The Supermarine Seafang was a naval adaptation of the Supermarine Spiteful, which is described separately.
The first prototype Seafang F.31 was actually a Spiteful F.XV (RB520) fitted with a sting-type arrester hook and five blade propeller. RB520 was first flown in this form in January 1946.
Ten of the interim F.31 model were built, the first of these being Seafang (VG471). One of these, Seafang F.31 (VG474) was used as a development aircraft for the Supermarine Attacker with modifications including the fitment of power-operated ailerons and contra-rotating propeller.
The final fully-navalised production model, to Specification N.5/45, was the Seafang 32 with powered wing folding and a 2,340 hp Griffon 85 driving a contra-rotating propeller.
The first definitive Seafang was a Mk32 (VB895), this flying in June 1946. This aircraft was demonstrated extensively to The Royal Netherlands Navy as well as being piloted by Mike Lithgow during the deck landing trials on HMS Illustrious during May 1947.
Production comprised three prototypes, 10 Seafang F.31 and 6 Seafang F.32.
The laminar flow wing for the Spiteful / Seafang was the basis for the wing of the Supermarine Attacker, Britain’s first carrier-based jet fighter to enter service.
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||No examples survive|