Vickers-Supermarine
Seafang

Supermarine's last piston engined fighter aircraft.
An air to air photograph of the Seafang prototype RB520 An air to air photograph of the Seafang prototype RB520.

 

The Vickers Supermarine Seafang was a naval adaptation of the Vickers Supermarine Spiteful, which is described separately elsewhere on this website.

 

The first prototype Seafang F.31 was actually a Spiteful F.XV (RB520), fitted with a sting-type arrester hook and a five blade propeller. It was first flown in this form in January 1946.

 

Ten of the interim Seafang F.31 models were built, the first of these being Seafang F.31 (VG471). Another of the ten (VG474) was used as a development aircraft for the Vickers Supermarine Attacker with modifications including the fitment of power-operated ailerons and contra-rotating propeller.

 

Supermarine Seafang VG471 photographed in December 1946 Supermarine Seafang VG471 photographed in December 1946.

 

The final fully-navalised production model, built to Specification N.5/45, was the Vickers Supermarine Seafang 32, which featured powered wing folding and a 2,340 hp Griffon 85, driving a contra-rotating propeller.

 

The first definitive prototype Seafang was a Mk32 (VB895), which flew in June 1946. It was demonstrated extensively to The Royal Netherlands Navy, as well as being the aircraft piloted by Mike Lithgow during the deck landing trials on HMS Illustrious during May 1947.

 

Production comprised three prototypes and comprised 10 Seafang F.31 and 6 Seafang F.32.

 

The laminar flow wing for the Vickers Supermarine Spiteful and Seafang was also the basis for the wing design of the Supermarine Attacker, Britain’s first carrier-based jet fighter to enter service.

 
VB895, the first navalised Supermarine Seafang VB895, the first navalised Supermarine Seafang.
 
Supermarine Seafang VB895 wings folded Supermarine Seafang VB895 showing the wings-folded configuration.
 

Specification (Seafang F.32)


Powerplant One 2,350 hp Rolls-Royce Griffon 69
Span 35 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight 10.450 lb
Capacity and armament Pilot only, four 20 mm Hispano cannon, provision for underwing carriage of four 300 lb rockets or two 1,000 lb bombs
Maximum Speed 475 mph at 21,000 ft
Range 393 miles at 220 – 240 mph

 

Variants & Numbers built


Type 382 Seafang F.31 Prototypes and initial production: Single propeller, no wing fold. 13 built
Type 396 Seafang F.32 Fully navalised: Contra-rotating propeller and powered wing fold. 6 built

 

Survivors


Survivors                     No examples survive                                                                           
 

Other information