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 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.


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


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.

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                     No examples survive                                                                           

Other information