builds a range of motorboats under the Supermarine name in Chichester, Portsmouth, England.
Supermarine aircraft[edit | edit source]
- Pemberton-Billing P.B.1 (1914)
- Pemberton-Billing P.B.9
- Pemberton-Billing P.B.23
- Pemberton-Billing P.B.25 (1915)
- Pemberton-Billing P.B.29
- AD Flying Boat (1916)
- AD Navyplane (1916)
- Supermarine Nighthawk (1917) – anti-Zeppelin fighter aircraft
- Supermarine Baby (1917) – single seat fighter flying boat
- Supermarine Sea Lion I (1919) – Schneider race flying boat
- Supermarine Channel (1919) – civil version of the AD Flying Boat
- Supermarine Scylla early (1920s)
- Supermarine Sea Urchin early (1920s)
- Supermarine Commercial Amphibian (1920)
- Supermarine Sea King (1920) – single seat fighter flying boat
- Supermarine Seagull (1921) – amphibian Fleet Spotter
- Supermarine Seal (1921)
- Supermarine Sea Eagle (1923) – civil amphibian flying boat
- Supermarine Scarab (1924) – military version of Sea Eagle
- Supermarine Sheldrake
- Supermarine Swan (1924) – experimental amphibian
- Supermarine Sparrow (1924) – two-seat ultralight
- Supermarine Southampton (1925) – flying boat
- Supermarine S.4 (1925) – Schneider Trophy race seaplane
- Supermarine S.5 (1927) – Schneider Trophy race seaplane
- Supermarine Nanok (1927)
- Supermarine Solent (1927)
- Supermarine Seamew (1928) – twin-engined flying boat
- Supermarine S.6 (1929) – Schneider Trophy race seaplane
- Supermarine S.6B (1931) – Schneider Trophy race (first aircraft over 400 mph)
- Supermarine Air Yacht (1931) – six-passenger flying boat
- Supermarine Type 179 (1931)
- Supermarine Scapa (1932) – flying boat
- Supermarine Stranraer (1932) – general-purpose flying boat
- Supermarine Walrus (1933) – amphibian fleet spotter
- Supermarine Type 224 (1934) unsuccessful design for a fighter aircraft to Air Ministry specification F.7/30
- Supermarine Spitfire (1936) – single seat fighter
- Supermarine Seafire (1941) – single-seat carrier-based fighter version of the Spitfire
- Supermarine Spitfire (early Merlin powered variants) – Merlin engine variants
- Supermarine Spitfire (late Merlin powered variants) – two-stage Merlin engine variants
- Supermarine Spitfire (Griffon powered variants) – two-stage Griffon engine variants
- Supermarine Spitfire operational history
- Supermarine Spitfire variants: specifications, performance and armament
- List of Supermarine Spitfire operators
- List of surviving Supermarine Spitfires
- Supermarine Sea Otter (1938) – flying boat
- Supermarine 322 also S.24/37 or "Dumbo" (1939)
- Supermarine Spiteful (1944) – replacement for the Spitfire
- Supermarine Seafang (1946) – development of Spiteful
- Supermarine Attacker (1946) – jet fighter
- Supermarine Seagull ASR-1 (1948) – air-sea rescue and reconnaissance
- Supermarine 510 (1948) – swept wing Attacker prototype
- Supermarine 535 (1950) – Swift predecessor with Nene engine
- Supermarine Swift (1951) – jet fighter
- Supermarine 508 (1951) – V-tailed, twin engined straight winged fighter prototype
- Supermarine 521 (1950) – Modified Attacker fuselage as basis for Handley Page HP.88
- Supermarine 525 (1954) – immediate predecessor of Scimitar
- Supermarine Scimitar (1956) – naval ground attack aircraft
Designs and submissions only
- Supermarine 318 – four engined heavy bomber to B.12/36, abandoned after prototypes destroyed by German bombing attack
- Supermarine Type 305 (1938) – design project for a turret armed derivative of the Spitfire
- Supermarine Type 324 – design project for a twin Merlin engined, tricycle undercarriage fighter based on Spitfire wing and fuselage.
- Supermarine 545 – supersonic version of Swift
- Supermarine Type 553 (1953) – mach 2 research aircraft project
- Supermarine Type 559 (1955) – submission for Operational Requirement F.155 for a high altitude supersonic fighter
- Supermarine Type 571 – submission for GOR.339 TSR.2 requirement
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- The World's Worst Aircraft James Gilbert ISBN 0-340-21824-X
- Andrews and Morgan 1987, pp. 294–196.
- Andrews and Morgan 1987, pp. 308–309.
- Andrews, C.F. Supermarine Aircraft Since 1914. London: Putnam, Second edition, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-800-3.
Chorlton, Martyn. Supermarine: Company Profile 1913–1963. Cudham, Kent: Kelsey Publishing Group (Aeroplane), 2012. ISBN 978-1-907426-46-9.
[edit | edit source]
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