Exceptionally Plane People. Noel Pemberton Billing. Hubert Scott-Paine. Commander James Bird. Supermarine Woolston. Satellite airfield at Eastleigh. Main Supermarine factories at Woolston and Itchen. The Early Days. 1928 Vickers -Supermarine formed.
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Main Supermarine factories at Woolston and Itchen
1928 Vickers -Supermarine formed
USA wins 1923 & 1925 Schneider Trophy races
R.J. Mitchell joins company
AM spec F.7/30 released
Scott-Paine takes over
Supermarine wins its first Schneider Trophy race
Britain wins Schneider Trophy outright
Southampton - 1925
Walrus - 1933
Stranraer - 1937
Schneider Trophy winner 1923
Unbraced cantilevered wing – 1924 Scheider Trophy race
Biard crashed before the race (Biard survived – airplane didn’t!)
Napier Lion engine – wire braced wing
Rolls-Royce “R” engine
2350 hp in 1931 versus 875 hp for Lion engine in 1927
“A fighter capable of at least 250 mph and armed with four machine guns”
Supermarine Type 224
R.J. Mitchell’s original conception and introduction of the Spitfire
First production order 310
“Killer” fighter decision
RJ dead at 42
Spitfire first flight
August 1938 first delivery 19 Sqn
AM Spec F.37/34 released
S224 first flight
AM Spec 10/35 eight guns
“ ….. The (Vickers-Supermarine) design team would do better by devoting their time not to the official experimental fighter (i.e.F.7/30) but to a real killer fighter……my opposite number in Rolls-Royce…A.F Sidgreaves and I decided that our two companies should … finance … such an aircraft ……
…. that in no circumstances would any technical member of the Air Ministry be consulted or allowed to interfere with the designer”
Sir Robert McLean – Chairman Vickers Aviation Ltd.
Sir Robert McLean
Supermarine Type 300
Dated September 1934 from Smith
Joined Vickers-Supermarine in 1932
Used Ludwig Prandtl’s theories of elliptic wing planforms in the Spitfire design
Spitfire wings (NACA 2200 series) were VERY thin by comparison with conventional wisdom - 13% root T/C tapering to 6% T/C at tip
Succeeded RJ as Chief Designer
Maintained the same basic shape to the Spitfire while doubling the weight and power output from the engine.
Took Supermarine technical community right through to the jet age
Joseph Smith’s Spitfire main spar construction
L-R “Mutt” Summers, “Agony” Payn, RJM, S. Scott-hall, Jeffrey Quill
Sir Kingsley Wood -1938
Castle Bromwich factory
Hillington shadow factory, Merlins
Crewe shadow factory, Merlins
Castle Bromwich shadow factory, Spitfires
Manchester, shadow factory, (Ford), Merlins
South Marston shadow factory, Spitfires
Shadow factory at Castle Bromwich
250 sub contractors were involved in the Spitfire by 1942. By end of 1944, Supermarine had 63 units, staffed by almost 10,000, half of them women, compared to 2500 at the beginning of the war.
Propeller - DeHavilland, Jabro, Rotol
Rotol By end of 1944, Supermarine had 63 units, staffed by almost 10,000, half of them women, compared to 2500 at the beginning of the war.
Formed 1937 by Rolls-Royce and Bristol Aeroplane Co.
Produced over 100,000 three, four and five bladed props
Became Dowty-Rotol in 1959
SOUTHAMPTON/DISPERSED SPITFIRE PRODUCTION By end of 1944, Supermarine had 63 units, staffed by almost 10,000, half of them women, compared to 2500 at the beginning of the war.
Sewards Garage (Fuselage & Jig production),
Polygon Hotel (Design office),
Hants & Dorset Bus Station (assembly),
Henlys Garage (Fuselage assembly),
Sunlight Laundry (Detail fitting etc),
Lothers Garage (Toolroom),
Shorts Garage (Machine Shop),
Weston Rolling Mills (Coppersmiths),
Chisnells Garage (Press Shop/Sheet metal), Lingwood Precision- (Landing gear)
Spitfire Test Pilots By end of 1944, Supermarine had 63 units, staffed by almost 10,000, half of them women, compared to 2500 at the beginning of the war.
Vickers-Supermarine – the war years By end of 1944, Supermarine had 63 units, staffed by almost 10,000, half of them women, compared to 2500 at the beginning of the war.
Mk. V Spitfire
Mk. IX Spitfire
Supermarine Spitfire Production By end of 1944, Supermarine had 63 units, staffed by almost 10,000, half of them women, compared to 2500 at the beginning of the war.
Mk.1 – 1550 – Merlin III rated at 1030 HP
Mk.II – 921 - Merlin III rated at 1030 HP
Mk.V – 6476 – Merlin 45 rated at 1470 HP
Mk. IX – 5653 – Merlin 66 rated at 1575 HP
Mk. XIV/Mk. XVI – 2010 – Griffon 65 rated at 2050 HP
Total production 22,799
(includes derivative models up to Spiteful)
Charles Davis – shop foreman Spitfire fuselage manufacture Castle Bromwich
Castle Bromwich, workforce numbered 15,854 by 1943 – produced almost half total production of Spitfires
Janet May produced almost half total production of Spitfires
Spitfire maintenance in Malta produced almost half total production of Spitfires
Walrus Air-Sea Rescue produced almost half total production of Spitfires
Production shared with Saunders-Roe
Spiteful produced almost half total production of Spitfires
Seafang F.32 with contra-rotating prop
“ produced almost half total production of SpitfiresAttacker” – FF July 1946
“Swift”- FF December 1948
FF – January 1956
Supermarine produced almost half total production of Spitfires’s demise
Hursley Park taken over in 1958 by IBM
Supermarine aircraft design staff moved to Vickers at Weybridge for work on supersonic projects (including TSR.2)
Became part of British Aircraft Corporation 1960
Bibliography for Exceptional Plane people – Supermarine produced almost half total production of Spitfires
“Supermarine Aircraft since 1914” by C.F. Andrews & E.B. Morgan.1981 Naval Institute Press
“Spitfire” by Jeffrey Quill. 1985 Arrow Books
“R.J. Mitchell. Schooldays to Spitfire” by Gordon Mitchell (RJ’s son). 1986 Tempus Publishing. Charleston SC.
“Sigh for a Merlin” by Alex Henshaw 1979 Crecy Publishing Ltd UK.
“The Spitfire – 50 years on” by Michael J.F. Bowyer.1986 Patrick Stephens, Wellingborough
“The Schneider Trophy Story” by Edward Eves 2001 MBI Publishing st. Paul MN
“Spitfire – Story of a famous fighter” by Bruce Robertson. 1661 Garden Press Ltd. Letchworth UK.
“The Magic of a Name – the Rolls-Royce Story” Vol. One by Peter Pugh.2000 Icon Booksltd. Duxford UK
“Supermarine Spitfire – Owners’ Workshop Manual”2007 Haynes Publishing (Haynes North America)
Go Hawks produced almost half total production of Spitfires